Women's Hoops Blog
Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"
June 7, 2008 4:54 PM
Posted by Jayda Evans
Just an update regarding the Becky Hammon saga, the whole issue will be explored on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. (PST). The Russians named their pool of 24 players and Hammon, who is expected to ultimately play with the Olympic squad, is listed along with Americans Deanna Nolan (Detroit) and Kelly Miller (Phoenix). Former Storm F Natalia Vodopyanova is also listed and she's Russian.
Asked Team USA coach Anne Donovan about her implying that Hammon is a traitor for playing for the Russians during a teleconference on May 31 and Donovan is slightly tempered about the decision. Donovan called Hammon out on ABC during a halftime interview of the May 24 Seattle-San Antonio game, saying, "if you play in this country (USA), live in this country and grow up in the heartland and you put on a Russian uniform you are not a patriotic person in my mind." (FYI, a "traitor" is defined as someone who betrays one's country)
On May 31, Donovan elaborated by saying, "I have never called Becky Hammon a traitor. I questioned her patriotism, but I have never called her a traitor. You know my feelings on Becky Hammon -- everybody has to make their own decisions and live with those decisions. It's not my call to make. If that's something Becky feels good about, then more power to her. It's totally in Becky's court."
It seems this territory has been covered and Hammon herself said she's at peace with the decision, expecting this type of media build up. But it'll be interesting to see what ESPN dug up and splices together, especially since it's in direct competition of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on sister station ABC. I still have no problem with it. As one poster said, once the Games allowed pro athletes compete, the Games lost its innocents.
UPDATE: ESPN opted to air a piece on deceased broadcaster Jim McKay instead of the Hammon feature.