Aussies in WNBA: End of an era as Taylor calls time
|Oct 9, 2016|
The Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx will battle it out for the WNBA Championship. The Sparks overcame Chicago in a 4 game series, while the Lynx took care of Phoenix in 3 to call time on one of Australia's greatest.
After 12 years in the WNBA, earning 3 Championships over 405 games, Penny Taylor will hang up her boots and end her incredible career.
Taylor fought hard for a fairy-tale ending, gathering 16 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists in game 2, followed by 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals in game 3 - the final game she will ever play.
The much-loved Mercury forward ends her career with an average of 13 points per game and in 21st place on the league's all-time scoring list with 4,606 points. Her highlights are endless, and her ability to relish in the physicality of the game and expertise in reading the play will be irreplaceable for years to come.
Taylor has been the stalwart for Australian basketball over the past 16 years, leading the Opals to two Olympic silver medals, and the gold medal at the 2008 World Championships where she was also awarded tournament MVP.
Coach Sandy Brondello spoke to the media post-game, stating "She [Taylor] will be remembered as one of the greatest players to play the game."
You can see Taylor's entire post-match press conference here:
This season's top two teams will now battle it out for the WNBA Championship. Both Minnesota and LA have been the teams to beat and could provide one of the most epic finals series we've seen in a long time.
These two teams both broke the record for undefeated starts to the season, which was only broken for LA when they first met this season.
Minnesota had the first win back in June, by a mere 3 points that was scored with only 2.9 seconds to go. LA then dominated them a few weeks later by 18 points. Then it was the Lynx again who would prevail by 3 points in September.
There's not much between them -- they both have stars -- in LA's Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker, while Minnesota boasts Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles.
It's hard to pick who will eventually be the 2016 WNBA Champions, but we know we are in for one hell of a series with these two talented teams.