score: Storm 83 Sparks 71 (W) (6-6)
is a ton of construction going up across the street from the
Staples Center. You walk from the pay parking lots up the
street and are coming down a sidewalk only to find the sidewalk
ends without warning and you are now in a car lane on Figerora.
We went into the Fox Sports Grill pre game. I dont know why
we go in here. The food sucks and it so expensive. Actually
I do know why we go in. Tradition. Don't want to change the
pregame routine. Plus, it is where I meet up with "Lucky"
She took a real long time to come in this time and I was really
worried that something happened. Dirty reminded me that one
of these times we are going to come down here and she is not
going to come in. Anyway, I went over and said hello. She
was happy to see me as she always seems to be, but mad at
herself because she had got me a gift and forgot it on her
table. I was touched that she even thought about me to get
me something. We talked about the teams as we always do and
made plans to meet up again the next game.
We got inside the arena and went to find our seats. I had
brought bribes to give to any seat holders that would be sitting
in the area that I wanted to stand at to try to talk to the
team. Lo and behold, I didn't need to. Those were my seats!!
It's complicated, dont ask. But they were mine.
Lauren came out of the tunnel first. It wasn't too hard to
talk to her then but there was a bunch of little kids with
her stuff to sign and she walked over to them. As she was
walking by though, I said, "You know you're due for a
30 point game right?" She just laughed. I said, "I'm
serious. Every 3rd game this season you go off for 30."
She just kind of purserd her lips together like "hmmmmm"
and smiled. As she got done siging and started heading to
the court, I shouted out, "30 points, LJ" and she
raised her hand in a waive. (More to follow)
Then Sue came out. I asked her how things were going, if "you
guys are ok?" She said, "were good. were better."
I told here there were 7000 fans in Seattle that were behind
the team, no matter what and she said thats what they were
Then Katie G came out. She seemed so quiet. I told her she
had one of the most awesome shots I had ever seen and that
I had been watching it since her freshman year at Purdue.
She said, "Really?" as if she was suprised. I asked
if she remembered her freshman year when she didnt start,
and when things didnt always go the way she wanted them to
when her shots wouldnt always fall and she would sometimes
get lost on defense. She just smiled and said, "yeah."
I said you can look at this season as your freshman year all
over again and look ahead at how your next three years went.
Rome wasn't built in a day but they never stop building. Enjoy
this season, Katie. Keep shooting. Be a Roman. She laughed
and slapped my hand and said, gotcha!
Betty came out and usually Betty goes walking right by and
says, "Ill catch you on the way back." This time
however, she stopped. I had a shirt for her to sign but held
my hand out and told her that no one has stopped believing
in her or what she can do. We know her game is still there
and she has to find a way to make the game fun again. If it
isnt fun, it isnt worth it. She said, "I appreciate you,
and all the fans who have supported me while I try to get
through this. You guys just never stop believing and that
motivates us more than you know, so thank you." I thought
I was going to cry. Seriously.
I was trying to keep Dirty informed as to what was being said
when JB came out of the tunnel and yelled up, "Hey"
to me. I turned around and she started laughing. I reminded
her she always does some damage at the games I'm at so tonight
was her night. I told her to watch out for Christi Thomas
and the chicken wing, and that Sydney Spencer slaps at the
ball alot. She said, "been scouting for me?" I said,
"I do what I can." I told her to have FUN and she
said she would.
There was a big lull before any other players came out, and
then Karen Bryant came out and I was able to talk to her for
about 10 minutes.
I talked to Jayda after I talked to Karen. I asked Jayda how
things were going after her article and she said they were
ok. A little strained with the coaches, but ok.
The rest of the team came out in slow spurts to go warm up
and I just kept conveying the message of having FUN and that
we still were behind them, no matter.
Both teams were on the court warming up and I noticed Taj
was not out there for the Sparks. A couple mins later, I looked
up and saw her in the tunnel in a t-shirt and dark blue sweats...street
clothes. I asked her, "Taj are you playing today?"
She smiled and nodded. I asked her if someone hid her uniform
and she started cracking up and said, noooooo. Laundry day??
