The Liberty came out pretty well in last Wednesday’s WNBA expansion draft, losing only fan-favorite-but-depth-chart-diver Sophia Witherspoon and all-but-forgotten backup point guard Coquese Washington to the new Portland franchise. New York also sent virtually invisible center Michele Van Gorp to the still nameless Portland team to protect an, er, unprotected, unnamed player—likely ex-ABL scoring champion Carolyn Jones-Young, who should ably fill Witherspoon’s sneaks at the 2 spot.
If you missed this entirely, you might want to apply for a job with one of our local sports sections, not one of which thought the draft worthy of a news story in its Thursday edition. Newsday ran a one-paragraph wire bit, while the Times and Daily News each burped about the draft in articles on Rebecca Lobo‘s reinjury of her torn ACL. Among the articles considered more newsworthy that day by the Times, which ran a special “We’ve Got the WNBA Covered” promo section last summer: three on (men’s) football, three on (men’s) hockey, two on (men’s) basketball, and one apiece on those notable winter sports (men’s) baseball and (men’s) golf.
In a week when a former wide receiver is facing the death penalty for his alleged role in the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, you’d think that some family values in the world of sports would be welcome. Guess again.
In the NBA, the same folks who didn’t blink when Latrell Sprewell choked P.J. Carlesimo can’t get their minds around the idea that Danny Ainge would walk away from the Suns coaching job simply to spend more time with his kids. And then there’s the Ken Griffey Jr. story.
For starters, let’s remember that Junior’s only sin is exercising a right most everyone in America takes for granted: the right to work where and for whom he wants to work. He wants to be closer to his kids, and he wants to play for his father, Cincy’s manager-in-waiting. What exactly is wrong with that? His only error: revealing this agenda to his employer.
Indeed, by wearing his feelings on his uniform sleeve—taking the Yanks, the Mets, and the Dodgers out of the bidding for his services—he cost himself tens of millions of dollars. But since he already has more money than anybody this side of Bill Gates, that didn’t matter much. And while the dailies wail about his refusal to play for the Mets, consider this alternative: Junior keeps his mouth shut. He accepts the trade. He plays at Shea for a year. And when the playoffs are over, he does exactly what he was planning all along: sign with the Reds. Which means that the Mets gave up their closer, best young pitcher, and best young position player for one year of Junior’s services.
Styles of the ‘Times’
What exactly did the Times‘s Thomas George mean on Sunday when he described St. Louis Rams star running back Marshall Faulk as “an average man in stature, a guy who could just as easily be parking your car or plastering your ceiling”? Is it Faulk’s complexion that keeps him from being “the guy doing your taxes or pulling you over for speeding”? And more important, are we still allowed to be Times readers even if we can’t afford valet parking?
Xmas Betting Line
|Fifth of Scotch||6||Cordless Drill|
|Sega Dreamcast||3 1/2||Portable MP3|
|Islander Tickets||Pick ’em||Fruitcake|
CONTRIBUTORS: NEIL DEMAUSE, ALLEN ST. JOHN, SIMON KANDWALA
SPORTS EDITOR: MILES D. SELIGMAN