Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Storm in the Media

Tune in to 710 KIRO AM at 8:35 p.m. to hear Janell Burse and NY Vinnie on tonight's installment of "Storm Warning."

If you read only one Storm story today, I hope it's my look at how Lauren Jackson is healthy and rejuvenated after a very enjoyable off-season followed a 2006 that was frustrating because of her shins.

If you only read one Storm story outside storm.wnba.com, however, make it Jim Caple's excellent look at life overseas for Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi as part of ESPN.com's eTicket series.

The conditions in Russia have always been fascinating. We've heard a lot about these rich oligarchs who are willing to bankroll these teams at a loss, but never met any of them until now. This is a story that could only be reported from Russia, and kudos to ESPN.com for sending Caple. Major credit to Caple, a Seattlite and UW grad who checked in on Sue and LJ at yesterday's Media Day, for his excellent reporting and deft wit:

"(Bird and Taurasi) learned about the Soviet Union in history class, certainly, but they do not personally remember when Reagan first called the U.S.S.R. the 'Evil Empire', nor the decades when the threat of nuclear war between the two countries was a constant source of tension and worry. Though they somewhat understand the complexities of those times because they saw 'Rocky IV.'"


Patrick said...

That may be the best ESPN WNBA article I have yet to read.

Anonymous said...

You're telling me. I can't believe they came back. They must really love In and Out burgers.

Online Zen Doctor said...

Kevin, I really enjoyed reading your article about our "Awesome Aussie" Lauren. She is so amazing - I just love her! Her smile is beautiful and contagious. I think she may be ready to dominate this league like only Lauren can do. I can feel another championship in the air. This season will be very exciting.

It's great to know that Lauren's happy again. Sometimes Doctors can really kill an athlete's spirit, not intentionally, of course. Speaking as a physician, I know that we tend to be really conservative and limit players' minutes and playing time when they've had recurring injuries, which seems to make great sense, but I can guarantee you that limiting a player to every other day practicing and even a minute count during the game is a totally arbitrary decision, not based on scientific evidence. More importantly, it doesn't take into account how the player is feeling, which is critical. In this case, the action of the doctor ended up essentially killing Lauren's spirit and depression generally makes it much harder to heal injuries. Lauren ended up just wanting the season to be over, but once she was unrestricted overseas, it was like letting her out of prison. She led her country to the world championship, then almost won the Korean championship (where she did a lot of important soul-searching), and then got to team with Sue to win the Russian super-league championship. How fun for her! I am so happy to see that we have our "Awesome Aussie" back!

- Zen Doc

Online Zen Doctor said...

Kevin, one thing I read in your Lauren article looks like a typo and I'm hoping that it is. When you were talking about LJ's stats, you mentioned that her FG% was better than ever at 53.5% and then said that she shot 37.7% from the free throw line, which is hard to believe. Did you mean 87.7% or 73.7% or maybe 77.7%? I can't imagine Lauren shooting under 70% from the line. Thanks for the great article, though, despite the typo. - ZenDoc

Kevin Pelton said...

Wasn't a typo as much as a braincramp - the 37.7% was Lauren's three-point percentage, not her free-throw percentage.

Thanks for the heads-up.