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FS02



Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 9699
Location: Husky (west coast) Country


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PostPosted: 02/22/10 5:33 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

dtsnms wrote:
PRballer wrote:
"Internet world"?? - oh gawd.



*BREAKS INTO SONG*

we are the world...we are the children...we are the ones that share the bball news, so let's start believing....


They should be a little more respectful. If it weren't for fans spending their own time and money making web sites, movies, blogging, etc. there would be very little internet buzz about the WNBA period.


abontorab9



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 6207
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PostPosted: 02/22/10 5:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

dtsnms wrote:
Hey, Rothum's not so local any more, since she moved to the great north, so hopefully she'll go, but I haven't talked to her this weekend, and it's a looooooooooooong drive!


SHE, right sorry Rothum!

She said she was making the drive, but we will see!


abontorab9



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: 02/22/10 10:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Ok so we got there about 10 minutes late, but I'll recap what I heard. Forgive me if I forget anything because I was NOT taking notes (aka this is from memory and may be shoddy).

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS to ask me about things they may or may not have answered, ask in this thread and I'll do my best to remember.

--There were about, I don't know, 50-75 people there? It was hard to tell because it was spread out. Thibault, Sienko, and Hawk were up on the stage. Ticket reps and Sun media folks were also in the house. Two mics were set up for folks to ask questions. It went from 6:00-7:45 and I was impressed with how much detail the guys went into in answering the questions.

--Thibault explained how all the moves they make, they make to win. He specifically talked about the Taj trade. Taj wanted to be in California because her daughter was starting school there. He said there are also other reasons for a trade. He talked about how at that time, the former Miracle players had been playing together for almost 7 years and that is enough time to grow tired of each other. Taj had some issues with some other players and vice versa.

--Thibault said he wishes he could go back and do a lot "differently" with Katie Douglas, from the very beginning.

--Hawk talked about how Chante Black is a work-in-progress and how they told her numerous times she was perhaps too timid. He talked about how he believes she can get better and grow as long as she finds the motivation. He said it seemed that she was missing the passion at times last season and she was too quiet in games.

--Thibault discussed Whitmore's situation. He confirmed that she is on the final year of a guaranteed contract and that she will be paid regardless. He did not say she would be on the team though. He specifically said come day 1, he is not sure where she will be. He said she did a disservice to everyone last year by showing up out of shape. He said "she stole money from us." She has been doing work this offseason but it's still up to her to come to training camp ready.

--Tan White signed her contract today, much to the pleasure of the crowd.

--People also clapped when someone commented on the Lawson signing.

--Thibault said both Whitmore and Phillips look at the team and see the new faces coming in and ask themselves where could they be on this team. They have trouble finding their roles on this roster. He said both could possibly want to play elsewhere.

--Thibault said Phillips sees herself as a starter and may not want to return to the Sun, but that the team offered her a contract.

--When discussing our post players, Thibault and Sienko seemed to regard Jones, Gruda, Walker, and Charles as the definites. Thibault called Black the "5th post" but did not mention Whitmore (other than what I said above).

--Thibault said with Lawson, Montgomery, and Jekabsone, the Sun should be able to have a quicker game because there are three players who can be on the court simultaneously with good ball handling skills.

--He also said this will allow them to apply more full-court pressure, something that they could not do with Whalen as defense wasn't one of her strong suits.

--Jones had surgery today but she should be near-100% in the weeks prior to training camp.

--While acknowledging the fact that Sacramento folding was highly unfortunate, they also commented on how if that didn't happen they wouldn't have been able to acquire Walker, Lawson, or the first pick in the draft.

--The UConn discussion came up again (amusingly in the form of an intoxicated questioner) and Thibault had the usual response. They choose players that win, and UConn players have a history of winning.

--Jekabsone will be with the Sun the entire season. Gruda may have to miss a couple games but that shouldn't take place at the end of the season.

--Timetable on Alba Torrens is unknown, but that is irrelevant as long as she comes eventually (in a future season).

--Thibault is excited about this team and he believes it is the deepest team the Sun has ever had.

--Donna Orender has no control over the major decisions from the league, as everything is proposed and voted on by a Board of Governors.

--The 11-man roster decision was made when the league looked at recent Finals winners and saw that the 2 inactive players weren't utilized in the slightest.

