Live Blog: The 2008 WNBA Draft

Maybe the strangest thing about women’s basketball at the highest level is that the WNBA Draft is one day after the NCAA Championship Game. (I said maybe.)

Because just one other guy is doing this, and he’s not allowed to be funny, here’s your 2008 WNBA Draft live blog.

With the first pick, the Los Angeles Sparks pick Candace Parker, from the University of Tennessee.

“I just felt like as a player and also as a person, I was ready for the big jump,” she says in talking to Rebecca Lobo, who is eye-level with the future Mrs. Shelden Williams.

I wrote my piece on the world’s second best CP3 (Chris Paul, with all apologies, is first) here, but, hey, I’ll big up her anytime.

Fun synthy music takes ESPN2ers to commercial, but I’m online here, so I get the dulcet tones of one Pam Ward. Nice.

The second pick is the Chicago Sky’s, and they take Sylvia Fowles from LSU. She brings size, apparently, and started playing basketball in eighth grade, which means that she has “upside.” Okay. I believe you.

When asked who the best player in college basketball was last week, Fowles said, “Me.” So the WNBA isn’t all that different from the NBA, after all…

Stanford’s Candice Wiggins goes to the Minnesota Lynx at #3, and the Wade Trophy winner is immediately subject to intense scrutiny from ESPN’s talking heads, who all have her going somewhere else, paired with a big, later in the draft. But at least this Minnesota team actually picked someone.

I’m looking at you, Mike Tice.

Alexis Hornbuckle goes fourth to the Detroit Shock, and the ex-Lady Vol is called a “quintessential Bill Laimbeer player.” So I feel for you, WNBAers on the other end of the soon-to-be patented Hornbuckler.

“It’s about to get hard,” someone says in the commercial break. “Harder,someone else adds. Then, even better: “I’m having a flash!”

This is the best draft EVER!

Matee Ajavon from Rutgers, maybe the best non-Final Four team this year, goes to Houston in the five hole.

And, considering that’s a hockey reference, no one gets it.

“Finishing ability” is “at a premium,” which now makes it equal to “scoring the ball.” You know what else is at a premium? Gas.

At #6, the Washington Mystics pick Crystal Langhorne, who walks to the stage to the strains of “Beautiful Day.” She led the NCAA in field-goal percentage the last three seasons, and I promise that’s the last time you’ll read a stat here.

I’m all about the superficial, like Langhorne’s supposed lack of size. The woman is 6’2″, folks, and she’s being attacked for her lack of size. Somewhere, Margo Dydek nods knowingly.

Essence Carson will be joining the New York Liberty, who take the Rutgers scorer at #7. Somewhere, Don Imus counts money.

Lobo’s back, talking to Carson, who now has flowers. FLOWERS! The WNBA has yet to spring for a hat for any of these players, but Essence Carson has flowers. Good to know.

Now we actually go to commercial for the first time, with the adidas “Brotherhood” spot. Way to represent the sisters, adidas.

James Madison’s Tamera Young will go to the Atlanta Dream with the eighth pick, and she strolls to the stage to Stanley Pringle’s theme song, The Caesars’ “Jerk It Out.”

The Atlanta Dream is a fantastic name for a team, finally filling the Abstract Concepts Trinity with the Chicago Sky and the Connecticut Sun, who are up next at pick number nine.

And Amber Holt will be the newest Sun (Sunspot? Sunbeam? Particle form of light?), the Middle Tennessee State product, leading scorer in D-1 last year (okay, no more stats, I swear), giving Connecticut a running mate for the walking MRI that is Nykesha Sales.

The Sacramento Monarchs tab Maryland’s Laura Harper at ten. The WNBA analysts praise her for rehabbing a torn ACL, which makes sense, I suppose.

But then again, she tore her ACL and she’s still a top 10 draft pick, so I’ll bet there are other reasons the Monarchs like her.

The “Brotherhood” spot plays again, and two NBAers crank that Soulja Boy; now there’s a trend that fell off the face of the Earth.

Now we learn that “it’s no accident” that Bill Laimbeer has as many picks in the first round as he does, that he’s stockpiled them “for a reason.” One of those reasons, seemingly, is Tasha Humphrey of Georgia.

Or maybe I was supposed to think that Laimbeer has just been making all of his personnel moves by throwing darts at the infamous Florida Offense Spinner and trying to take Tim Tebow, or that he was asking Isiah Thomas for help?

With the twelfth pick, the Sun grab Ketia Swanier from UConn. She’s 5’7″, so no heels this side of Prince’s basement are going to get her eye-to-eye with Lobo.

So we go to commerical, and discover that Chauncey Billups takes his daughters to WNBA games. Awww.

The WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury then take LaToya Pringle from North Carolina, who has “Go-Go Gadget arms.” They “go for days.” Then we hear about “jacking up shots,” and Pringle’s ability to “clean it up.”

Really, she isn’t related to Stanley Pringle?

Erlana Larkins joins the New York Liberty, who take her at #14 to close out the first round. Our long national nightmare is over.

And the Draft will move to ESPNU for the second and third rounds, as ESPN2 makes room for “All New Dazzling Dunks and Bloopers.” Okay.

Hey! I finally figured out who the rest of the commentators are! It’s Doris Burke, Nancy Lieberman-Last-Name-To-Be-Added-Later, and Carolyn Peck!

Carolyn Peck, for those not in the know, is one of a very few people on Earth whose life got worse in Florida, as she left success at Purdue for the Orlando Miracle (now the Sun), then the University of Florida.

Peck couldn’t manage one winning season with the Miracle, then led the Lady Gators to the longest losing streak in their history, a thirteen-game skid that led to Joakim Noah joining the men’s team. You know the rest.

The L.A. Sparks take Shannon Bobbitt, a five-foot-two “stick of dynamite” who has apparently played at Rucker Park, to lead off the second round. And the clamoring for the Lady Vol to focus on fundamentals and not flash begins, though it sounds a lot like, uh, well, more praise.

“Holy mackerel,” Pam Ward says/sighs on an open mic before commercial.

Minnesota “needs to be thanking their lucky stars” to get Tennessee’s Nicki Anosike, who is almost in tears when talking to Rebecca Lobo. I won’t make the joke about crying when seeing Rebecca Lobo; that’s what comments are for.

Van Chancellor apparently told LSU’s Erica White, taken 17th by Houston, that she wouldn’t be drafted by the WNBA if she didn’t learn how to shoot. But White did, and her story just goes to show us all that no one cares about Van Chancellor, even if he is the WNBA’s winningest head coach.

“There are times in this league when people do not finish around the rim,” says Doris Burke. “They’re gonna be bangin’ a little bit in Detroit,” adds Lieberman. Olayinka Sanni, pride of West Freakin’ Virgina, cannot be happy to hear her selection buttressed by double entendres that bloggers could make fun of.

Oh, the Hobey Baker Memorial Awards Ceremony is this Friday on ESPNU! I won’t forget to not set my nonexistent DVR!

Quianna Chaney will join LSU teammate Sylvia Fowles in Chicago. I am speechless.

Then the Washington Mystics pick someone Lindsey Plumier, and I, looking up reasons to make fun of Carolyn Peck, miss it the selection of Lindsey Plumier, which I will make up for by mentioning Lindsey Plumier’s name thrice.

Chioma Nnamaka will be heading to San Antonio to join the Silver Stars. We are informed that Dan Hughes, who apparently has some connection to the San Antonio franchise, made sure the pick “was not by happenstance.”

I’m still looking at you, Mike Tice.

WNBA President Donna Orender is excited about the league. Really excited. I guess that’s good, seeing and hearing a commissioner of a basketball league display emotion.

Then the Seattle Storm select Allie Quigley from DePaul. She can shoot.

The talking heads are in a tizzy over the lack of trades.

With the 23rd pick, the Connecticut Sun take Jolene Anderson, whose highlight package has the same awful four year-old’s tune

Pam Ward says “if you’re just joining us.” That’s legitimately funny.

And the Atlanta Dream get a steal in Morenike Atunrase, who walks to the stage to the instrumental of The All-American Rejects’ “Dirty Little Secret,” then gets a halfway decent tune for her highlights. She has a lot to live up to if they give her the five year-old’s music.

There are five kids who appear to have been dragged to this event and are standing under large portraits of WNBA players. They also do not appear happy.

Somehow, this draft is going to take three hours. Somehow.

The Atlanta Dream’s Marynell Meadors is happy that Tamera Young can run and jump, which does make sense. But not as happy as Pam Ward is to say “Mo-REN-ik-ee a-TUN-ra-shay” one last time and call it “one of the best names in sports.”

Hey, my one-time future wife, Ann Strother, is on the Dream! Anyone want to go to a WNBA game with me in Atlanta? Anyone?

My roommate just walked in. “I’m watching the WNBA Draft and blogging it,” I say.

“Sounds like fun.”

“It’s not.”

“Then why are you doing it?” I tell you, for an electrical engineering major, sometimes he’s witty.

Leilani Mitchell goes to Phoenix, which means something to her parents.

The Indiana Fever’s first pick is used on Khadijah Whittington, and Doris Burke calls it a “beautiful pick.” No, you don’t get analysis like this from Mel Kiper, Jr.!

But then, Mel Kiper Jr. doesn’t have hot flashes yet.

