WNBA all star rant

The starters for the WNBA All-stars game were announced earlier this week. These results have me frustrated, annoyed, and confused.

I don’t understand the choices for the frontcourt players in the West. How can it be that Brittney Griner isn’t in the starters? She’s only the number one scorer (22.4 points per game), the number one blocker (2.8 blocks per game), and #2 in the season MVP race.

Screenshot from WNBA.com all star voting results

It seems to me that BG is fighting against something no one wants to admit: The fact that she plays for Phoenix. Phoenix is currently third behind Minnesota and LA. As usual, the play for this team has been at turns brilliant and disappointing. But the team also had the most turnover in personnel of any team in the league this year. It was expected that they wouldn’t do much. But they are. And BG is the brightest star on the team.

I’ve been a Mercury fan since the start of the league. I have seen good players come and go. I have seen the refs make questionable calls against us and against the other teams. I have never understood why so many of the fans don’t like the way this team plays. I have always guessed it might be because of the heat in Phoenix. Who wants to go watch a home game when it is 100+ outside? (The Mercury fans know the answer: Anyone who wants to watch a great game won’t mind the heat!)

BG plays a great game of basketball. She always had. She plays both ends of the floor. She blocks better and more often than anyone else. This season, she has logged 44 per game. She has even been known to block more than once on the same shot.

She scores from just about anywhere on the court. She scored more than 30 points in four games already this season. In 3 more games, she scored 27 or more points. Her points per game is currently at 22.8 — That’s at least two more points per game than Fowles, Moore, or Parker.

She dunks… In fact she did another one during last night’s game. It was her 10th in her WNBA career. She’s done so many that the WNBA put out a recap video just for her dunks:

This year BG has felt comfortable enough playing to let herself depend on her talent. Her personality is maturing, so is her game. She has started to come into her own. She is flat out the most fun player in the league to watch.

And yet, fans ranked her 6th in the list of Western Conference frontcourt players. (I am hoping someone out there can explain to me why.) Contrast that with the fact that both the media and the players ranked her second. They recognize what she is doing this season. I don’t know why the fans didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the three that made the starting team are bad players. They each have been genius — game saving, even — players. They just aren’t the number one in their position this year. Putting them ahead of BG just shows how little some fans know of the teams outside of Minnesota and Los Angeles.

All that can be done now is wait and hope. Wait for the rest of the All-star team to be announced. Hope that BG will make it on the team. And hope to someday understand what the fans have against the Phoenix players.

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