Since there’s been a lot of drive-by commentary about the UConn women’s basketball streak from sportswriters who admit they don’t follow, nor do they much care, about the sport, a few simple lessons in interpreting Geno Auriemma are necessarily in order.
But first, thank God for Bob Ryan. The legendary Boston Globe columnist and basketball maven with a deep appreciation for every level of the sport, regardless of gender, truly gets what the Huskies and their star player embody:
“Similarly, I saw a great basketball player two nights ago. Her name is Maya Moore, and she won’t be playing in the NBA. But I’d go watch her play her dunkless game any ol’ time, because she is a pure basketball player. She can shoot, pass, rebound, defend, and, finally, lead. It was an under-the-microscope performance before what will be the best audience for women’s basketball until the NCAA championship game several months hence, and she personally made sure UConn would get that record. The final scoring total was a career-high 41, but that didn’t matter. Twenty-one, 31, 41 . . . she put on a show. She’s not Kemba Walker physically, but she’s as good a basketball player, and I bet the standout UConn point guard would love to play with her.”
Yes, Ryan gets it, because he’s a basketball purist at heart, while far too many members of the sportswriting Tribe were too busy genuflecting about Auriemma, doing their 24/7 all-platform wiseguy best to respond to a wiseguy coach, or disparage his team’s accomplishments, all too literally.
They just don’t get it.
They don’t get what Auriemma was really doing after he dashed off this doozy in response to all the attention at Madison Square Garden as the Huskies won their 88th consecutive game over Ohio State on Sunday:
“There wouldn’t be this many people in the room if we were chasing a women’s record. The reason everybody’s having a heart attack