That sentiment had no place in the Mystics' locker room after the loss, not for coach Mike Thibault - the WNBA's winningest coach who once again fell short of finally winning his first title - and not for his players. The chance to come back in 2018 with a championship-caliber team was something Hughes couldn't pass up.
It was Stewart and Howard who went off tonight.
"We were celebrating, and I am sure we will continue", she said. "I've seen her as a youngster, and I have seen her with the Storm, and she really is truly incredible". Despite that, the basketball legend has been trying her best to help her young teammates prepare for when she's no longer there.
This is likely just the beginning for the dynamic 24-year-old forward, who won the NCAA Championship during each of her four seasons at the University of CT. She laid on the arena floor, slightly below the elevated basketball court where she initially fell from while trying to make a hustle play, where she was in agony as tears ran down her cheeks. When asked how it compared to the other two WNBA titles she's won, she said there's "no comparison honestly". We didn't know - I mean, I didn't even know her favorite beer, and that's a pretty important thing to know about Panda.
Candace Parker, Sparks: An All-WNBA selection for the eighth time, Parker (17.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 4.7 apg) was the only player to reach those averages in points, rebounds and assists this season. I didn't know if I'd be playing at this point. "She has yet to let any of us down". She was the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four in all four of her college years. Vandersloot is making her All-WNBA debut. The others are Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Tamika Catchings, and Brittney Griner.
Some teams on the wrong end of championship results will say the season was a failure because the goal was to win it. The pair are joined by Liz Cambage of the Dallas Wings, Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and Tiffany Hayes of the Atlanta Dream to round out the team. In order for the Mystics to win it all, they'd have to win three straight games, something that has never been done before in a best-of-five finals.
In the past year Stewart has spoken up about her assault, posed for ESPN's Body Issue (as did Bird) and won both the league and finals MVP trophies.
And unlike the semifinals, Seattle seeks to bring a sense of urgency into Game 3. She also earned her 13th selection to the All-WNBA First Team or Second Team, passing Tamika Catchings and Lisa Leslie (12 each) for the most in league history.
Natasha Howard had been a reserve in the WNBA Finals the past three seasons.
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