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"Whose WNBA team is this?"

 
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petrel



Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 1957
Location: Atlanta, GA


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PostPosted: 03/11/17 4:17 pm    ::: "Whose WNBA team is this?" Reply Reply with quote

I read an interesting article (link is here) regarding the idea that there is always some player (or coach, or GM) . A quote:

The GM makes the trades and targets the free agents. The coach designs the system. And the players play. On every team, though, there’s one person whose influence, whether he wields it or not, transcends organizational demarcations.

We call the person on that team the "owner" of that team (as opposed to the actual owner). The writer of that article uses three metrics to make the decision regarding which coach, player, or GM "owns" the team in this sense.

Leverage: the more in demand a player or coach is.
Standing: the accrued effects of a player or coach's career track record: how big of a footprint have they left?
Power: in a power struggle between two members of an organization, who could send the other packing?

I decided to apply this to the WNBA. Here's my take. You might have your own takes and I'd love to read them.

Atlanta: Angel McCoughtry. Big in leverage, big in standing (has been with the org since 2009, lots of accolades) and has already sent one (two?) coach/es packing.

Chicago: It would probably be a toss-up between Cappie Pondexter and Courtney Vandersloot, now that Pokey, Elena and Sylvia aren't there anymore. Sloot might be more in demand, but Cappie has more standing. The big question: if either of them went to the GM/owner and said, "it's either her or me," which one goes out the door?

Connecticut: Chiney Ogwumike, provided she stays healthy. I don't think the other players have very much leverage or standing.

Dallas: Skylar Diggins, and this is based entirely on star power.

Indiana: Pokey Chatman, because the hope is that she can somehow put together something that can fill the void of Tamika Catchings.

Los Angeles: That's a tough one, clearly between Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker. I suspect that honestly, it would be Ogwumike. Sparks fans need to put in their prayers every night that no such power struggle ever takes place.

Minnesota: Maya Moore, no question. Furthermore, move Moore to any other WNBA team and she "owns" that team too after her arrival.

New York: Bill Laimbeer, now that his friend Isiah Thomas is around. If Tina Charles were to say, "It's Trader Bill, or me," I find it hard to believe that they'd get rid of Laimbeer. Although Trader Bill was once fired and re-hired. Who knows what goes on in the New York Org?

Phoenix: Diana Taurasi. Has been with Phoenix since Day 1, and what other team wouldn't snap her up?

San Antonio: no one owns that team. Everyone is expendable.

Seattle: Sue Bird. Not the best player on the team anymore, but she and Diana T. have more standing than just about anyone. Do you really think she'd lose a power struggle?

Washington: Elena Delle Donne. Mike Thibault just thinks he owns the team. This year, he finds out otherwise.


sigur3



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: 03/11/17 4:18 pm    ::: Re: "Whose WNBA team is this?" Reply Reply with quote

petrel wrote:

Washington: Elena Delle Donne. Mike Thibault just thinks he owns the team. This year, he finds out otherwise.


Yuuuuuuuup. They have nooooo idea what they're in for.



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Nerd2



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: 03/11/17 11:59 pm    ::: Re: "Whose WNBA team is this?" Reply Reply with quote

petrel wrote:

Atlanta: Angel McCoughtry. Big in leverage, big in standing (has been with the org since 2009, lots of accolades) and has already sent one (two?) coach/es packing.

If the trade rumor was accurate that they were trying to send her to Dallas, then that could have been a coup attempt. And her choosing to sit out very shortly after the rumor could have been interpreted as her stopping the trade.
petrel wrote:
Los Angeles: That's a tough one, clearly between Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker. I suspect that honestly, it would be Ogwumike. Sparks fans need to put in their prayers every night that no such power struggle ever takes place.

I'm not so sure about this because I feel Magic Johnson really likes Candace and made it clear how much he valued her. I wonder what the story was behind Carol Ross's firing, too.
petrel wrote:
New York: Bill Laimbeer, now that his friend Isiah Thomas is around. If Tina Charles were to say, "It's Trader Bill, or me," I find it hard to believe that they'd get rid of Laimbeer. Although Trader Bill was once fired and re-hired. Who knows what goes on in the New York Org?

