Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's Q been up to? No surprise, lots of good, good stuff (dang, does work get in the way of basketball or what?)

Why The Minnesota Lynx are the Perfect Learning Environment for Renee Montgomery
We know that Renee Montgomery knows how to win from her days at UConn.

We know that she has the leadership skills to run a championship team.

What we don’t know is how good a professional point guard Renee Montgomery will be.

Of course, you never really know what you’re getting when you draft a rookie in any sport – all you can really do is make an educated guess and hope.

Yet what makes following Montgomery’s development as a rookie point guard particularly interesting is actually Chicago Sky coach Steve Key’s reasoning for selecting Kristi Toliver one pick ahead of Renee Montgomery.
NY Times on "Quantifying Basketball's Intangibles": Why Not Start with the WNBA?
Something mysterious happened this weekend that I am struggling to figure out:

I had no interest in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Perhaps it’s because I was just busy with other things this past weekend. Perhaps it’s just because the whole thing started to feel anti-climactic, but not necessarily inevitable. Perhaps it’s because I don’t particularly like watching arrogant people succeed (really, do we need more of that in the U.S. right now?).

I hope this does not make you think less of me as a basketball fan.

But in between procrastinating on work with fuzzy or distant deadlines, I spent some time reading the responses to Phil Jackson’s tenth championship and Kobe Bryant’s first without Shaquille O’Neal…as though we really needed to hear more of that storyline.

And yet, I somehow found something interesting to think about in WNBA terms.
“If the WNBA had the gumption to take a more progressive stand…”
When I first watched the All American Red Heads video montage that has been floating around WNBA circles, it was hard to ignore the political impact they might have had in addition to the historical legacy of women’s basketball.
For women to not only get paid to play professional basketball, but also show off and outplay men as they were doing it had to be considered radical for the time. From John Molina’s All American Red Heads website:
When the Red Heads set out on the road, they weren't just playing basketball. They were pioneers to break down all of these stereotypes....and didn't even know it at the time. They were just women that had a great passion to play basketball…

They would only play against men and by mens rules. During that time, women were playing 6 on 6 with only 3 players being allowed to cross the court.

There was still much concern at the time, that women shouldn't play the game like a man because they weren't as physical and could hurt their chances to have children.
As Molina implies, even if the Red Heads' players did not consider themselves “activists” or “feminists” but “just passionate athletes”, they were undeniably involved in a highly politicized activity, even if only by challenging stereotypes. And as we know, those stereotypes of gender (or race) have concrete social consequences.

Why We Cannot Count the Monarchs Out…Yet

Rookie Point Guard Briann January is Adjusting and Making an Impact

Point Guard Rankings & Rookies: What a Difference a Weekend Makes...

Point Guard Rankings Update & Surprises: Cappie Pondexter and Jia Perkins...Top 10? (Late Edit)