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Fever’s Cappie Pondexter Brings Boost To Indiana

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Cappie Pondexter may have not been a fit with the Los Angeles Sparx, who cut ties with her earlier this month, but she is becoming a factor for her new team, the Indiana Fever.

Pondexter, one of the league’s all-time greats, is now on a struggling team, but her influence is having an impact on her teammates, as was the case when Indiana proved to be a tough matchup for the defending WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx.

“We came in the huddle and everyone was slumped,” Indiana forward Natalie Achonwa said. “Cappie was like, ‘It’s a tie game.’ That just got us sitting back up. Just because a couple of possessions go wrong doesn’t mean we’re not engaged.”

“We had the momentum from the start of the game,” Pondexter said. “[The Lynx] were on their heels. Sometimes you have to remind them the game is about runs. You’re going to have good runs and bad runs. You have to remember the momentum is on our side. Small things like that.”

Indiana coach Pokey Chatman, who coached Pondexter with the Chicago Sky from 2015-16, knew what the veteran brought to the table and immediately worked to bring her into the fold.

“Cappie’s an experienced player who knows how to compete at the highest level,” Chatman said. “She knows how to start a game and close out quarters. Just that experience. Having to learn under the lights and learn how to practice. … It’s one thing for me to show them on video after the fact. It’s nice to have someone on the bench speaking the same language, and on the court doing the same things.”

Pondexter has spent enough time in the WNBA to understand the business side of it, as she understood the Sparx’s decision to release her.

“It’s a business at the end of the day,” she said in the visitor’s locker room at Target Center. “If you focus on the past, you can’t really step into future. I’m 13 years in [the league]. I understand it’s a business. I understand the organization had to do what was best for the team. At the same time, this organization had to do the same thing.

“I wasn’t frustrated at all. I was told to trust [Agler], and that’s what I did. It is what it is. Now I’m in Indiana, and when Pokey calls me and plays me, I’m ready. I’m fresh. I didn’t play the first half of the season. … I’ve still got a lot to contribute.”

Indiana has a refocused and re-energized Pondexter moving forward.

“I’m 35 years old,” Pondexter said, “but I’m a 21-year-old at heart.”

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WNBA’s Sue Bird Attending World Cup Final to Cheer on Girlfriend Megan Rapinoe

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As the countdown to the Women’s World Cup final taking place at Lyon, France on Sunday continues to tick away, the United States Women’s team is ramping up for their attempt at a fourth World Cup title.

During the tournament, USA’s Megan Rapinoe has been the center of the spotlight, for both her phenomenal play, and for comments she made about not attending the White House in the event that the American’s win, which drew the ire of President Donald Trump.

The Americans have also been called “arrogant” by the press across the pond.

When the big game kicks off on Sunday, Rapinoe will have the support of her girlfriend, WNBA star Sue Bird.

“What they’re doing right now, it’s amazing,” Bird said (h/t ESPN).

Bird has already come to the defense of her girlfriend, taking Trump to task during an article she penned on The Players’ Tribune.

“On some levels, if you read it, there is some humor in there. It’s a light, fun way to use your voice, but also address some things,” Bird said. “More than anything, I wanted to hype Megan up a little bit and also have her back. … It was challenging at times trying to get the right messaging across that I wanted to convey, but I think all in all I’m happy with it. There has been a lot more love than hate. Unfortunately, there has been some hate, but that’s just reality we live in right now.”

“I don’t feel political. To me, this isn’t a matter of tax reform and things of that nature,” she said. “This is treating people with respect, treating people like they’re a human, just like you are. That’s where I stand with it. That’s what I believe in. It’s very similar to what Megan believes in. More than anything, I wanted to have her back, and talk about some soccer.”

Bird said that she can relate to Rapinoe, who is hoping to be 100% for Sunday’s game, and spoke about her continued rehabilitation from left knee surgery that took place back in May.

“I was actually ready right around the playoffs. Then it becomes this team has played an entire season without me, is that fair? And I’m already putting the carriage before the horse because who knows if I’m going to be ready by then?” she said. “It was definitely more extensive than we had initially thought going in. Which isn’t a bad thing, I think long term it’s a good thing. It just kind of sucks for this season.”

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Mercury’s Diana Taurasi: ‘I still love to play too much’

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Phoenix Mercury superstar Diana Taurasi will make her season debut, returning from injury, on Friday as the Mercury take on the New York Liberty.

Should Taurasi not play on Friday, the Mercury’s next game is Sunday when they take on Atlanta at home.

Taurasi, who is a four-time gold medalist, three-time WNBA champion, five-time scoring champ, 10-time all-WNBA first team, nine-time All-Star and 2009 MVP, has missed the entire season thus far while recovering from surgery to repair a bulging disc in her back that took place back in late April.

Taurasi, who has dealt with a number of back issues throughout both her college and WNBA career, admits that she hasn’t felt “this good in a while.”

During an extensive interview with ESPNW, Taurasi says that despite her injury and her storied career, she has a lot more basketball left in her.

“No, no, no, no. I got … no way. I still love to play too much” Taurasi said. “No, that wasn’t even in my mind frame.

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Mercury’s Diana Taurasi Could Return Friday

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Diana Taurasi

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi could be set to make her season debut on Friday when the Mercury host the New York Liberty, according to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss.

Taurasi has missed the entire WNBA season thus far, and was recently cleared for full contact five months after she suffered a back injury that forced her to the sidelines.

Taurasi had surgery back on April 24th to repair a bulging disk in her L-3 vertebrae and was initially expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks of action.

Taurasi has missed 10 weeks of action thus far, and while she could return on Friday, a decision has not been made yet and won’t be until later this week.

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