Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Sparks released two-time WNBA Champion, and 2007 WNBA Finals MVP, Cappie Pondexter, due to her inability to find regular playing time, according to head coach Brian Agler.
“We really enjoyed having her on our team,” Agler said. “It came down to playing time, her desire to play more. We just couldn’t provide that for her with the way Riquna [Williams] and Odyssey [Sims] are playing.”
Pondexter is coming off a season with the Chicago Sky where she averaged 27.2 minutes per game. Those numbers dropped significantly this season, where she saw only 10.2 minutes over 13 games.
“Now she has the ability to talk to 11 other teams,” Agler said, “and we have the ability now to free up cap space to potentially sign somebody else.”
Aces’ A’ja Wilson Wins WNBA Rookie of the Year
“It means a lot with that rookie class,” Wilson said. “There are so many great players.”
Although the Aces struggled this season to a 14-20 record, Wilson was a star, and averaged 20.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.67 blocked shots and her scoring average was second all time by a WNBA rookie, to Seimone Augustus’ 21.9 PPG rookie campaign back in 2006.
Breanna Stewart Named WNBA Most Valuable Player
Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart was named the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player, and she will receive the award later in the day as the Storm host Phoenix in a semifinal series opener at KeyArena.
Stewart has averaged 21.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 blocks for Seattle this season.
“In this league, I’m playing against however many former national players of the year, and going against the best competition every night,” Stewart said, according to ESPN”S Mechelle Voepel. “And really trying to play my best and show that to everyone.
“We have team goals, and I have individual goals for myself. And being MVP was a goal that I had. I wanted to prepare like this was going to be an MVP-type season. To go out and leave everything on the court.”
“I’m making sure I’m getting enough calories and the right portions, plus just finding healthy snacks, and not having unhealthy snacks in my house. Because if I see them, I’ll eat them.”
Stewart also credits Sue Bird, whom she worked out with, along with Jewell Loyd, following her return from China.
“Sue has played a big factor in it for me,”Stewart said.”I got some guidance in what I should be doing.
“One of the things I talked to Sue about was, ‘If you could have started doing all this with your diet at 23, would you?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, definitely.’ That’s all I need to hear. She’s 37, and still remains the best of the best, and continues to be great.”
Stewart has been on a meteoric rise since coming into the WNBA a few short seasons ago.
“I think part of it is being more prepared for the strength and physicality of this league, and then understanding our system,” Stewart said. “We had a coaching change, but the way we played kind of remained the same. I know where I’m going to get my best opportunities to score.”
Wings’ Liz Cambage Says WNBA Future Uncertain
Dallas Wings’ veteran Liz Cambage is unsure about her future in the WNBA as the Wings closed out the final home game at College Park Center against the Las Vegas Aces this past Friday, as she may not return to the league in 2019.
Cambage is scheduled to represent Australia in the FIBA World Cup before beginning another season overseas in China and will then make a decision regarding her future in the WNBA.
league in 2019.
During an interview Tuesday ahead of Dallas’ matchup against Connecticut, Cambage said a return to the WNBA next season is still up in the air. At the conclusion of the WNBA season, Cambage is scheduled to represent Australia in the FIBA World Cup before beginning another season overseas in China.
“I’ll see how I feel after China,” Cambage said, according to ESPN’s Sean Hurd. “I think I probably have five days at home [in Australia] for the rest of this year, until February next year. We’ll see how I’m feeling.”
Cambage noted the physical toll of an WNBA season may not be worth the investment.
“I’ve said this many times: [The WNBA] doesn’t pay my bills … playing here doesn’t pay my bills,” Cambage said. “We make more money overseas. I’m ready to have next summer off and focus on getting a European contract where its 10 seasons here worth the pay.
“It sucks because I love to be here, I love to put the game out there, I love what comes with playing here. But at the end of the day, for my longevity, I worry about my body, my mind and my soul. I really don’t get paid enough to be beaten up every game. I’m not a WWE wrestler and that’s how it feels sometimes out on the court.”
Cmabage leads the league with 22.8 points per game, and is 2nd in the league with 9.7 rebounds.
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