A really drawn-out, possibly sexist synopsis of Brittney Griner & women's basketball

Brittney Griner is a phenomenon in today’s world of sports. She is a very talented basketball player, averaging 24 points, 9 boards, and 5 blocks a game for a team with a combined 74-1 record (as of last night) over the past two seasons. She is also 6’8” and 208 lbs with a 7’4” wingspan and a standing reach of 9’2”, measurements identical to Magic rookie Moe Harkless. Those are very good measurements for an NBA player and great measurements for a women’s college basketball player. However, in most, if not everyone’s eyes (except my own), the most impressive thing about her game is her ability to dunk and to do so with “force.” This is absolutely ridiculous and it bothers me. A lot.

Try to forget for a moment that she is an elite female athlete and that there are only a few women before her who have ever dunked in a game (there are six other college players who dunked before her, the first in 1984, a long ass time ago). I understand that it’s a landmark accomplishment for the sport, but I am honestly a little insulted that people have made such a big deal out of this. Realistically speaking, all Brittney Griner requires in order to dunk is a twelve inch vertical. Given her standing reach of 9’2” puts her at ten inches below the rim, one foot is all it takes. Now think for a moment how awesome it would be if all you had to do in order to throw down on a regulation rim was possess a twelve inch vertical. When I was growing up I would occasionally drop my hoop down to about 8 feet and do my best Vince impression, all the while wishing I would grow into the mid-six foot range, only to make it to a measly 5’11” and a lifetime spent below the rim. I would be far more surprised if anyone that size couldn’t dunk the damn ball. Yet the fact that she is a woman has made this completely mediocre athletic ability seem other-worldly, as if we may not experience something like this ever again. If a 6’8” dude shows up at the gym and can’t dunk the ball, he’s not going to be allowed to play. That dude is considered a dust rag for the bench. But Brittney Griner dunks and the world turns upside down. There is something seriously wrong with this.

I think that any female athlete who sees Brittney Griner applauded for her dunks should be offended by it. I’m not speaking from experience due to my fine genitalia, so I could be totally wrong about all of this, but if I was a woman, a frightening thought I often ponder, I would take it as a huge slap in the face to see so many people impressed by this. To take a play that is common in the men’s game and translate it into some rare feat in the women’s game is an ignorant and unfair thing to do and I don’t think anyone realizes it. Every girl I’ve ever known who’s played competitive basketball has always felt somewhat slighted because the women’s game is unfairly compared to the men’s game regardless of the obvious athletic gap between the two.

That being said, I understand the desire to put Brittney Griner on a pedestal for what she’s done, but by doing so, women’s basketball is stunting its own growth. How could anyone expect people to take women’s basketball seriously if we’re going to immortalize a girl for dunking when all she has to do is jump a foot off the ground? I don’t mean to take anything away from her abilities or accomplishments, but at this point, it should take something far more impressive to warrant the response that Brittney Griner has received from all this. Not only that, but it has unfairly isolated and defined her as a basketball player in the eyes of those who haven’t actually seen her play. There was a time not that long ago when all she was known for was punching a girl’s face in, having her feminism and sanity questioned in the process, but you’ll never hear a word about that incident now that she’s dunking all over the place. Ron Artest recorded the worst rap album in the history of all albums ever and legally changed his name and it still wasn’t enough to distract us from memories of the Malice in the Palace, which happened almost ten years ago! The poor girl scored 33 points and grabbed a career high 22 rebounds in Baylor’s game against Florida State last night, but all anyone would talk about was the three dunks she had and the other two that she could have had. Two potential dunks that didn’t even happen got more buzz than a 33/22 performance. That last sentence really epitomizes the way women’s college basketball is presented to the world nowadays; a woman dunking is apparently far more impressive than anything else she could have done on the court. Baylor was up on FSU by 25 with four minutes left in the first half, so obviously she didn’t have to work too hard to get those stats, but all in all, 33/22 is a hell of a game for anyone.

I remember when Tennessee’s Michelle Snow dunked in 2000. I was ten then and just starting to get engrossed in my love for the game, enough to know the big name players in the WNBA but not much beyond that. I remember hearing about the dunk, then seeing it for the first time a few days later in a magazine. I remember cutting out an image of her hanging off the rim and saving it. Even as a ten year old I was impressed because it was something I had never expected to see. But that was thirteen years ago. A lot of amazing things have been accomplished by both men and women in the sports world since then. So why has it taken so long for women’s basketball to evolve, both from an athletic standpoint and in the general public’s opinion of the sport? Whatever the reason may be, we need to stop babying women’s basketball like this. It’s not fair to the game or to the ones who play it.


#JustPutInMoeHarkless (Heartless Cover)

Harkless et Nicholson mis à l'écart des All-Rookies teams

Les entraîneurs NBA n’ont choisi aucun des rookies du Magic pour les All-Rookies teams de la saison 2012-2013. Mais Harkless et Nicholson ont reçu des votes dans les différents scrutins. Harkless est apparu dans 13 des 29 bulletins de vote pour la première équipe, alors que Nicholson a obtenu quatre votes pour la seconde équipe.

