- John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant talks to Sue Bird about the UConn women winning streak, which stands at 86 and counting – two shy of the NCAA Division I record set by the UCLA men from 1971 through 1974.
Said Bird at Tuesday’s Husky practice: “My favorite part of the streak is that it encompasses, for me, who and what Coach Auriemma is,. He comes to practice every day expecting you to play well, play perfectly, if you will. That’s what the streak is; it’s going out every night, playing well and beating everybody. That’s what he expects. So for someone like Coach Auriemma to have this streak, it’s almost fitting.”
- This is really cool. At last weekend’s Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Contest at Westlake Center, the Beaconettes paid tribute to the Storm as part of their highlights of 2010 in Seattle (in the form of The 12 Days of Christmas).
- ESPNW launched this week. The website will augment ESPN’s existing coverage of women’s athletics and provide a central homebase for it. Among the many contributors to ESPNW are current WNBA players Tamika Catchings and Kara Lawson.
- The WNBA Board of Governor Meetings are taking place this week in New York. The board voted yesterday in favor of expanded use of instant replay. The changes bring the WNBA in line with the NBA’s current rules regarding instant replay.
- With two Storm photos already in the semis, voting continues in the WNBA Photo of the Year contest presented by HP. This week, the photo of Bird and Lauren Jackson celebrating the championship is up against one of the rival Phoenix Mercury. Vote now!
- The big news at the league level remains President Donna Orender announcing her resignation, effective Dec. 31. That Orender would want to find a way to spend more time with her family while launching a marketing and consulting firm came as no stunner to anyone who had interacted with Orender, as I have at times over the years. I remember her lamenting her ever-present Blackberry several years ago while we rode the elevator up to the then-Sonics & Storm offices. Orender juggled checking in back home with her busy schedule of duties as league president, which is always a challenge.
As for the future of the league and Orender’s successor, NBA Commissioner David Stern discussed those topics to ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel.
“Any head of a league has his or her own personality that impacts the league,” Stern said. “I would like to continue the growth that we’ve seen in Donna’s watch, particularly in the fact that there is a lot to be said about having great role models for young women who want to compete in sports, business and life.
“We have a successful collective bargaining agreement. There’s been a very great mood set here. We just have to make it all continue to work and grow the revenue of the league.”