Some WNBA players are lobbying for pay raises. Maya Moore could use one, so she can afford to turn her trophy room into a trophy mansion.
“Thank you,” Moore said, “for your concern for my storage space.”
She was smiling, and why not? The Lynx star had just won her third consecutive WNBA All-Star Game MVP trophy, in her team’s home building, after helping Team Parker to a 119-112 victory over Team Delle Donne.
This would be a good time to print a list of Moore’s achievements and championships, but newsprint is expensive and the internet doesn’t have enough room, so let’s limit the scope to her WNBA career.
She’s won three All-Star Game MVPs, four league championships, one Finals MVP, one league MVP and rookie of the year. She’s been named to five WNBA first teams, and six All-Star teams.
Asked if she was happy to see Moore win another trophy, her captain, Candace Parker, rolled her eyes and said, “Add it to the stash.”
Moore, a collector of large numbers and shiny objects, will do that. Saturday, she became the first player from the host city to win an All-Star MVP award. She won her third, tying her with Lisa Leslie for most in league history. She set an All-Star record for career points, with her 119 moving her past Tamika Catchings’ 108.
“I had no idea,” Moore said. “It’s one of those things, you keep showing up, doing what you do, doing what you love to do, and fortunately we win the game — because you can’t get the MVP if you don’t win the game. So it’s been amazing.”
Moore played a team-high 21 minutes, producing 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and a steal. She then began an on-court postgame interview by mentioning Team Parker teammate Allie Quigley, who won the three-point shooting contest at halftime over Kayla McBride in what might have been the most impressive display of basketball skill of the day.
“I’m a fan,” Moore said. “I’m a basketball fan, I’m a fan of greatness and I think anybody who knows anything about basketball knows great shooters. That’s one of the first things that you think about, is people who can shoot the ball. Allie is one of those players. Candace and I and Chelsea [Gray] were watching her and commenting, look at her, her form, how efficient she is with her shot. ... We were just admiring one of the great players in our game.”
Quigley heard Moore praising her on the Target Center sound system and later said: “That was a shock. Maya is a proven winner, she’s a legend, and for her to say that, that’s just the kind of person she is, the kind of player she is. She wins an MVP and she’s talking about the rest of her team and how amazing the fans are. She’s just a class act and great for our league.”
So, probably, was the game. Centers Liz Cambage and Brittney Griner played some point guard, Cambage dunked, Angel McCoughtry threw a pass to herself off the backboard and hardly anybody played defense.
Except Lynx stopper Rebekkah Brunson, who was playing for Team Parker and couldn’t help but mug Lynx teammate Seimone Augustus, who was playing for Team Delle Donne.
Whether you view the WNBA All-Star Game visiting Minneapolis as a celebration of women’s sports and women’s rights, or as light entertainment, everyone seemed happy with the weekend and unsurprised that Moore continued to collect silver like a beachcomber’s metal detector.
“It’s crazy, it really is, to just be fortunate enough to be in position to continue to win, to be playing well, to be healthy, to be here, and obviously to do it here in front of our home fans, friends and family is so special,” Moore said. “But I will get back to you with the storage space answer.”
Jim Souhan’s podcast can be heard at MNSPN.com. On Twitter: @SouhanStrib. • email@example.com