Six ejected, including Brittney Griner, as fight breaks out between Mercury and Wings



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I was one of those that were being critical of Anigwe in respect to her attitude and play for Cal. I also described her as the instigator and initial aggressor and cowardice for hitting and then running. I came to this perspective by constantly replaying the sequence of events. However, once I replayed and stop motioned the slow-mo replay multiple times when it became available, I had to do a 180. I am not now nor have I ever been a fan of Anigwe. Yet I see what I see.

The key is Griners left arm which is hidden for a portion of the time by both bodies. In slow-mo stop action, we can clearly see it swing around and hit Anigwe on the side of her head as they separate. This was not a reaction to Anigwe's downward swing, but something already in progress. In fast motion and with the bodies hiding Griners arms we can not see what they are doing at a critical time when Anigwe swings downward. We do see she does this as she is moving backward as opposed to forward, clearly part of her attempt to get away. Whereas, Griners left arm motion that hits Anigwe in the head as she is separating is clearly an aggressive motion.

Yes, Cliffspiffy, I have played basketball. It should not matter though because we are making a judgement based on what we see on the video. I would respond to you by asking how many times you reviewed the video using stop motion. I had to do that multiple times to get my present perspective, which by the way is 180 from what I previously thought. The major problem is that post positioning is a lost art. The days of the traditional center in the mens game has long gone and players like Griner were never really taught how to create space for themselves in the low post. Many non physical players like Griner do not like to play with contact, but if you play the low post that is what you will face, especially if you are very tall. I believe that is why many of the players who would in the past be stereotyped as traditional posts are expanding their games so as not to be forced into playing the low post. When you are tall and skinny with a high center of gravity you are at a real disadvantage. When you add the fact that they are not taught how to compensate ( expanding their stance and bending to lower their center of gravity) players like Griner become very frustrated. They end up using elbows and arm swings to create space to protect themselves.

There is no reason that being much taller than your opposition should give license to using elbows and forearms to the heads and throats of shorter players. Griner's arms were elevated above her own shoulders when she hit Anigwe. When you box out properly your arms are not ever at your own shoulder level, let alone above them. The should be directed closer to the center of the oppositions of center of gravity. It physics common sense. Boxing out is all about angles and leverage. Women generally are not taught properly which is why there are so many ineffective posts in the WNBA. Probably because in the NBA and college mens ball the traditional center is a thing of the past so that skill is not commonly taught either. The reason Nneka is so effective even at her height is that she has the footwork down. Foot work and foot speed is all-important.
 
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No matter who turns out to have done the "dirty deed" here the refs have been horrible in the WNBA even worse than WCBB refs and they're horrible!
I watch as many games as are televised and I've seen the players and coaches get more and more irritated at the refs incompetence and acting out or striking back!
The League office has to crack down on the refs and demand accountability!
Physical play is fine but downright incompetence must be fixed!
Just my 2-cents worth!
 
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Mercury's Griner among 5 suspended for fight

The WNBA has handed down suspensions to five players for their roles in a fight during Saturday's Dallas-Phoenix game, with Mercury center Brittney Griner receiving the longest ban at three games.

Along with Griner, Wings forwards Kristine Anigwe and Kayla Thornton were each suspended two games. Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi and Dallas forward Kaela Davis each received one-game bans and a $500 fine for leaving the bench area, and Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner was fined $500 for escalating the incident.
 

TheFarmFan

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And then there's this. In the clip of this Cal vs. WSU game, Anigwe literally chucked the ball right into a downed player's face. Totally unnecessary; typical Kristine keeping it klassy.

 
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Yes, Cliffspiffy, I have played basketball. It should not matter though because we are making a judgement based on what we see on the video.
Actually it does matter because life doesn't happen in "stop time video." I've played basketball for many years and often against guys that were several inches shorter than I am. When you are boxing out and just playing in general, your body is almost constantly moving. I've accidentally hit guys with my elbows before because you DO keep your arms out and you DO keep them wide. Sometimes it's hard to know that you even do it because you're not focused on the game and the ball. There's a difference between throwing an elbow and having your elbow make contact with someone as part of boxing out. You can't wrap the person behind you but you can make yourself as wide as possible to keep them from getting around. There is no way with that height difference that she could put her hands down at the other players center of gravity b/c then you either have to bend over WAY too much (in a way that's not reasonable for someone her size) or you give up creating that 'width.'

