Jun 25, 2008
Flash

Look Out Fellas, We Got Next!

On Sunday, Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks became the 2nd woman in the history of the WNBA to guide the ball into the hoop without losing it on the way. This display of ridiculous athleticism made June 22nd a true red-letter day, as yet another woman showed the big boys that we can do it just like they can… with a smaller ball… on a fast break… once every 6 years.  

Skywalker Parker! Right? Right.The league and media are blowing this up as if the girl jumped out of the gym and shat diamonds upon the masses. I got an email from a WNBA-loving friend on Monday morning claiming, "It’s only a matter of time until we’re huge now!" Oh really? Tell that to the league’s collective 18-inch vertical leap.

If anything, Parker’s dunk (and the overreaction to it) proves  that she’s as much a freak of nature now as she was when she embarrassed a group of boys in the 2004 McDonald’s All-America High School Slam Dunk Contest. But according to Parker, we need to brace ourselves for the slam revolution:

"I do know that more and more women are going to do it and it’s something that people are going to have to accept."

Accept? Who’s going to object? Step right up, ladies. The only problem people have with women playing basketball is that they’re totally unwatchable.

Dunk for us. Sky for us. Jump 2 feet in the air without falling down like a sniper tagged you from the rafters. We’ve been waiting on some legit output since you started telling us you got next in that totally misleading ad campaign where Dawn Staley, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes rolled up on the playground to challenge the men.

Those commercials left 14 year old me thinking I’d see women playing organized playground ball – slick moves, smooth shots, a little trickery. Got next, indeed. They couldn’t play at the rim, let alone above it. But I shouldn’t have been surprised then and I suppose I shouldn’t be now. Of the thousands of women that have played D-1 ball in the last 25 years, only 4 have registered dunks in games. And before Lisa Leslie showed out for the Sparks in 2002, the professional dunking woman was a myth like Bigfoot, wish-granting fairies and unicorns that dance under rainbows. There were always sightings at playgrounds and closed practices but when cameras appeared for documentation, hops would scatter like cockroaches in the light.

I’ve long held that this game is the last refuge for girls that want to be athletes but aren’t agile, flexible or fast enough to hack it anywhere else, and Parker’s dunk reinforces that belief. You can turn a soccer or volleyball player into a basketball player but you’d have more luck catching a naked, Vaseline-covered crackhead than trying to go the other way.

While the best female athletes tear up tracks, soccer pitches and tennis courts; spike balls over volleyball nets and hit 110 mph pitches out of softball fields, hoops continues to offer up a few talented athletes and a horde of slow-as-molasses girls with pointy elbows and skinned knees that can barely walk and chew gum at the same time. If the league was made up of 150 Diana Taurasis, Candace Parkers, Sue Birds, Tamika Catchings and Lisa Leslies, you wouldn’t hear me say a word. But it’s not even close. You’ve got these 5 ladies and 145 female Luc Longleys. And while it’s fantastic that Parker went up one-handed and sent the ball home, the gratuitous coverage is not only patently absurd but it is also pretty sad.

Wake me up when a couple women start abusing league centers like they’re Shawn Bradley. Contact me when players stop shooting ugly rockets off their hips. Give me a tap when watching a matchup that isn’t the championship game no longer means 40 minutes of underhanded layups and cramps. Christ – just let me know when something consistently entertaining sets up shop instead of pimping what you don’t have. When the league can pull that off, I might watch more than 6 minutes without falling asleep or passing out from shame.

9 Comments

  • What’s always confusing to me is that women talk about “if I get the chance to dunk.” Are there ideal dunk conditions that we don’t know about?

  • WNBA is better than Ambien. The nightmares are a lot worse though.

  • You can turn a soccer or volleyball player into a basketball player but you’d have more luck catching a naked, Vaseline-covered crackhead than trying to go the other way.
    Ha yeah but you could prolly turn a baller into a softball player assuming you can teach her how not to trip and fall on the way to first base!

  • Why is it that every women’s dunk (well both of them), looked like a high school boys JV player throwing down a volleyball?
    Have you ever noticed that when they show WNBA promos, they show girls going to the rim, but they never show what happens to the shot?

  • “Are there ideal dunk conditions that we don’t know about?”
    Yeah it’s an ideal condition called an entire half court where no one guards you, talks to you or makes you run in anything but a straight line.

  • They show the rim in WNBA promos? All I’ve ever seen are chest passes, 12 foot jumpers and alley-oop layups. You know, the sweet fundamentals.

  • Please don’t lump the North American Great Ape in with unicorns and fairies. Native American tradition is filled with legends of bigfoot-like creatures.

  • haha, please forgive. I did my own genetic code disrespect on that one but I needed a well known “myth.” that said, I’m standing strong against fairies and unicorns (only those that shake it under rainbows). I’m fairly certain that they spend most of their time prancing around and acting fabulous.

  • I understand. An “undiscovered” 8 foot tall and 800 pounds primate makes the squatch is an easy target.

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I am a jaded, sarcastic girl prone to unreasonable fits of rage. This site is my outlet. I am not classy, nice, or fair. It's best you know that up front.

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