She was busting up and again said nooooo.. She said "Im
waiting for a important meeting." Just then I saw her
waive and looked to see who she was waiving at and her younger
daughter came running up and into her arms. Very touching.
Dirty noticed the music in the arena is way different this
year. Last season it was hard core hip hop and this year it
was more main-stream. Dirty appreciated that, and I appreciated
it wasnt as loud.
So LJ came back from warm ups and I remembered finally, that
I had a visor I really wanted her to sign. She signed some
other stuff for other people on the other rail and then came
over to me. "Thirty, huh?" Every three games, I
said. But no pressure. She just laughed. She started walking
away and I asked her, Lauren are you having fun? I mean seriously,
is this all still fun. She said...yeah...but I felt it was
kind of a yeah, butt. I had one chance, so I went off. I said,
"You remember when you were a kid and you were playing
against someone and you were shooting like you were unconscious
and no matter what you threw up it went in (mind you she is
still walking but now she has turned around and is walking
backwards listening to me) and every shot you took you would
crack up because it was unbelieveable that you couldnt miss
and IT WAS FUN or now in the bigs where you get going like
that and everything you throw up is going to go in and you
dont know why or how but it all goes in and you LAUGH while
you are out there because IT IS FUN or how you have someone
who dares bring the ball into the paint on you and you block
the ball so hard that they have the logo branded into their
hand and the block is so huge YOU HAVE TO LAUGH ...WHY?? BECAUSE
ITS FUN LAUREN. Figure out a way to make it fun. She stopped
and did the two finger point and said, "got it."
I sat down exhausted and Dirty asked me "what the hell
did you just say?" I told him I have no idea, lol.
Sue came back by and I had her sign a shirt. I told her about
LJ's thirty points and she could use that today to her advantage
to pad her assists. She laughed and said 30 huh, are you sure?
I said every 3 games and tonight is her night. I showed her
my Sue Bird bobblehead pin and asked her if she saw these
yet, "unfortunately, yes," with a laugh and a head
shake. I said, what? It looks great. She gave me the shut
up look and smile.
After the players came back out of the tunnel officially for
the start of the game, I sat down. Well then I rememberd about
the coaches. Coach D saw me right away and waived and said
hey there. (At least it isnt the Oh, Jesus we got when she
saw Bringy with me that one time, LOL ) I conveyed a positive
message to the coaches also.
Got a visit from Sic-ko who was sitting in the Sparks zone...ahem....She
looked wonderful as ever. Gave a promise that she would try
to get to Seattle this season. There was quite a few other
Storm groups there also. We saw the nazi usher get missamo
for his camera.
Game started and since you all watched the game I wont go
into that too much.
Some other observations though:
The Sparks have a new mascot, Sparky. He is a dog, and he
is pretty cute. He came over and gave us some crap and tried
to touch Dirty's Monkey. If you know anything about anything,
you know all about Dirty and the Monkey. It could have been
The Sparks also have a theme song now that the fans are encouraged
to sing along with. It is to the song, Shout but instead of
says Shout, you say Sparks! Um..yeah.
They got rid of the slut squad of dancers of years past and
have a squad of kids who were cute and not gyrating.
The fans by us were all nice for a change. One of them even
gave Dirty a noise maker he was admiring. There are however
some fans, a couple of guys, who sit by the tunnel and say
some nasty mean shit to the players as they come out. I actually
think Pierson from Detroit went over and got into it with
them last year. Cheer for your players, but they shouldnt
be allowed to be on the opposite team that way. He said something
to AD about her shoes.
LJ had a nice steal in the game and ran the fast break but
Betty missed the layup (trying to be fancy).
When the game started, it was about one minute into the game
and Dirty and I both looked at each other and at the same
time said, Single coverage. We couldnt believe they only had
Taj on LJ and she wasnt getting doubled when she got the ball.
I said, they won't be doing that long. Someone will notice
and correct it. But, by half way through the first quarter
they were still singling her. 30 here we come.
Dirty, who cannot stand Christi Thomas, said there she goes
with the chicken wing on JB. I said, I warned her.
