The case for Diana Taurasi to win the ESPY

The best in women's ball: Taurasi of the Mercury...

“They give out awards for everything these days. ‘Greatest Fascist Dictator: Adolf Hitler’…” – Woody Allen, Annie Hall

What? You hadn’t heard that the annual ESPN ESPY Awards for Excellence in American Sport is running tonight? Well, now you know. And while shows such as these offer little in the way of relevance – quick: Name the 2007 ESPY winner in the category of “Best American Sports Team” – or spontaneous moments, BallinEurope might just tune in tonight ‘cuz BiE’s got a bone to pick.

In the category of “Best Female Athlete” this year, ESPN has nominated four: Serena Williams, Lindsey Vonn, Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi. Incredibly, Taurasi is getting just 3/1 odds at the bookmakers against Williams’ 1/2 and Vonn’s 3/1; Moore is the longshot at 7/1.

Both Williams and Taurasi have won the award in the category before: The former in 2003 and the latter in 2004, which may serve as argument enough to award the ESPY to Vonn. Unfortunately, Vonn’s nomination appears to be based essentially on one downhill run at the 2010 Winter Olympics and a Sports Illustrated photo shoot. Continue Reading…


Good Angel Dupree falls from Sky, lands in Phoenix

Representatives of the WNBA and the Phoenix Mercury have announced a trade in that league, with a three-team deal seeing Candice Dupree, most recently of Good Angels Kosice, go to Phoenix.

As press material summarizes, Dupree “ranked first in all of Euroleague competition in rebounding [at 11.0 per game] and third in scoring [at 18.9 ppg] while shooting 49.6% from the field in 39.1 minutes per game. She was named to the FIBA Euroleague Women All-Star Game, where she recorded 11 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in 23 minutes as a starter alongside new teammate Diana Taurasi.”
Official press release runs below the break.

(Phoenix Mercury Basketball Inc.) – Phoenix Mercury General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale today announced the acquisition of Chicago Sky forward Candice Dupree in a three-team deal that sent guards Cappie Pondexter and Kelly Mazzante to New York. Chicago acquires Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld from New York to complete the trade.

“We’re ecstatic to be adding Candice Dupree to our already-stellar core,” said Meyers Drysdale. “Of course, we had to make a sacrifice in order to acquire a player of Candice’s caliber. She brings a combination of size, strength and athleticism that few possess and will add another potent weapon to our starting lineup.”

“We wish Cappie and Kelly both the best of luck in their continuing careers. Both have been tremendous contributors for this organization the past few years and we thank them for their efforts and service.”

In 2009, Dupree led the Sky and ranked 11th in the WNBA in scoring (15.7 ppg). She ranked second in the league in total rebounds (268) while recording career highs in rebounding (7.9 rpg), three-point field goal percentage (.387) and free throw percentage (.785). The 6-2 forward tallied nine double-doubles, third-most in the league. She was named to the third All-Star game of her career (2009, 2007, 2006) and was named a starter for the Eastern Conference.

Most recently, Dupree spent the 2009-10 offseason playing professionally overseas for Good Angels Kosice in Slovakia.

“Candice has proven herself to be one of the most dominant post players in the world,” said Taurasi of her new teammate. “She’s an aggressive defender and a great rebounder, and adding her to our roster gives us a great chance at defending our title in 2010.”

Dupree owns career averages of 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in her four WNBA seasons with Chicago. She has started every game for the Sky in three of the last four seasons, and has missed just one game in her career (2007). The Tampa, Fla. native was originally drafted by the Sky with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft.

Pondexter has played all four of her WNBA seasons with the Mercury after being selected by Phoenix with the second overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft. The Rutgers product owns career averages of 23.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 129 career games (all starts). She is a three-time All-Star and was named the 2007 WNBA Finals MVP.

Mazzante spent the last three of her six WNBA seasons with the Mercury and established averages of 4.9 points and 1.6 rebounds in 99 games (seven starts) for the Phoenix.


Best of the (basketball) net: It’s gotta be the hair edition

Not enough time for reading up on everything basketball this week? Have no fear, for BallinEurope.com has collected a top-five for your perusal this Sunday.

• Not sure if this was the best basketball-themed piece of the week, but it certainly was the most unique(?): Sneaker specialists Kickz.com took a brief sojourn from dressing up the feet to looking at heads – specifically, the top 10 all-time NBA player haircuts. The site is German-language, but these pictures are truly worth a thousand words each. At least.

Naturally, no one is ever satisfied with any top 10, so BallinEurope would suggest the following additions:

Continue Reading…