--The Sun are keeping both of their assistants (Hawk and Mattox). The rule states that only one assistant can be on the bench at a home game while the other must sit behind the bench. Only one assistant can travel to road games. Thibault said that Hawk and Mattox will switch off traveling depending on which opponent the Sun are facing on the road.

--The use of Tricaster will be expanded this season.

--Sienko hadn't heard of any rumors that a fee would be charged for LiveAccess this season.

--The method for selecting the All-Star team will be the same as in previous years. Fans will be allowed to vote. Players chosen by Auriemma will obviously be placed on the USA team while the remaining all stars will be on the WNBA team. Each team will have 12 players.

--People spent a lot of time complaining about how T-Shirts were not evenly distributed to sections...

--Margo Dydek has no desire to return to the team or league, nor does Nykesha Sales. Sales is not ready to definitively retire, however.

--The officiating is probably as good as it will get. It is better than it was about five years ago because at that time, they were still getting used to the spike in speed and athleticism in the game.

--After every game, the officials are made to watch a tape of the game, grade their effort, and send it to the league. At the end of every season, the coaches in the league review the officials.

--There are three types of officials in the league. 1. The guys who are hoping to use the league as a springboard to get to the NBA. 2. The guys who tried to do that but got turned down. 3. The ones who officiate NCAA games and use the WNBA as a summer job in the offseason. Thibault said the third group tends to be the best.

--Hawk says his motto is to expect the officials to suck every day, and if they get lucky, it will be a good day and they will get some good calls (or something to that effect).

--Thibault tried to explain the timeout usage rules (knowingly with little success) but most of you here know them already. Four fulls, two 20s. Explained the media timeout, the home and visitor timeouts. 4:59 mark in 1st and 3rd. 5:59 and 2:59 mark in 2nd and 4th, as most of you know.

--The Sun will use the plastic season ticket holder cards again this year.

--Season ticket sales are up from last year.

--Sienko said he would like no expansion right now because he wants the league to have financially sound teams. He said maybe in a couple years they could add two teams because some of the teams are pretty stacked and there will be good competition.

--Sienko also said that there is no reason to increase the number of games in the season until again the teams are financially stable. Also the fact that there is a small window for the WNBA to use.

--Thibault again debunked rumors that the Sun wanted to tank to try to get Maya Moore. He said he wants to win every day no matter what. At the end of 2009, he was excited that the Sun would get a lottery pick, but he was miserable because the team was losing.

--Thibault discussed his drafting strategy. He said looking at the history of the past 8 drafts, the vast majority of players still around are from the top 6 picks. The number is astonishing to. It was like 21 of 28 top six picks are still playing, compared with like 30 of 290 of the rest. He said he therefore needs to balance the risk associated with taking a US college player in a low draft number or banking on a foreign player showing up. He said most of the time, the foreign player is a risk he is willing to take.

--A question that Thibault had gotten (not in person tonight) was why the Sun would want Whitmore because she is a bad role model, primarily because of her tattoos. Thibault discussed how that was a foolish statement and how Whitmore is "unique" and one of the nicest people he knows.

--Thibault commented on the large Internet fanbase for the WNBA. He said he sincerely appreciates it because that shows him that fans are passionate about the league and the team. He also said we should take good notes so when we discuss it on the board we had our facts straight. Also commented on how he was not going to discuss his upcoming draft strategy because it would be online 10 minutes after they ended.

--Sienko said that the Sun have extended (verbal?) offers to Nykesha Sales in the past two seasons but she has shown no interest. They would still probably like to have her back, but they would do no good for the team waiting around for her.

--One final thing, for all of you here to note. It was obvious to me that the people in charge (more than just Sienko and Thibault) read THIS message board. I'm sure the same goes for those at other franchises. Obviously this is an open forum, but just keep in mind that someone is always reading over your shoulder, more often than you think...




Last edited by abontorab9 on 02/22/10 10:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
dtsnms



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 02/22/10 10:51 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

thanks Nick, great recap.

Sounds like he tried to address a lot of the issues head on, which is a plus. How honest? Who knows...

It's no shock about people reading the board; hell if the commish knew who pilight was and Laimbeer posted here, it should only make sense.

