Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Diana ... The Comedian

Diana Taurasi was filled with jokes Tuesday at Day 1 of this year’s All-Star festivities.
Although her day started out somewhat serious — as a sign of her focus, Taurasi didn’t answer TV’s questions before the 3-Point Shootout, only to finish with a competition-worst seven points — Phoenix’s third-year sharpshooter let her hair down during the open media session.
The laughs first began was she needed numerous takes to tape a public service announcement thanking sponsors and supporters of the WNBA All-Star Game. Watching her struggle over and over again through her few lines reminded me of Charlie Sheen failing miserably in take after take of a deodorant commercial in ‘Major League II.’
But the laughs didn’t stop there because then it was time for Taurasi to explain her struggles from long-range.
“I have never froze up like that in my life,” she said, before delivering a different take. “Actually, the ball was sticky. The ball was sticky. The ball was sticky.”
There was a slightly more serious response to follow.
“It’s funny because you get out there and it looks easy, but it really is physical,” she said. “You’ve got to shoot 25 balls in a minute. I felt good, just didn’t have enough range on them. It was an ugly display of shooting.
“But you know what? I need a little defense and I’ll be good.”
It’s easy to see why fans have loved Taurasi since her days at UConn.

Although some of the league’s most talented players were on display Tuesday for the skills competitions, most of the fans seemed to think twice about showing up. The Garden had 3,000 people if you were counting generously, and probably 90 percent of the crowd was campers getting a break from the brutal heat.
Considering the event was free, the draw left plenty to be desired. Furthermore, if the league is only going to televise the showcase on NBA TV — as opposed to ESPN or ESPN 2 — WNBA officials should have opted to put the show on during the evening, when a bigger crowd is more likely. Even though Major League Baseball had its All-Star Game Tuesday night, it’s not like NBA TV would have been giving up some great program to put on the WNBA at 6 or 7 instead of 1:30.
The weak crowd was obvious to anyone in the building.
“I noticed it but there’s nothing I could really do about,” Sun point guard Lindsay Whalen said. “That’s the way it was. That was the atmosphere.”
As for tonight, the league refused to give numbers on where ticket sales stood as of Tuesday, only stating that tickets were still available.


At 3:39 PM, Blogger Barbaloo said...

Good blog -- yes, Dee is always good for copy! In terms of the lack of turnout, there are now no Liberty players on the team, and, as you mention, the middle of the afternoon makes it hard for many of us to attend. Fortunately, I subscribe to NBATV, so I was able to watch the re-run at 7:00 p.m. last night, up to and including a replay of last year's All Star Game, which I attended. The ASG last year, held at Mohegan Sun, was on a Saturday, making it much easier for us "worker bees" to attend. We (myself and two of my daughters) had a great time last year at the Summer Jam on top of the parking garage at Mohegan. The WNBA would have a much better turnout (I think) with a Saturday game.


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