There’s pretty much no way I’m blogging all three rounds of this draft without drinking an arsenic milkshake, even with great quotes from Kay Yow by way of Khadijah Whittington like, “When life kicks you, let it kick you forward.” So I’m signing off at the end of Round 2…oh, wait, we’re almost at Round 3? I might just stay.

Wanisha Smith is the newest member of the New York Liberty, and Natasha Lacy, who is commended for a “great personality,” and for “dropping dimes all over the place,” will join the Detroit Shock.

I think it’s safe to say Lacy will not be having wine-and-cheese parties with Carmelo “Stop Snitchin'” Anthony anytime soon.

For the Los Angeles Sparks, the comparison of Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie to Tim Duncan and David Robinson is just beginning. I’d like at this time to point out that Parker and Leslie are much, much prettier than San Antonio’s twin towers, that David Robinson has never gone on maternity leave, and that Candace Parker sucks at Halo 3.

Also, that Sharnee (accent aigu) Zoll is now a Spark, too.

Charde Houston, the most mystifying disappointment in UConn basketball history, joins the Minnesota Lynx, who use the second pick of the third round to pick her up.

Houston takes Crystal Kelly from Western Kentucky, who can, according to Doris Burke, score as many points as her jersey number on the night it is retired. I smell a motivational tactic, and/or a legitimate reason to give some player the number 69.

What? I’m almost two hours in. Give me a break.

The Atlanta Dream pick Danielle Hood 32nd. I’m not conviced this actually happened, but WNBA.com says so, so…

The 33rd pick is used by the Chicago Sky on Baylor’s Angela Tisdale, who draws the most tepid applause in the ballroom so far. Perhaps they packed up the cold cuts?

Then Washington take VCU’s Krystal Vaughn, and all of three people clap. Someone whistles.

Even the people who are there are bored, folks. Could we get a musical guest? Queen Latifah? Missy Elliott?

Hell, I’ll take RuPaul. Can we get RuPaul?

Alberta Auguste goes to New York with the 35th pick. I hear cheers, likely because she’s from Tennessee and the Lady Vols are still in Tampa after their win last night.

The Seattle Storm nab Kimberly Beck, a 5’8″ guard from George Washington. I think half the ballroom is playing Rock Band in the back. I can almost hear “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”

The highly anticipated 37th pick by the Connecticut Sun turns out to be Lauren Ervin, from Arkansas. She’s hurt.

Candace Parker is playing the drums on Expert on “Run to the Hills.” Perhaps she is a better CP3 than Chris Paul.

Mike Thibault (pronounced TEE-bow) is talking, and making the stoned Gators fans watching this wonder how their Baby Jesus was fathered by him. Okay, so that’s just me, and I’m not stoned, just bored.

I wish I had Rock Band.

The 38th pick is used by Sacramento on A’quonesia “Aqua” Franklin. I believe the delay is related in some way to writing her first name.

San Antonio tabs Alex Anderson at 39, and Sacramento comes back with Izabella Peranka at 40. I think there’s some sort of rivalry brewing here at the bottom of the draft. We’ll call it the Battle for .500.

Hey, Phoenix picks someone who’s actually at the draft! Five people applaud for Ohio State’s Marscilla Packer.

CP3 almost looks up from “Flirting With Disaster.” Almost.

Just. Two. Picks. Left. The WNBA: Where an interminable mid-weekday draft with thousands millions of commercials for Innisbrook Golf Course happens.

Detroit and Sacramento will finish up, and, then, as Pam Ward says, we can “put a stamp” on this draft.

The world has already written “return to sender” on the envelope, though.

Detroit picks Valeriya Berezhynska, which immediately put them on the CDC’s watch list, and Sacramento finishes a late-draft run on players no one has ever heard of with Notre Dame’s Charel Allen.

The people in the back are on the Endless Setlist, I believe.

Hey! The music for the adidas Draft Track has vocals! Who’d’ve thunk it? Also, Charel Allen barely makes the last screen of the Draft Track. This slight will propel her to an almost-mediocre training camp performance, bank on that.

And this draft is over, with Pam Ward putting a “lid” on it as Carolyn Peck claims “the WNBA just got a lot more exciting!”

Sure, I believe you.

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2 Comments

Filed under Live Blogs, WNBA

2 responses to “Live Blog: The 2008 WNBA Draft

  1. I thought I was the only one who did a WNBA live blog! I’d say the sparks were winners, and the rest I don’t know the names. http://whatbetdidtreywingolose.blogspot.com/2008/04/wnba-draft-live-blog.html

  2. I visited the WNBA draft last year–it’s better than you would think. By rounds 2 and 3, no one really cares, so you can sneak in and do whatever you want.

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