Friday, January 16, 2009

Griffith Update

I got an e-mail the other day from Rejina wondering about an update on Yolanda Griffith. I'd heard she had gone overseas, but it wasn't until digging deeper I realized I had not noticed that Griffith had gone to play in China some time ago. In fact, her season is already over, her Henan team having been defeated in the WCBA quarterfinals.

Petrel of the Pleasant Dreams blog, who has been following the WCBA all year long with Atlanta's Jennifer Lacy playing in China, is experienced navigating the WCBA Web site with Google Translate and was nice enough to track down Griffith's stats: "She scored 18.4 ppg in 18 games, hit 62 percent of her free throws, averaged 16.9 rebounds a game, 0.8 blocks per game, 1.1 assists per game, and 2.7 steals per game. A double-double is not bad, even in the WCBA."

Other WNBA players in the WCBA (which allows one import per team, usually a post player) included Chasity Melvin, Tangela Smith and Adrian Williams-Strong.

At the end of the season, Griffith indicated she wanted to play another WNBA season at age 39. The latest I've heard is she was planning to make a final decision after returning from China. Griffith is an unrestricted free agent.

Tangentially-related note: Did you know that former Sonics Head Coach Bob Weiss is coaching in China's men's league, the CBA?


Sheila said...

Kevin, How do you think the move to an 11 player roster in the WNBA will affect team's decisions to keep vets like Yo? I would love to see her back, as the back up to Burse. I'm guessing that was the plan for Yo last year until Burse decided to sit out the season.

And why did the WNBA cut the roster limit to 11 players? Was this part of the collecitve bargaining agreement or a unilateral move by the league? What do you think it says about the overall viability of the league?

Kevin Pelton said...

I don't know that how much there's a specific impact on those kind of decisions. Where it is a factor: Last year, before JB decided to sit the season out, the Storm would almost certainly have been forced to keep an 11-player roster to fit under the salary cap. Without Burse on the cap, the Storm was able to keep 12.

Now that the latter option is no longer available, you no longer have a trade-off between depth and the quality of the players in the rotation and teams have a little more to spend there.