We can all sit here and say how inappropriate the reaction was, but if you were her and you may have made contact but didn't realize it and then someone comes at you like that - I can't necessarily blame her. Good lord, look at that Louisville game in the NCAA tournament. She was getting absolutely manhandled without the benefit of many calls. If you grew up with that, not to mention the bullying, you might get to that point too where you feel like you need to just defend yourself, not only on the court but more generally. Has she been the cause sometimes, sure. I'm sure a LOT of players have done their fair share of extracurriculars whether it gets caught or not. I've never been in a fight in my life, but I'm not going to sit here and act like anyone who ever has is just a 'violent' person or is immature.
 
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Mercury's Griner among 5 suspended for fight

The WNBA has handed down suspensions to five players for their roles in a fight during Saturday's Dallas-Phoenix game, with Mercury center Brittney Griner receiving the longest ban at three games.

Along with Griner, Wings forwards Kristine Anigwe and Kayla Thornton were each suspended two games. Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi and Dallas forward Kaela Davis each received one-game bans and a $500 fine for leaving the bench area, and Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner was fined $500 for escalating the incident.
A little surprised Anigwe got off lighter than Griner. We shall see if Griner follows through on her threat.
 
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Here's the list.

Suspended

Brittney Griner (Mercury):
3-game suspension for “throwing punches, escalating the incident, and pushing Thornton’s face with an open hand.”
Kristine Anigwe (Wings): 2-game suspension for “instigating the initial altercation and for taking an open-handed swing at Griner.”
Kayla Thornton (Wings): 2-game suspension for “her role in escalating the altercation.”
The suspensions begin on Wednesday, Aug. 14, when the Mercury and Wings return to the court against the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks, respectively.

Suspended, with fine

Diana Taurasi (Mercury):
1-game suspension plus $500 fine for “leaving the bench area during the altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team.”
Kaela Davis (Wings): 1-game suspension plus $500 fine for “leaving the bench area during the altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team.”

Taurasi has not suited up for the Mercury since testing her surgically repaired back in a game before the All-Star break. She will serve her one-game suspension during the first game for which is “medically cleared to play.” Davis, however, will not serve her suspension until Sunday, Aug. 18, to avoid the Wings dropping below the league minimum eight-player roster.

Fined

DeWanna Bonner (Mercury):
$500 fine for “escalating the incident.”



.
 
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Here's the list.

Suspended

Brittney Griner (Mercury):
3-game suspension for “throwing punches, escalating the incident, and pushing Thornton’s face with an open hand.”
Kristine Anigwe (Wings): 2-game suspension for “instigating the initial altercation and for taking an open-handed swing at Griner.”
Kayla Thornton (Wings): 2-game suspension for “her role in escalating the altercation.”
The suspensions begin on Wednesday, Aug. 14, when the Mercury and Wings return to the court against the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks, respectively.

Suspended, with fine

Diana Taurasi (Mercury):
1-game suspension plus $500 fine for “leaving the bench area during the altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team.”
Kaela Davis (Wings): 1-game suspension plus $500 fine for “leaving the bench area during the altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team.”

Taurasi has not suited up for the Mercury since testing her surgically repaired back in a game before the All-Star break. She will serve her one-game suspension during the first game for which is “medically cleared to play.” Davis, however, will not serve her suspension until Sunday, Aug. 18, to avoid the Wings dropping below the league minimum eight-player roster.

Fined

DeWanna Bonner (Mercury):
$500 fine for “escalating the incident.”



