We’re several weeks into our worldwide attempt to “flatten the curve” and have been offering daily escapes into the sporting events of yesteryear through our “Filling The Void” series. We’ve looked back on the inspiring, mind-boggling and remarkable events as well as the ordinary, daily games we’ve been missing in our lives. We here at The Turf Sports sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and being safe through these trying days. We’d also like to take a moment to send out a huge THANK YOU to all of those front-line folks keeping society going – from the medical community to those stocking grocery store shelves, delivering supplies around the country or helping us all fight this virus together in some other essential, invaluable way. You are all heroes.
Today: The greatest WNBA finish of all time, and possibly the greatest game as well.
In 1999, the Women’s National Basketball Association is still in its infancy, but you wouldn’t know that from watching this game. Created in 1997, the WNBA has only seen one team raise championship banner, and they’re taking the court tonight.
The Houston Comets is stacked with legends of the game. With their big three comprised od Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson and Sheryl Swoopes, the Comets won the first two WNBA championships. The 26-6 Comets handly swept Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks in the opening round, and were looking to take home their third straight title tonight in Game 2.
Standing in their way were the New York Liberty, who had a bit more trouble getting to this game.
The Liberty were coming off a season that began disastrously. In the first minute of the first game, the Liberty’s star center Rebecca Lobo tore her ACL and Meniscus. With the Liberty struggling to find their identity, coach Richie Adubato steadied the ship, as the Liberty finished the season with an 18-14 record, good enough for the top spot in a struggling eastern division.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Liberty had to fight off a resurgent Charlotte Sting team, who earned the playoff berth in a one-game playoff against the Detroit Shock. Despite Charlotte’s below .500 regular season, the Sting put up a fight, pushing the series to the maximum three games. However, the New York Liberty’s superstars Crystal Robinson and Teresa Weatherspoon shut the door on Charlotte after dropping Game 1.
Game 1 of this series was yet again a blowout loss for the Liberty as Houston’s well-rested big three came out of the gate strong. So now the Liberty find themselves with their backs against the wall in Game 2. But after trailing as they went into second half, the Liberty brought out their secret weapon: soon-to-be WNBA legend and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon.
Neither team knows it yet, but they are about to witness one of the greatest endings to a WNBA game, or any basketball game for that matter, of all-time.
See You Tomorrow. Stay Safe. Stay Smart. Wash Your Hands.
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