Who wears short-shorts? Not Diana.

Posted by Alex W.C. on 11:51 AM
For most parts of the world (except Australia and a few other places in the southern hemisphere) the temperatures are a bit “brisk” and weather ranges from chilly to downright cold, and freezing in some cases. Thus, many of us are wearing winter wear, which can include layers of clothing in an effort to stay warm. No one would even think about donning skimpy summer wear just yet.

Well, except the FIBA.

As reported by lovewomensbasketball.com: “The FIBA Europe prior to this season accepted new regulations regarding uniforms in EuroLeague Women that state that shorts have to be at least 10 cm above the knee and there can be only two centimeters between the shorts and the skin.”

I guess the FIBA assumes that because the weather doesn’t affect the environment on the court, that short-shorts are perfectly acceptable. Now, those measurements for shorts are not exactly “hot pants” short, but they are noticeably shorter than previous uniforms. For most of the women playing in the EuroLeage, there was a little speculation, but for the most part it was business as usual after the change was implemented.

Except for Diana Taurasi.

Diana, not one for shorter shorts, opted for the more full length style she is used to. However, the FIBA disagrees, and has assessed Diana a “2000 Euro fine for every EuroLeague Women game she has played with Galatasaray due to not obeying the new uniform rules.”

It doesn’t end there.

“Diana Taurasi doesn’t care about that and is willing to pay the fines to wear the shorts she likes. For Galatasaray this season there are guaranteed 14 group stage games in ELW and 4 Final Eight games. That totals 18 games or 36 thousand Euro (~46k USD) income for FIBA Europe from Taurasi alone by the end of the season.”

That is quite a chunk of change.

One, it is ridiculous for the FIBA to fine Diana for improper use of shorts, and two, I like the fact that Diana is standing up for what she believes in. Keep in mind, it was not long ago that the FIBA was talking about other changes, such as lowering the rim. One wonders what the FIBA has in mind with these changes, if they are focusing more on visual entertainment values, or athleticism and sportsmanship.

Either way, by the end of the season, they’ll have some extra income thanks to Ms. Taurasi. Hopefully, they’ll spend it wisely.

In the meantime, I’m going to start wearing my full length basketball shorts to the gym, in honor of Diana…and because no one needs to see my pasty white legs in short-shorts.

Trust me, you don’t.


Who is Gary Kloppenburg?

Posted by Alex W.C. on 6:35 PM
Today the Tulsa Shock announced their new head coach for the 2012 season - Gary Kloppenburg.

While he may not exactly be a household name, Gary "Klopp" Kloppenburg is not a stranger to the WNBA, the NBA or just about any area of basketball.

According to usabasket.com, "He (Gary) coached at virtually every level of both college and professional basketball, ranging from his beginnings at a California Community College and intertwined with jobs in the NBA, WNBA, Continental Basketball Association and internationally. Coach Kloppenburg has also conducted basketball clinics in Greece, Belgium, Iceland and Japan."

Gary has had quite the career in hoops, here is just a snapshot:

Head Coach:
1988-1993: Lassen Junior College (NJCAA) women's team
1993-1999: Lassen Junior College (NJCAA)
2007-2008: Reno Sharpshooters (ABA)

Assistant Coach:
2000-2001: Quad City Thunder (CBA)
2001-2004: Seattle Storm and Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
2004-2007: Charlotte Bobcats (NBA)
2008-2011: Indiana Fever (WNBA)

(For the full resume - click here)

Gary looks like, if anything, quite a logical choice for the Tulsa Shock, who are looking to make an impression after two struggling seasons.

Yet, just hours after the announcement, I was surprised to see Gary feeling the wrath of WNBA fans. On the WNBA's facebook page, comments like, "who's this Gary dude?", "It's not fair to Edwards." (referring to interm head coach, Teresa Edwards) and "They need to let a woman coach a women's team."

Seriously? The guy hasn't even gotten to use his parking spot, and already there is the casting of doubt. First of all, if you want to know about someone, read up (I did), second, Edwards stated several times that she wasn't sure if the position was something she was interested in. Third, it's a tricky argument when you talk about gender and coaching, but all I will say is that Gary can't help that he's a guy, and that the Shock picked him. Gender and sports is a debate that is for a whole other blog post.

C'mon people, the guy hasn't even been given a chance to coach a game, make a trade, or do anything that coaches do. I recommend two things. One - do your homework - here's a few places to start:


Check out a video when Gary was assistant coach during the Fever's 2009 trip to the finals:

Two - give the guy a fair shot. He's got the resume, and the experience. Not to mention the monumental task of reconstructing a team that has been de-constructed and is just now being rebuilt, and without center Liz Cambage for the first half of the season. That is quite a hefty undertaking if you ask me.

Let's see what he can do. Then if the Shock start losing, then rip into him. For now, at least just let the man get comfy at his desk, or as I would prefer, behind the whistle.

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