.
I guess BG will retire. 3 > 2. :rolleyes:
 

Rocket009

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I was one of those that were being critical of Anigwe in respect to her attitude and play for Cal. I also described her as the instigator and initial aggressor and cowardice for hitting and then running. I came to this perspective by constantly replaying the sequence of events. However, once I replayed and stop motioned the slow-mo replay multiple times when it became available, I had to do a 180. I am not now nor have I ever been a fan of Anigwe. Yet I see what I see.

The key is Griners left arm which is hidden for a portion of the time by both bodies. In slow-mo stop action, we can clearly see it swing around and hit Anigwe on the side of her head as they separate. This was not a reaction to Anigwe's downward swing, but something already in progress. In fast motion and with the bodies hiding Griners arms we can not see what they are doing at a critical time when Anigwe swings downward. We do see she does this as she is moving backward as opposed to forward, clearly part of her attempt to get away. Whereas, Griners left arm motion that hits Anigwe in the head as she is separating is clearly an aggressive motion.

Yes, Cliffspiffy, I have played basketball. It should not matter though because we are making a judgement based on what we see on the video. I would respond to you by asking how many times you reviewed the video using stop motion. I had to do that multiple times to get my present perspective, which by the way is 180 from what I previously thought. The major problem is that post positioning is a lost art. The days of the traditional center in the mens game has long gone and players like Griner were never really taught how to create space for themselves in the low post. Many non physical players like Griner do not like to play with contact, but if you play the low post that is what you will face, especially if you are very tall. I believe that is why many of the players who would in the past be stereotyped as traditional posts are expanding their games so as not to be forced into playing the low post. When you are tall and skinny with a high center of gravity you are at a real disadvantage. When you add the fact that they are not taught how to compensate ( expanding their stance and bending to lower their center of gravity) players like Griner become very frustrated. They end up using elbows and arm swings to create space to protect themselves.

There is no reason that being much taller than your opposition should give license to using elbows and forearms to the heads and throats of shorter players. Griner's arms were elevated above her own shoulders when she hit Anigwe. When you box out properly your arms are not ever at your own shoulder level, let alone above them. The should be directed closer to the center of the oppositions of center of gravity. It physics common sense. Boxing out is all about angles and leverage. Women generally are not taught properly which is why there are so many ineffective posts in the WNBA. Probably because in the NBA and college mens ball the traditional center is a thing of the past so that skill is not commonly taught either. The reason Nneka is so effective even at her height is that she has the footwork down. Foot work and foot speed is all-important.
So I watched it at regular speed and frame by frame and saw it completely differently. Griner is boxing out, Anigwe tries to fight through the box out and and Griner's elbow makes contact with her head - the elbow is actually not that high and Anigwe's arm comes under Griner's and raises it - so really if anyone initiated that contact it was Anigwe. What is clear if you watch carefully is what happens next. Anigwe grabs BGs arm with two hands and yanks down on it, then with her right hard smacks down and appears to hit Griner in the face. The angle makes it hard to see exactly where she hit her, but the reaction indicates in the face.
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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I haven't watched the gory details and don't plan to (I saw a replay on a TV show).

I just want to address 2 things -

As I posted after the game I attended (Liberty at Mercury) some time ago, the post was a scene of constant grabbing, pushing, shoving, etc. etc. by all involved.

As to the Stewies and everyone else "not complaining" - I'm going to suggest it would crimp their style. I go back to Sue Wicks (as I did in a previous post) - never known as a dirty player, but always a tough one (if this is too old school and folks don't know her, she was a star in the '80s and a power forward who played for the Liberty in the WNBA in the early days) - who tried one time to explain to the Rutgers fans (this is after her retirement) how hard she worked at undetected grabbing and shoving, both for her own advantage and to disadvantage the other player. Not in a dirty way, per se, just a lot of the not quite legal maneuvering that goes on in the post.

In the end, yes, I somewhat blame the refs, I also agree that posts - true centers (in general) - get beat up and need to keep their temper under control.
 