New York knows it needs a star to keep people interested and for all Laimbeer's reputation he has still not gotten them to the finals. I don't think he'd win a power struggle with their only Olympian.

petrel wrote:
Phoenix: Diana Taurasi. Has been with Phoenix since Day 1, and what other team wouldn't snap her up?

Just ask Candice Dupree.
petrel wrote:
Seattle: Sue Bird. Not the best player on the team anymore, but she and Diana T. have more standing than just about anyone. Do you really think she'd lose a power struggle?

Sue is just shy of retirement. While she will always be respected and has the highest of standings otherwise, if it came down to a "me or her" struggle with Breanna Stewart and perhaps Jewell Loyd she would lose. Fortunately, none of them have ever shown the type of "only me" team attitude to lead to that.
petrel wrote:

Washington: Elena Delle Donne. Mike Thibault just thinks he owns the team. This year, he finds out otherwise.

It'll be interesting. Mike's been around a while and has had a diva or two.


justintyme



Joined: 08 Jul 2012
Posts: 5762
Location: Northfield, MN


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PostPosted: 03/12/17 12:50 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I don't agree that it is Maya in Minnesota. I think it is Cheryl Reeve.



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Richyyy



Joined: 17 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: 03/12/17 1:12 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
I don't agree that it is Maya in Minnesota. I think it is Cheryl Reeve.

The thing is, just because someone could be the controlling figure doesn't necessarily mean they are. Some people just don't have the desire, or the force of personality, to be in that position. If Maya went to ownership and said "Fire Reeve or I'm out", I think Reeve's gone in short order. So by that definition Maya's on top. But seeing as Maya either wouldn't do that or sees no need to do so, that position of 'owning' the team can float elsewhere. Reeve certainly has a claim on that spot unless Maya wants to take it away.



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cattekin



Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 247
Location: San Mateo, Calif.


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PostPosted: 03/12/17 3:04 am    ::: Re: "Whose WNBA team is this?" Reply Reply with quote

petrel wrote:
Chicago: It would probably be a toss-up between Cappie Pondexter and Courtney Vandersloot


Not Vandersloot. I think she's too "team first" to acknowledge that she's in that position, or even that it exists.

This might be a fun exercise for the NBA hierarchies.


Nerd2



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 7202



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PostPosted: 03/12/17 5:12 am    ::: Re: "Whose WNBA team is this?" Reply Reply with quote

cattekin wrote:
petrel wrote:
Chicago: It would probably be a toss-up between Cappie Pondexter and Courtney Vandersloot


Not Vandersloot. I think she's too "team first" to acknowledge that she's in that position, or even that it exists.

This might be a fun exercise for the NBA hierarchies.


I think the question was more: if push came to shove, who would win? It's just hypothetical. Several of these teams wouldn't ever have it come near that point.


MuneravenMN



Joined: 01 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: 03/12/17 5:02 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
I don't agree that it is Maya in Minnesota. I think it is Cheryl Reeve.


Minnesota is the trickiest team to figure out. Whalen is a beloved MN native and the floor general. Moore is the big talent in her prime. Augustus is the longtime faithful superstar and fan fave who persevered through bad times, and Reeves is the straight-talking coach who got the team championships.

I think teams that have a longtime, beloved veteran who sets the tone for the team are more complicated. Augustus in MN, Bird in Seattle: They aren't the biggest talent on their respective teams anymore, but they have become the soul of their teams. Like Catchings was in Indy.

So maybe some teams are led by a sort of committee when there is more than one sort of leadership and a lack of diva-ness.



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J-Spoon



Joined: 31 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: 03/12/17 11:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I don't think there are many players who "own" their team, I just don't think the players are in a powerful enough position in the W, you got Taurasi in PX, Angel in Atlanta but I'm not sure that will be true anymore after this seasons, maybe EDD in Washington, maybe Moore in Minnesota. But the truth is with how the W is still a little fragile in its standing the teams themselves are more the owners, it is good to have star players and good coaches because that leads to winning and success, but pretty much all teams will make whatever moves are necisary for survival. Most teams would throw over any and everyone if it is better for team success. DT is good for PX because she is a great player and very popular, for PX management to give that up they would have to get someone who is better or more popular, that is hard to do, so that is why DT is one of the closest thing to a player who owns hr team. If she did something that hurt her popularity in PX and an amazing trade offer came along she would be gone, which is true of even the best and most popular players. As important as Diggins in to Dallas if LA offered N. Ogwumike and C. Gray lets say for her, Skylar would be packing her bags.

