East was beast but West was best

West 102, East 98

Candace Parker scored 23 points, breaking an all-star scoring record. She was crowned game MVP.

ESPN points out that Parker stepped up.

Parker and her two Sparks teammates proved crucial down the stretch for the West. Toliver had 19 points, and said “Being here this weekend was a lot of joy. It was humbling to be here but I feel like I belong.”

Videos and photos galore.

The mood was light and humorous from the player introductions. Arguably, Maya Moore’s performance of the worm was the best intro.

Players “video bombed” on-camera interviews. My personal favorite today was Shavonte Zellous shimmying into league president Laurel Richie’s interview.

Other humorous stand out moments:

– Ivory Latta and Zellous cut up on the East bench, making viewers laugh too.

– Angel McCoughtry drove to the rack for an incredible bucket, came at the camera flexing her biceps, and then kissed one of them.

– Parker spun around for an insane basket, and then curved her arms in front of her, bodybuilder-style, and grimaced until Toliver jumped up and slapped her shoulder. She then busted out a grin.

– At halftime, Diana Taurasi discussed veteran Tina Thompson’s replacement of her teammate, Brittney Griner. She said, “we don’t need BG – we’ve got Tina.” Griner threw something at her back.

– Rebecca Lobo sat on the East bench during the first half, and appointed assistant coach Mickie DeMoss the “translator” for coach Lin Dunn. Having Dunn mic’d up for portions of the game was fun.

– Griner being asked at halftime if she’d play defense in the all-star game, and her response: “Why not? I’d be honkin’ down!”

– Parker to ESPN on how to act after a great play: “You’ve got to flex, you’ve got to do the duck lips….I forgot the beating my chest part.”

It was great to see everyone having such a good time. Fun is the reason athletes begin playing hoops in the first place.

I’ve scanned the Internet and there are people who are unhappy and/or who are complaining about today’s game, for whatever reason. I don’t care that much because it’s impossible to please everyone. Some people are never, ever satisfied, either. The important thing to me was that athletes were having fun, fans got to see some great skills, and the game was close and not a blow out.

There were plenty of story lines, including Diana Taurasi’s special shoes, which she had made for the game.

Lamont Simpson wore the ref cam.

Both Candace Parker and Glory Johnson dunked during warm ups. Johnson dunk.

Eight players from the former Big East Conference took the court today.

ESPN suggests that the all-star game find a new home.

I suggest Minneapolis or Indianapolis. Fan bases there are rabid and intense. Both cities are more in the middle of the country, which would make athlete traveling more fair.

5 COMMENTS

  1. There are valid reasons for ASG viewers to have issues with how the All Star game came down. The game generally validated the opinions that many already had about the league.

    It's fine that the game participants had "fun", but at the end of the day the WNBA is a product that needs to be purchased to generate a profit. So the question is did the product represent something of value that fans or potential fans are willing to pay for? Draw your own conclusions.

    I thought one of the comments on Fagan's piece was pretty telling. Evidently anyone with a Mohegan Sun Casino Players Card got an offer for two free ASG tickets. So the casino was using the ASG as a spiff to get gamblers into the hotel so they could profit from their gambling. It would be interesting to know the size of the block of tickets that the W gave to Mohegan Sun as part of the deal.

    As we've seen from the comments on the ESPN game day site, creating a "gambler friendly" product or environment is not something that professional sports need to be associated with. Little good can come from it.

    Finally if the ASG proved anything it's that the W needs EDD more than she needs them if they ever hope to produce a successful mass marketable product.

  2. I'm bewildered that critics ripped this game…great players, crisp play (minimal turnovers and fouls), competitive back-and-forth game.
    A real hoops fan who couldn't enjoy that game, go "Wow!" a time or three, AND find someone out there about whom to say, "Dang, I like the way she plays," must have a predisposition against women's ball.

    There are certainly some tangential issues worthy of criticism — Ms. Richie's got a bit too much elementary-school teacher in her delivery and her remarks tend to be overly generic; "ref-cam" and the official NFL-like announcements of reviewed plays need to go; fewer than 10,000 fans at such an event will raise some eyebrows.
    But taking shots at the performance of the players — that just ain't right!

  3. It's the society we live in, Abacus. I stopped watching TV news because it's all negative, all the time. Society is a mirror of that – a lot of naysaying people walking around. You have to sometimes make a conscious effort to stay away from those peeps and seal yourself off. I've got pretty good at it, though.

    I really enjoyed seeing the league's best players together, and watching how they interacted with each other. Good stuff.

  4. It was a good game. But I think you saw more of it on TV than I did paying for tickets and bus fare to Connecticut.

    It was a good game- but that was all it was. There was no buzz around it. The merchandise available was meager and boring. There was no skills challenge, nor any three-point contest. There was no fan fest. The open practices were on a weekday, so people who couldn't get out of work missed out on that. The crowd was dead, possibly related to 4:53's reminder from the comments on ESPN.

    And in the first half, there were way too many airballs for me to be comfortable with the game as a showcase of the best the WNBA has to offer. The second half was fabulous.

    But to answer the question "did the product represent something of value that fans or potential fans are willing to pay for?": No. If All-Star doesn't pick up its game next year, I see no reason to pay for tickets and travel when I can get more of the experience on TV.

  5. Becca – Sell said. it's good to have a comment from someone that was actually there. Yours is similar to some comments I read over on Swish Appeal by other attendees.

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