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"I'm not doing it for the money because we don't make enough and they want to fine me for every little thing," Griner said. "I'm getting techs for protecting myself in games and flagrants because they always only see me. They never see anything beforehand. I'm basically not getting paid this summer already (due to fines)."

Although that's an exaggeration, Griner, WNBA scoring leader, six-time All-Star and league MVP contender, is making close to the league maximum $115,000 with the Mercury this season. She makes a seven-figure salary with her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA's offseason."

There may be some truth to this. Liz Cambage (Las Vegas Aces) says the exact same thing: "They never see anything before hand". If you saw her half time interview with Holly Rowe Sunday vs the Sun, you heard her express angst and discuss at the calls going against her this year, and the NON calls shes not getting. In an earlier interview, she called the refs "cowards". Like Griner, she's pissed!! :mad:

nwhoopfan said:
Wow, Cambage letting the league know what she thinks about the way smaller players are allowed to defend big post players. I don't know how the WNBA responds, that would be an automatic fine in the NBA. Responding to the incident w/ Griner last night, as well as her own experiences game to game.
Re Griner's & Cambage's comments on how the officials don't see the action that draws the retaliation: This is an issue in the NHL, a lot of cheap stuff happens behind the play, players get ticked off and the next thing you know they're laying their stick across someone's back or elbowing someone in the jaw. The problem is the retaliation move is almost always a lot more obvious than the cheap stuff that leads to it so the officials see it more easily and then they call the penalty on the player retaliating. I think the same thing happens in the WNBA.
 
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Re Griner's & Cambage's comments on how the officials don't see the action that draws the retaliation: This is an issue in the NHL, a lot of cheap stuff happens behind the play, players get ticked off and the next thing you know they're laying their stick across someone's back or elbowing someone in the jaw. The problem is the retaliation move is almost always a lot more obvious than the cheap stuff that leads to it so the officials see it more easily and then they call the penalty on the player retaliating. I think the same thing happens in the WNBA.
Referees are taught to not watch the ball. If you do, you’ll miss a good game. The ref closest to the ball watches it. He’s also looking for touch fouls when a player is shooting. The other two watch for body fouls, reaching, grabbing and holding. It amazes me how we can sit in the stands and see everything, and in some cases, they’re standing 5 feet away for a play (foul) and don’t see it.

Post players are always alerting the refs about opposing players holding and grabbing them. That goes on every game the entire game. Somebody always has an advantage, either size or speed. The only way to try and compensate is to reach and grab and hope you don’t get caught. What do you do if your man is quicker than you? :confused:
 
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Here's the list.

Suspended

Brittney Griner (Mercury):
3-game suspension for “throwing punches, escalating the incident, and pushing Thornton’s face with an open hand.”
Kristine Anigwe (Wings): 2-game suspension for “instigating the initial altercation and for taking an open-handed swing at Griner.”
Kayla Thornton (Wings): 2-game suspension for “her role in escalating the altercation.”
The suspensions begin on Wednesday, Aug. 14, when the Mercury and Wings return to the court against the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks, respectively.

Suspended, with fine

Diana Taurasi (Mercury):
1-game suspension plus $500 fine for “leaving the bench area during the altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team.”
Kaela Davis (Wings): 1-game suspension plus $500 fine for “leaving the bench area during the altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team.”

Taurasi has not suited up for the Mercury since testing her surgically repaired back in a game before the All-Star break. She will serve her one-game suspension during the first game for which is “medically cleared to play.” Davis, however, will not serve her suspension until Sunday, Aug. 18, to avoid the Wings dropping below the league minimum eight-player roster.

Fined

DeWanna Bonner (Mercury):
$500 fine for “escalating the incident.”



.
"To avoid dropping below the league minimum eight-player roster?" Is this for real? Why don't they just pull kids out of the stands for $10 an hour to fill rosters? I never realized how small time this league is.
 

Orangutan

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The one thing I'd add to this thread is that fouls are down significantly in the WNBA this year. So Taurasi is right on the money there.

At the recent Sky/Liberty game, I was joking to folks in my section that Dolson and Charles might need 3 rounds in the UFC Octagon to settle things after the game. Fortunately, they never moved past shoving to punching.