During a timeout, the PA played Morris Day and The Time's
"The Bird" Not too much forward thinking on that
one. I told the lady next to us, "well isnt that another
nice twist on things this year" she said, whats that?
I said, "they are playing music to motivate the visiting
teams point guard" She said, oh dear God.
Wendy made her three-point shot, Coach Heidi jumped straight
off the bench and Coach D was pumping her fists. Wendy pumped
her fist. The whole team was giving her props. A healthy,
rebounding, shooting Wendy is going to make THE difference
During the third quarter time out, all the players were involved
in the huddle while the coaches were out drawing up plays
or whatever away from the huddle. The players were all huddled
in and talking to each other and offering encouragement. Betty
and Sue were patting each other on the back and stuff. Great
Great to see this. I had not seen this at all this season.
Betty was in there rebounding. It seemed she wasnt doing this
in previous games but her was right in the mix this game.
Sherill Baker. Ok, this kid reminded me of Betty when she
first came into the league. She got the ball and she was going
to shoot it. Might as well just position for the rebound because
she wasnt going to pass. She brought so much energy to the
floor when she came in.. on both sides. She was a pesky defender
too. I have no idea how many turnovers she forced, or passes
she stole, but she for sure disrupted the flow of the game
in a big way.
There were stands that had the all-star ballots in them. Full.
Full. Full. If there had been time, I would have grabbed them
and sent them up to you guys.
LaToya Thomas is a scary good shooter. She just doesnt seem
There were so many empty seats, it was unreal.
In the 4th quarter I kept watching the fouls. I told Dirty
we needed to get to the bounus right away for an insurance
policy. No lead is safe in that building. We spanked out 5
team fouls right away and on the 5th Dirty and I were out
of our seats jumping up and down like we had won the game.
During the 4th, LJ was getting frustrated with either Paige
or Spencer. JB ? got fouled and LJ walked over to the bench
while they were reporting the foul to the scorers table. AD
was trying to check someone in and LJ came over and was trying
to get her attention. Finally she pulled on the back of her
jacket. She said, Ann. You need to do something. Get her off
of me before I go off. She showed AD her shoulder which looked
like claw or teeth marks on them and AD must have said, ok.
LJ turned around and noticed that the whole production of
the free throw was waiting on her to get on the key line and
she went running over. It was funny. I think AD went over
and said something to a ref the next time they came back down
There was one point in the 4th quarter that Izi had the ball
and LJ had position on her defender and Izi was going to pass
the ball to LJ and LJ just said no. I think it stunned Izi
because she just stood there holding the ball and it looked
like she just tucked it under her arm. LJ smiled and Sue finally
had to yell to Izi give her the ball.
After the end of the game the players wer e excited and slapping
me the hand. Lj did the radio broadcast and I waited by the
rail. KB was standing right by me waiting for LJ to come by
and she looked up and said, you were right about the thirty.
I just smiled and said when they single cover her, she is
gonna get that 30 every time.
Finally LJ came by and hugged KB and then turned around and
slapped my hand with a squeeze and said, Thanks Mate.
Who knows if all my positive support and talk about Fun made
Quotes from LJ after the game included, "It was fun."
Leslie's mom, Christine, came through the tunnel as the game
had just started and got some applause and hugs from well
wishers over the baby.
After the game, she came down to go back through the tunnel
to leave and there was a new security person who was there
and wouldnt let her in. She didnt have her credentials with
her. She never once came off with the do you know who I am
(a la her daughter in sea-tac which lead to the cavity search)
and was gracious in waiting for the person to clear her. The
officer came back with I still dont know who you are (this
was right in front of my seat) and Christine was still gracious.
She looked up at me and I smiled and shrugged. I said, even
I know who you are, Christine. She said thanks. I asked her
how the baby was and she said she is beautiful. Both Mama
and Baby are doing great. She started to start to look impatient
and when the security person looked up at me I said, "I
think she looks more like LISA LESLIE's SISTER THAN HER MOTHER,
dont you think. The security persons eyes got big and she
turned her back and said something to someone on the radio
and then waited a second before she started falling over herself
in an apology.
Christine looked up at me and smiled and said thanks.
Classic Staple Center moment. The ushers and security there