Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fuzzy math

I'm just trying to see if I am fully comprehending this - from the beginning of the WNBA All-Star balloting on June 14 to the time the first numbers were released on July 2, Diana Taurasi received more votes (32,921) than any other player. However, when the final votes were tabulated, she finished seventh among Western Conference players (third among guards) with 75,263 votes. That's one heck of a shift in a span of a couple of weeks.

There are a few scenarios for the voting results:
1) San Antonio and Seattle fans decided to stuff the ballot box leading to Taurasi being beat out by San Antonio's Becky Hammon and Sue Bird of Seattle. OK, there might be some merit to this theory since Seattle's Lauren Jackson and Swin Cash were the top two vote getters among forward followed by San Antonio's Sophia Young. Also, San Antonio's Ruth Riley and Janelle Burse of Seattle ended up second and third among Western Conference centers thanks to their scoring averages of 8.8 and 5.5 respectively.

2) Taurasi quietly asked the league not to include her in the starting lineup because she simply does not want to deal with heading back to Connecticut for what will be a media feeding frenzy.

3) The league simply does not want to have a person arrest on suspicion of drunk driving to be a starter in the All-Star game.

The silence coming from the league has been deafening which is a whole other story but I guess we'll know soon enough if there is a plan to keep Taurasi out of the All-Star game when the list of reserves are announced. If she is not listed among the reserves, obviously something is up since she is the league's leading scorer.

Considering that the All-Star game is supposed to be a celebration of the best the WNBA has to offer, how the league handles the Taurasi situation will be interesting to watch. Will they view a player with serious legal issues hanging over her head to be too big of a distraction in a showcase event like the All-Star game. Personally, I have read the reports of her .17 blood alcohol content which is more than twice over the legal limit but also know she has not been convicted of any crime.

There is some precedence as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been known to levy penalties before due process plays out. However, the WNBA proved last year in the absolute joke of a slap on the wrist given to Candace Parker for her role in the brawl between Los Angeles and Detroit that it seems to care more for protecting its stars than it does punishing them.

The ball is in the WNBA's court and because of Taurasi's stature in the sport and the charges she faces, plenty of people will be watching.

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