Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monarchs Watch: Day 12

I'm hearing rumors that the Sacramento Monarchs banners which were taken from ARCO Arena have been returned - but I have no proof of this. If anyone can provide verification - or even better, photographic evidence - that would be very cool.

One question you might have asked is "Who cares about the Monarch banners? The team is gone. No one who follows the Kings is going to care about those banners. What would be the purpose of returning them?"

Answer: so the NBA and WNBA won't find it so easy to erase the Monarchs. You know the old saying? "Out of sight, out of mind?" There are still forces out there that would like to erase the WNBA. Having the Monarchs banners remain indicates that that task will not be so easy.

Speaking of "out of sight, out of mind" - the news about Marion Jones's comeback and eventual attempt to make a WNBA team has absolutely flooded news. It's knocked news of the Monarchs off the basketball pages and put the WNBA back in the news. It's also attracted the attention of people who might not even follow the WNBA. Furthermore, my understanding is that the comeback wasn't Jones's idea. It was the idea of someone not in the WNBA - but the NBA. Jones was taken aback by the suggestion, but eventually concluded "why not"? Yes, it smacks of a publicity stunt, but if the offer is made....

...aside from knocking some fresh-faced youngster out of at least a taste of life in the WNBA, why not indeed? USA Today's "Halftime" column reports:

Anyone who covered Olympic track in 2000 knows there is no bigger diva in sports than Marion Jones. Now it will be fascinating to see the steroid cheat attempt to shrink-wrap her ego as she tries to fit into the team concept and scrape out a paycheck with San Antonio in the WNBA.

Well, a lot can change in nine years, but I don't think adults change that much. Jones turned down the WNBA and ABL for track when her basketball career ended in 1997. She turned down the Phoenix Mercury when they spent a third-round draft pick on her in 2003. You can't say that there has been absolutely no interest in Jones playing ball - the Mercury must have thought her rights were worth something. But the game is tougher now than it was in the mid-90s, and I suspect that Jones might be the fastest player on the court - but not much else.

Still, I'll watch her biography when it comes on TV, particularly where it deals with the WNBA. I might get a glimpse of Becky Hammon....

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