What they seem not to realize or understand though is that some people have their own connections, albeit maybe not even with their own local franchises. For them to assume, as DiMauro wrote in his article, and I don't know if it was just his opinion or other people that the people on the internet don''t know what they are talking about is just foolish.

I don't think we'll be seeing Taj back huh?


abontorab9



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: 02/22/10 10:55 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It sounded like he was being sincere and fairly blunt with his answers. I can normally spot a liar, and seemed Thibault was being honest in all his responses.

I'm going to add a bit there at the end in my original post about a comment they made about the Internet folks.

And no, it didn't sound like we'd be seeing Taj back. But they made a comment about Nykesha that I will also add above.


Queenie



Joined: 18 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 12:40 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Thanks for this. Great note-taking- sounds like a very interesting event.

The “Whitmore as a bad role model” question just makes me shake my head. There are better reasons than freakin’ tattoos to not take Tamika Whitmore as a role model.



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dtsnms



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 8:27 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Now here's the difference between The Day's reporters and anyone who really gives a damn.

Read Nick's notes above first. Then read The Day's recap here:
http://www.theday.com/article/20100223/SPORT13/302239870/1044/sport

Look at all the basketball items - Taj, Kesh, Douglas, etc. - that Nick talks about.

The Day's recap starts with making fun of the T-shirt question (obviously not a representative question of basketball IQ based on Nick's recap), and then talks about Phillips being unhappy and the ridiculous Whitmore question.

All The Day looks to do, similar to DiMauro's "people aren't going to UConn games because there's not as many white girls" article, is try to make people look like idiots.


EDITED: To correct that DiMauro did not write the referenced piece, as pointed out correctly below.




Last edited by dtsnms on 02/23/10 11:10 am; edited 1 time in total
Sun_AusOpal_Fan



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 10:12 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

For clarification, the recap of the Q&A written today in "The Day" was by Ned Griffen not Mike DiMauro. Mike wrote the original article about the Q&A being scheduled, but Ned wrote the recap.

I didn't appreciate Thibault's comment about people who didn't like the Whalen trade not wanting to go say it in person. I traveled to six road games last year, my statement on my disdain over the Whalen trade is that I wouldn't travel one hour to go be a prop in this dog-and-pony show when I drove 14 hours for a road game.


irk



Joined: 23 May 2008
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 10:18 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Really interesting. Thanks, Nick. It's nice to hear of the front office and coaching staff of any team being candid with the fans.



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dtsnms



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 11:09 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Sun_AusOpal_Fan wrote:
For clarification, the recap of the Q&A written today in "The Day" was by Ned Griffen not Mike DiMauro. Mike wrote the original article about the Q&A being scheduled, but Ned wrote the recap.

I didn't appreciate Thibault's comment about people who didn't like the Whalen trade not wanting to go say it in person. I traveled to six road games last year, my statement on my disdain over the Whalen trade is that I wouldn't travel one hour to go be a prop in this dog-and-pony show when I drove 14 hours for a road game.


Thank you, I take back my criticism of Mr. DiMauro on this one and apologize. Mr. Griffen gets my disdain instead. Maybe it's the Day's mentality, period?

Excellent statement, and I know you travel all over. Excellent.


BCBG25



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 11:47 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Well, you sure have great memory if you wrote all that without taking notes. Laughing
Thanks for taking the time, very interesting event. Can Lib fans here picture FFO being that honest? I can totally see her doing the snide remark routine, but answering questions with honesty and directly? Not even if she wanted to (not as long the Dolans are in charge).



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CB



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PostPosted: 02/23/10 12:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I have always appreciated Thibault interviews/articles and he does come across honest to me as well. Informs the average fan and treats them intelligently without saying anything other GMs probably don't already know. Great PR move sharing with the fans showing you value them.



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abontorab9



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 2:36 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Re: The Day article, Ned Griffen was there taking notes on his laptop, so you can be sure anything he says is completely accurate.

That being said, do with his interpretation what you will.


PRballer



Joined: 18 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 7:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

CB wrote:
I have always appreciated Thibault interviews/articles and he does come across honest to me as well. Informs the average fan and treats them intelligently without saying anything other GMs probably don't already know. Great PR move sharing with the fans showing you value them.