Damian Lillard, le meneur de Portland et rookie de l’année, est le seul joueur a avoir obtenu les 29 votes dans l’équipe première des rookies. A ses cotés on retrouve Bradley Beal (Washington), Dion Waiters (Cleveland), Harrison Barnes (Golden State) et Anthony Davis (New-Orleans).

La deuxième équipe est composée de Kyle Singler et Andre Drummond (Detroit), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte), Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto) et Tyler Zeller (Cleveland). Il aurait suffit d’un vote de plus pour Harkless dans la seconde équipe et il serait passé devant Zeller. 23 joueurs au total ont reçu des votes. 


Sincérement nous pouvons nous demander comment Kyle Singler voire même Tyler Zeller peuvent être devant Maurice Harkless, Singler étant sans aucun doute le cas le plus choquant.



5 Questions the Magic Must Answer After the All-Star Break

5 Questions the #Magic Must Answer After the All-Star Break @dakipstr #PureMagic @OrlandoMagic #Borrego #TobiasHarris #AaronGordon

The Magic are Searching for Answers

1. Is James Borrego the right man for the job, or should the Magic look elsewhere for their next head coach?

Already we have seen George Karl sign with the Kings, but the Magic be best off if they delay hiring their new coach until the offseason. In just a few games as Interim Head Coach, James Borrergohas the Magic playing with more confidence, and they no…

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Valanciunas élu rookie du mois de mars

La NBA a annoncé vendredi qu’elle avait nommé Jonas Valanciunas rookie du mois de mars de la conférence Est, en l’honneur des performances impressionnantes du pivot lituanien des Raptors réalisées au mois de mars. Le big man de la franchise canadienne a écarté Maurice Harkless pour s’attribuer la récompense. Pour le cinquième mois consécutif, Damian Lillard, des Trail Blazers de Portland, a été honoré pour la Conférence Ouest, en battant l’intérieur et premier choix de la dernière draft des New-Orleans Hornets Anthony Davis.

En mars, Harkless était le meilleur scoreur des rookies à l’Est avec 13,1 points par match et au niveau des interceptions avec 2,2 ballons volés, mais aussi quatrième pour les rebonds (5,6) et troisième en terme de contres (0,9). Il a réussi à marquer 18 points et plus à quatre reprises lors des 16 matchs du Magic en mars, alors qu’il avait réalisé cette performance trois fois lors des 52 matchs précédents. 

Mais Valanciunas a également été très impressionnant, le cinquième choix de la draft 2011 (Il était resté une saison supplémentaire au Lietuvos Rytas après sa sélection à la draft) a dominé tous les rookies à l’Est concernant les rebonds (7,3), les contres (1,1) mais aussi concernant l’adresse (62%), tandis qu’il se classait quatrième concernant le nombre de points par match (11,4).

Mais Harkless ne s’en défait pas, malgré le titre de rookie du mois qui lui échappe de peu, il continue à effectuer de très bonnes performances en ce début avril. Lundi il a battu son record de points avec 28 points contre les Rockets et un joli 10/18 malgré la défaite. Il a de nouveau mené le Magic mercredi lors de la défaite à San Antonio avec 18 points.

Orlando n’a plus compter de rookie du mois depuis un bout de temps, exactement depuis mars 2001 quand Mike Miller a  partagé cet honneur avec Kenyon Martin. Quand Miller a reçu cet honneur, Harkless était à quelques semaines de son huitième anniversaire. En espérant que le prochain soit Moe, qui affiche d’excellentes statistiques lors de ses trois premiers matchs en ce mois d’avril: 15,3pts, 5reb, 1.3ctr, 45%, 33.3% de loin et un inhabituel mais très bon 88,9% aux lancers-francs.

Historique des récompenses de rookie du mois du Magic:

Mars 1991: Dennis Scott

Novembre 1992: Shaquille O’Neal

Décembre 1992: Shaquille O’Neal

Janvier 1993: Shaquille O’Neal

Février 1993: Shaquille O’Neal

Janvier 1994: Penny Hardaway

Avril 1994: Penny Hardaway

Février 2001: Mike Miller

On remarque que Dwight Howard n’a jamais eu l’honneur d’avoir été élu rookie du mois et c’était Emeka Okafor et Ben Gordon qui s’étaient partagés les trophées avec trois récompenses chacun. Cela ne l’a pas empêché d’avoir une bien meilleure carrière que les deux joueurs réunis, à Harkless d’en suivre l’exemple.


Trade Rumors Update: Pistons Targeting Johnson

Trade Rumors Update: Pistons Targeting Johnson

Ohm Youngmisuk: Hearing Detroit has reached out to Nets to inquire about Joe Johnson according to league sources. Twitter @NotoriousOHM

I expect the Toronto Raptors to make a hard push for a power forward who can score more easily than the Amir Johnson/Patrick Patterson combo, but it would surprise me if Masai Ujiri can pull something off. But also keep this in mind about Ujiri: He has been…

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