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McWilliams-Franklin Excelling in Detroit

In case anyone wondered how well Taj McWilliams-Franklin is doing with Detroit or how savvy Bill Laimbeer was in acquiring her, Mechelle Vopel over at wrote a story about it.

Basically, what you need to know about why Detroit has been such a success in the WNBA the last several years can be summed up by what happened Aug. 12.

That's the day Shock coach/GM Bill Laimbeer got Taj McWilliams-Franklin in a trade with Washington. Detroit gave up no one it needed and got exactly whom it wanted.

Read the full story here.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 30, 2008; 4:39 PM ET
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It was so great to see Taj win the game for Detroit last night. She was beaming, and her teammates insisted that she be the first to hold the championship trophy.

Keep it up, Taj!

Posted by: nsw43 | September 30, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

"Keep it up, Taj!"

So far. so good.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm so torn about this. While I'm happy for her, I just can't bring myself to cheer for Detroit. The last time the Shock visited, I had the unpleasant experience of sitting near Bill Laimbeer's daughter, who was obnoxious and downright crude, as she kept swearing viciously in front of kids. Let's just say the apple obviously doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Posted by: Mystix4evr | October 2, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't care about Laimbeer's kid. This isn't about her. I think Taj is a class act and deserves our support. I'm sure she wasn't thrilled to have been traded from the Sparks to the sucky Mystics but you'd never have known it by the way she handled herself here in DC. I hope she gets a ring. (Plus, I have no desire to see Becky Hammon, who put herself before her country this summer, win the Championship.)

Posted by: Original Fan | October 3, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

What Becky Hammon did is no different that the U.S. "recruiting" Korean ping-pong players and Jamaican sprinters, yet she's taking all the heat for that. There's a bit of a double-standard here.

Posted by: Mystix4evr | October 3, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Jamacian sprinters? Who exactly do you mean? I wasn't aware that we had any who just "popped in" to run for the USA. (If we did...I guess we got the wrong ones! LOL) "Korean" ping pong players? We had at a couple of women table tennis players from China on our Olympic team who moved to the USA in the late 1990's as I recall. Is this who you're referring to?

I forgot...what year was it that Becky moved to Russia? And where is it exactly that she makes her home there? Moscow? St. Petersburg?

Basically, we have a difference of opinion about what the Olympics are about. We'll just have to agree to disagree. But I'm with Original Fan on this one.

Posted by: Eileen | October 3, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

My point is, agree with it or not, what Becky did for the Olympics is nothing that hasn't been done by other athletes previously. I just find it weird she's taking all this heat for it.

Posted by: Mystix4evr | October 3, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what other athletes may or may not have done (and you have yet to name any, let alone any in Becky's situation). And if there are any, shame on them too. I don't believe two wrongs make a right. The Olympics are about countries, not free agency. What Becky did does not endear me to her, period. And so while I don't like the Shock as a team, I do love Taj, and Becky being on SASS makes it easier for me to root for Taj to get a ring. Becky has her Russian bronze medal to cuddle under her pillow in Rapid City.

Posted by: Original Fan | October 3, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

OF, Mike Piazza played baseball for Italy a few Olympics ago.

Posted by: Mystix4evr | October 5, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Piazza's family is from Italy. Becky's family is from Rapid City. Last time I checked, Rapid City was in South Dakota, which according to my map is no where near Russia (though maybe Sarah Palin would disagree). And not that it matters as to how I feel about Becky Hammonova, but I'm still waiting for you to name the Jamaican sprinters and South Korean ping pongers on our Olympic team. (But again, no amount of wrongs add up to a right.)

Posted by: Original Fan | October 5, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

OF, to wit:

Nigerian-born and raised Hakeen Olajuwon played for the Dream Team. Kenyan-born Bernard Lagat ran in the Olympics as an American. J.R. Holden, who is from Pittsburgh and played at Bucknell, started at point guard for the Russian Men's team. Hockey's Brett Hull was born in Canada, but played for Team USA.

My point is not about two wrongs making it right. My point is all the criticism Becky is receiving when no one has said a word about the above examples.

Posted by: Mystix4evr | October 6, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"My point is not about two wrongs making it right. My point is all the criticism Becky is receiving when no one has said a word about the above examples."

This blog is about the Mystics and the WNBA. The people saying things about Becky are saying it on WNBA message boards and the like. I don't know whether the examples you've cited are even parallel and have no desire to take the time to find out (though I doubt they are; e.g. Olajuwon moved to the U.S. to go to college here, and then spent decades living in this country). However, I do know that none of them involves a WNBA player, so I'm not surprised none of them is mentioned in the same breath as Becky. Becky as far as I know is the only American female professional basketball player to have put herself and her desires above her country to play for another country, one that was a legitimate competitor for the Gold medal and one as to which she lacked any ancestral or family ties, period. She turned the Olympics into free agency. She was fairly criticized for this by people who follow women's professional basketball. No reason for them to be mentioning anyone you speak of, even if their situations were parallel (which I doubt).

Look, why don't you just admit that as far as you are concerned, it's okay for Becky to have acted in her own self-interest and everyone else be damned? It's surely a common attitude in American culture now, isn't it? Certainly it helps explain how we got into the financial mess we are in.

Posted by: Original Fan | October 6, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

OF, I go back to what I said before. What Becky did is not unprecedented among Olympic athletes and this situation probably will occur again in the future. I'm sorry it's not what you want to read.

Posted by: Mystix4evr | October 6, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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