Anecdotally, it seems to me that many of the fouls that do get called are of the ticky-tack variety while people are regularly getting clobbered in the paint without calls. It's just very strange. The way they are refereeing the league this year, they were basically asking for this to happen.

If they would just have the refs call fouls, this wouldn't happen. What's the cost of that? A few ugly games with lots of free throws and people fouling out? Seems well worth it.
 
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The one thing I'd add to this thread is that fouls are down significantly in the WNBA this year. So Taurasi is right on the money there.

At the recent Sky/Liberty game, I was joking to folks in my section that Dolson and Charles might need 3 rounds in the UFC Octagon to settle things after the game. Fortunately, they never moved past shoving to punching.

Anecdotally, it seems to me that many of the fouls that do get called are of the ticky-tack variety while people are regularly getting clobbered in the paint without calls. It's just very strange. The way they are refereeing the league this year, they were basically asking for this to happen.

If they would just have the refs call fouls, this wouldn't happen. What's the cost of that? A few ugly games with lots of free throws and people fouling out? Seems well worth it.
What happened? Did they hire HS refs this year to save money?
 
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What happened? Did they hire HS refs this year to save money?
Last season everyone (players, coaches, commentators) complained that the officials called too many fouls, to the detriment of the flow of the game.
 
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Last season everyone (players, coaches, commentators) complained that the officials called too many fouls, to the detriment of the flow of the game.
I do have sympathy for the refs, and not just because I have been an official (albeit in a different sport). They're pretty much damned if they do and if they don't. In theory, calling fouls should have a deterrent effect and clean up the play. In practice, sometimes you just end up with a ton of foul calls, along with the attendant disruptions and criticism.

It's a really tough needle to thread. Hopefully they can find a way.
 

Rocket009

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Re Griner's & Cambage's comments on how the officials don't see the action that draws the retaliation: This is an issue in the NHL, a lot of cheap stuff happens behind the play, players get ticked off and the next thing you know they're laying their stick across someone's back or elbowing someone in the jaw. The problem is the retaliation move is almost always a lot more obvious than the cheap stuff that leads to it so the officials see it more easily and then they call the penalty on the player retaliating. I think the same thing happens in the WNBA.
I would argue that there are a lot of cases where the refs in the NHL are looking directly at the transgression and do not call it. Maybe they want to keep the game flowing, but some of the stuff that goes on behind the play is nasty and needs to be cleaned up.
 
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Referees can set the tone early in a game by either calling it close or loose. Watching games this year it seems they are letting teams get away with pushing and shoving early.
 

Bigboote

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Anecdotally, it seems to me that many of the fouls that do get called are of the ticky-tack variety while people are regularly getting clobbered in the paint without calls. It's just very strange. The way they are refereeing the league this year, they were basically asking for this to happen.
Yeah, just Sunday, I can't remember which game, I was remarking to my wife how someone had gotten tossed to the floor with nothing called, but the next time down the floor someone got called for breathing.
 

Bigboote

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Referees can set the tone early in a game by either calling it close or loose. Watching games this year it seems they are letting teams get away with pushing and shoving early.
But sometimes, most notably the first UConn-UCF game last year and the ECU game a couple of years ago, the refs seem to get sick of blowing the whistle, then anything goes.
 
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I would argue that there are a lot of cases where the refs in the NHL are looking directly at the transgression and do not call it. Maybe they want to keep the game flowing, but some of the stuff that goes on behind the play is nasty and needs to be cleaned up.
This is true too and like the WNBA the NHL suffers from officiating incompetency.
 

UConnCat

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So Griner boxes out one time and look what happens. That'll teach her never to do that again.

My favorite 2 things about this unfortunate incident are 1) little Leilani Mitchell holding Griner and holding the basketball. She never dropped the ball!

2) the rookie Turner never moved. She stood in the lane just hoping the game would resume. "Muffet didn't tell me this would happen."

Related image
 
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