NEW LOGO: You’ll notice on the bottom of both jerseys that there’s a new WNBA sponsor. It’s BBVA, a national bank in Spain that sponsors La Liga. It’s a first for the WNBA Finals and coincidentally, Lyttle will be playing for Spain’s national team in the World Championships. She’s from the West Indies, but plays in Spain and received citizenship this summer. Seattle is up 20-9 with 3:42 remaining in the opening half.
BALLIN’: The officials tried to screw up the flow and just tagged Cash for her third foul. But before the tacky calls in the Finals matchup, the Storm made some good stops, hit three-pointers and are ahead 13-7. Cash was replaced in the lineup by Svetlana Abrosimova while Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors put Erika de Souza in the game to get some size going.
SPOTTED: I’m sure we’ll continue to update this as the night progresses, but have to let you know NBA legends Bill Russell, Fred Brown, and Slick Watts are in the KeyArena house. Upper deck is open, but only full on one side. A lot of fans traveled to Seattle Center early, getting breakfast and tailgating in the area before Game 1, so more could trickle in. The Seahawks opener is at 1:15 p.m., however.
What a day to be on the couch with a nice flat screen and the remote in hand. Don’t agree? One of those people who looked at the sports lineup — NFL opener, Tiger Woods, and Team USA men’s playing Turkey on their soil — and sighed, wondering how the WNBA Finals thought it was going to compete with that?
Please. What a day for the true sports fan to work their magic with the remote, catching every possible moment (although most may cheat and DVR or use multiple televisions to get it all in). According to WNBA president Donna Orender, more men are doing just that. Sans the Sunday smorgasbord on deck for Game 1.
The WNBA Finals are slated to be aired in 203 countries, serviced by 78 broadcasters.
“interestingly the demographic that continues to grow the most are men,” Orender said. “What does that say? It says that men who before may not have recognized the quality of WNBA basketball are watching and saying, ‘Oh, my goodness, I didn’t really know what was happening here. And now that I can see, it’s unbelievable quality.'”
As expected, Storm coach Brian Agler hasn’t peaked his head out of the basketball world Sunday to notice all of the other games on deck. He spent Saturday texting his son regarding the college football games, then returned the focus to the Storm.
Seattle swept Atlanta in two games during the regular season, both games being significant to each team’s season. The Storm ended the Dream’s six-game win streak to open the season, then clinched the overall top seed with the 10-point road win on Aug. 10. Atlanta appeared to lose focus in that matchup, losing five of seven games in August.
But the Dream clicked during the postseason, winning four consecutive to met up with the Storm in its third year of existence. Seattle, which hasn’t been to the WNBA Finals since 2004, won its past seven games to advance — including sweeping its way to the Western Conference Championship.
So, it’s on. Let’s get you started with the starting lineups:
F Angel McCoughtry
F Iziane Castro-Marques
C Sancho Lyttle
G Coco Miller
G Armintie Price
F Swin Cash
F Lauren Jackson
C Camille Little
G Sue Bird
G Tanisha Wright
Tonight’s officials are Daryl Humphrey, Denise Brooks, Michael Price.