Recently I did an article with Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.com. Mechelle is one of my favorite writers because she is so passionate about sports -- especially women's basketball. Not all journalist are knowledgeable on the subject they are reporting on -- that's no the case with Mechelle!
Here are some excerpts from her article:
Temeka Johnson always heard she was too little, and just never paid any attention. Courtney Paris heard she was too big, and tried to ignore it. Now, here they both are with the Tulsa Shock, the team that wants so much to fit in.
In its third WNBA season in Oklahoma, the Shock's record so far isn't much different than the first two seasons, when they won a combined nine games. Tulsa is 2-12, pretty much the categorical opposite of Western Conference-leading Minnesota, at 13-2.
But is there light at the end of the tunnel? Or is it just a mirage? The Shock has lost four games by three points or fewer. You don't need to be completely delusional to picture Tulsa as 6-8, in which case it would be hanging with Seattle and San Antonio in playoff contention.
At least, I don't think you have to be delusional. There seems to be hope in Tulsa … or at least not abject despair.
Johnson wasn't expecting to be here, having spent the past three seasons starting in Phoenix, where she was part of a WNBA championship team in 2009. But she was traded for Andrea Riley on Jan. 12. The move basically was the Mercury's way of saying, "We just don't want you anymore."
Johnson said she hasn't dwelled on that. Instead, she has focused on the fact that Tulsa did want her.
"Once I heard about the trade, I was in Russia, and I accepted it," Johnson said of getting the news when she was playing overseas. "I'm not sure I really understood what I was getting myself into, but I just believed I was here for a reason.
"When I talked to Coach Klop, it was about leadership. This allows me to grow as a person. I like getting better as an individual."
That's certainly an optimistic way of looking at it. And Johnson says she has been encouraged by the fact that Tulsa supporters have welcomed her.
"The fans are loyal, and they're holding on," Johnson said. "They have told us they're going to stick with us, and believe we're going to turn things around. Everybody is looking for that ray of hope. OKC found it, and Tulsa is looking for it."
You can read the entire article here: http://es.pn/P8IiX2