The Storm Dance Troupe was featured during the Sonics/Warriors game last night, and were the only Seattle element of the evening on fire other than the JumboTron. As reported in the news, a lighting instrument in the JumboTron caught fire early in the first quarter. Perhaps the flame was due to the heat generated by Golden States' hot shooting. Regardless, the only other fire shown by anyone from Seattle was the talent and passion the Storm Dance Troupe showed in the first half. They got the fans riled up and received the loudest cheers of the evening with a performance that should have embarrassed the rather lackluster and boring Sonics dancers. The kids looked great.
In more important news, Anne Donovan finally bailed on the team. I can't say that I am surprised, but I am disappointed. I really wanted to see Anne get a GM to help with talent evaluation and the draft and I wanted to see her pick up an assistant with a REAL focus on perimeter defense, lost when Jenny Boucek fled after the championship.
Having followed the turmoil in the papers this past summer and reading about AD's emotional moments while being heavily critisized early on, and then seeing her ripped for Team USA by a number of national writers, I suspected she might call it quits in Seattle which has its own set of issues regarding location and ownership. Anne brought us the new and improved LJ, JB and Izi, and led the team to the first professional championship since the 1970's. Her stony glare and her imposing height will be missed on the sidelines. Having first learned about women's basketball via Old Dominion University where both my brother and sister were educated, I felt a bizarre and misplaced set of kinship with Coach Donovan. Frankly, I just liked her.
She had a rotten track record in the WNBA draft. She seemed unable to inspire her youthful role players to the heights needed to win in the league. Her substitution patterns at times defied understanding. I got the sense that Anne was a superb planner but a poor adapter. She seemed to set up perfect game plans but was never able to adjust to changes made by other coaches in the flow of the game.
I wish her the best of luck with Team USA and whatever she chooses to pursue next. It was a wild and emotional ride and I feel like I have lost a close relative that I never actually met.