A lil shock, and I’m not talking about Tulsa

So Chamique Holdsclaw debuted for San Antonio tonight by lighting up the Sparks with 19 points, and keying their 88-81 win. I gotta give it up for the Claw. She shut the doubters up, at least for now.

Los Angeles is now 0-3. One fan on the Sparks message board has already posted that he wants his season ticket money back, six days before the home opener. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I’m surprised they’re starting off this slowly. And I’m a bit worried.

I’m looking forward to being able to see what the problem is in person next Friday.

On the flip side of the coin, the 3-0 Seattle Storm beat the defending champions Phoenix Mercury in overtime, 95-89. The Fever also needed an overtime to beat the Sky, 92-86.

It’s only week two of the season, I keep telling myself.

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  1. Not sure what is going on with the Sparks. Not gonna call it a season already, but obviously it is on my mind… I actually had a dream that I was giving coaching advice to Jen and Penny… My suggestion…. DEFENSE!!!

  2. Hi Sue,

    I've been a Sparks season ticket holder since 1998. The start of this season has probably been the most disappointing since I've followed the Sparks.

    I've read your posts for the past few years and appreciate your love of the game. I have always enjoyed reading people's comments (especially scully fu) without posting my own, until now.

    Not retaining Michael Cooper could turn out to be a hug mistake. I don't know what the truth is behind his departure, but Coop and Penny Toler are the two main reasons for the Sparks great run over the past decade (lisa Leslie being the third). He is a proven winner and I've always respected his on-court demeanor. Some of the greatest coaches of all time have been notorious for not over-coaching during games. John Wooden's amazing dynasty was ended against Notre Dame because he refused to call a time-out during an end of the game run by the Irish. In 2004 Phil jackson lost to an overmatched Detroit Piston team with 4 future Hall of Famers (Payton, Malone, Kobe + Shaq) on the laker roster. Both coaches felt coaching is done in practice and rarely got off the bench during games.

    My point is that players have to be held accountable. Chemistry, teamwork, and heart are all very important ingredients in championship basketball. "Rah rah" coaches are over-rated and in my opinion, covering up other weaknesses. Tina Thompson's quotes you posted a few days before the season started were very telling and made me leery of what was to come. Cooper brought discipline and a winning attitude. He believed in having the best conditioned team and you had to be tough to play for him. Tina Thompson is one of the greatest to play in the WNBA, but she has a lot of miles on her and coming from a loose system, she was not prepared to work hard in practice. Lisa Leslie credted Cooper for turning her career around and teaching her how to be a champion.

    I think the ladies will bounce back, but Coach Gillom has to lead the team and not be their friend. This year's team is a lot better than last years. Temeka Johnson and Shannon Bobbitt were not good fits with the rest of the current roster. I would of loved to see what Cooper would have done with Penechero, Tolliver, and Riley. He's at U$C now and they will probably be national championship contenders shortly… and I hate saying that because I'm a BRUIN!! The Sparks have by far the most talent in the league this year and look like they have the same chemistry issues as last year. I truly hope we can get back to championship form.

    Keep up the great work, Sue!

  3. Hey Hoop,

    Thanks for posting! I really appreciate your perspective, and I appreciate that you've finally stepped out of the shadows.

    Very interesting perspective, especially given the outcry last year over what fans seemed to think was Cooper's lack of coaching. I'm still too new here to know what's really up, so I defer to fans like yourself who have been here from the early days.

    I agree that players need to be held accountable at the pro level. These aren't kids, and they need to take some responsibility for what's going on; they're the ones on the court.

    I would guess it's chemistry issues too, but I don't know yet. Gonna do my best to find out, too. The only clue I have for now is a tweet from Candace Parker last Monday: "Headed to practice. Let's get better, Sparks."


    Thanks again for posting!