I don't think Indy, Conn, SA, or Chicago have anything close to a player with that status, they might have some vets but they are simply teams in transistion and the team itself out weighs any sort of owner mentality IMO.

Now if were talking franchise player, the player the team is built around, then you get

Atl Angel
Conn Ogwumike
Chicago sorry no one, they have some good players but decisions aren't being made around those players, their previous franchise player just left.
Indy same as above the franchise player just retired
NY Charles
Was EDD

LA Parker (I love Ogwumike but it is still Parker pretty much until she leaves IMO)
Minny Moore
PX DT transitioning to Griner in the near future maybe even starting this season
Seattle Stewart (it used to be Bird, actually it use to be LJ but it is Stewart from here on out)
Dallas Diggins (she is more the face of the franchise, but she is the closest thing they got to a franchise player)
SA no one, might be Jefferson or the #1 pick from this draft but at the moment they simply do not have a franchise player


norwester



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 6330
Location: Seattle


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PostPosted: 03/16/17 12:16 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Brian Agler talked about this back in the day in Seattle. Just as an example of how an organization (like Seattle, LA or Minnesota...and others) might run.

He would work closely with the GM-type, but when deciding on team moves, they'd also "consult" with Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird. So very collaborative. I'm pretty certain that Brian probably got what he asked for more or less, but that he also didn't ask for things that would rile up the other parties.

But then, when you're a coach of a team with a player like LJ or Sue in their primes, it's to your advantage to both keep them happy (and giving someone a listen and keeping them in the loop can go a LONG way towards this).

A lot depends on the personalities involved. It's probable that if either player had wanted Brian gone back then, he would have been. And these days it's been interesting to see players wield a little more power than it seems they did actively in the early days.

Does anyone have examples before the more high-profile sit-outs of the past several years? I'm thinking first 10 years type stuff.



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zune69



Joined: 27 May 2010
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PostPosted: 03/16/17 12:33 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The only players who own their teams are:

Moore
Delledonne
Charles
Stewart ?
Mccoughtry ?

They can get management to trade any player on their roster.

Parker can't get Nneka traded,and vice versa.

Taurasi can't get Griner traded,and vice versa.


pilight



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 03/16/17 12:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

norwester wrote:
Does anyone have examples before the more high-profile sit-outs of the past several years? I'm thinking first 10 years type stuff.


Back during the Comets dynasty, a reporter asked Van Chancellor who would get the last roster spot. He answered "Whoever Cooper likes".



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PostPosted: 03/16/17 4:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
norwester wrote:
Does anyone have examples before the more high-profile sit-outs of the past several years? I'm thinking first 10 years type stuff.


Back during the Comets dynasty, a reporter asked Van Chancellor who would get the last roster spot. He answered "Whoever Cooper likes".


That narrowed the universe considerably ...

But even at the high school level, it's important that the players feel part of it. After the summer season and fall open gyms, I would always have my returners list the candidates for open varsity spots in order. The message was that the coaches would decide, but they wanted player input -- and if the coach list and player list were wildly different, we'd get together and talk about it.

And I always talked to my best older players about why we were doing what we were doing, and was open to discussion.



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Libra_Girl



Joined: 12 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: 03/16/17 10:38 pm    ::: Re: "Whose WNBA team is this?" Reply Reply with quote

sigur3 wrote:
petrel wrote:

Washington: Elena Delle Donne. Mike Thibault just thinks he owns the team. This year, he finds out otherwise.


Yuuuuuuuup. They have nooooo idea what they're in for.
Shocked


Mysticsfan12



Joined: 19 Sep 2014
Posts: 368



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PostPosted: 03/16/17 10:48 pm    ::: Re: "Whose WNBA team is this?" Reply Reply with quote

Libra_Girl wrote:
sigur3 wrote:
petrel wrote:

Washington: Elena Delle Donne. Mike Thibault just thinks he owns the team. This year, he finds out otherwise.


Yuuuuuuuup. They have nooooo idea what they're in for.
Shocked

Well, as long as it's not Trudi or Sheila!!! 😂 Laughing Laughing



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