LOVE the PR move. As my screen-name indicates, I'm particularly curious to see how the successful franchises in the W promote their team and how media relations impacts the bottom line (ticket sales). The Sun has clearly been a leader in this area and it's nice to see for the women's game.


Shades



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: 02/23/10 8:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

CB wrote:
I have always appreciated Thibault interviews/articles and he does come across honest to me as well


Oh yeah, like when he said there was absolutely nothing to the Whalen trade rumor? Rolling Eyes




Last edited by Shades on 02/24/10 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
pilight



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 02/24/10 7:22 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

http://www.theday.com/article/20100223/INTERACT010107/100229925

Quote:
Two thousand, five hundred and twenty three words of notes were taken from said event.

Try to fit all of that into a 600-word newspaper story. I dare ya.'
I triple dog dare ya.'



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dtsnms



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PostPosted: 02/24/10 9:47 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Quote:
Number one, Taj and that group of players had been together in Orlando seven years before they came here. They weren't new players playing together when they came to Connecticut. By the time we traded Taj, many of them had played together seven years. There were things within our team. Tension-stuff starts to build up.



There were THREE players from the Miracle at that point - Taj, Douglas, and Sales.

Quote:
"Hindsight being (20-20)," he said, "there are a lot of things I'd like to redo about all of Katie Douglas' situation, and that goes back a long ways."



Okay, that makes it a little clearer as to who was the problem child of the three...or which one he wants us to think was...




Last edited by dtsnms on 02/24/10 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total
pilight



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PostPosted: 02/24/10 9:53 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

dtsnms wrote:
Quote:
Number one, Taj and that group of players had been together in Orlando seven years before they came here. They weren't new players playing together when they came to Connecticut. By the time we traded Taj, many of them had played together seven years. There were things within our team. Tension-stuff starts to build up.



There were THREE players from the Miracle at that point - Taj, Douglas, and Sales.


And all three wanted out. Maybe the problem wasn't with the players...



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p_d_swanson



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PostPosted: 02/24/10 9:59 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The Miracle were only in existence for four years. Although perhaps with Peck and Brown as coaches, it may have felt like seven...


dtsnms



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PostPosted: 02/24/10 10:10 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
dtsnms wrote:
Quote:
Number one, Taj and that group of players had been together in Orlando seven years before they came here. They weren't new players playing together when they came to Connecticut. By the time we traded Taj, many of them had played together seven years. There were things within our team. Tension-stuff starts to build up.



There were THREE players from the Miracle at that point - Taj, Douglas, and Sales.


And all three wanted out. Maybe the problem wasn't with the players...


Wink


SportsGuru



Joined: 20 May 2005
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PostPosted: 02/24/10 10:14 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Sounds to me Sales wants no parts of the Sun.

From Nick's notes:

Quote:
--Sienko said that the Sun have extended (verbal?) offers to Nykesha Sales in the past two seasons but she has shown no interest. They would still probably like to have her back, but they would do no good for the team waiting around for her.


dtsnms



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PostPosted: 02/24/10 10:45 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

SportsGuru wrote:
Sounds to me Sales wants no parts of the Sun.

From Nick's notes:

Quote:
--Sienko said that the Sun have extended (verbal?) offers to Nykesha Sales in the past two seasons but she has shown no interest. They would still probably like to have her back, but they would do no good for the team waiting around for her.



She doesn't want to play in the W. Second (maybe even third) choice behind her real estate business.


StevenHW



Joined: 25 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: 02/24/10 12:56 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

nickv1025 wrote:
[snip]...--Donna Orender has no control over the major decisions from the league, as everything is proposed and voted on by a Board of Governors...[snip]



So, I guess all the criticism we might have toward The Donna is unwarranted?

And who makes up this WNBA Board of Governors? (Other than The Donna)


gopher5



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 02/24/10 1:10 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

StevenHW wrote:


And who makes up this WNBA Board of Governors? (Other than The Donna)


According to this article, the team owners.

www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-businesswoman-kathy-betty-177579.html


braveniler58



Joined: 30 May 2007
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PostPosted: 02/24/10 1:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Question -- why doesn't the Sun just trade Sales if she doesn't want to play there? Or does she not want to play in the W, period?



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