Dynasty In Los Angeles

By Jerold Wells Jr.
Updated: May 5, 2005

MINNESOTA—Most women will tell you, “if you want it done right…. ask a woman to do it!” The Los Angeles Sparks added Chamique Holdsclaw to their roster this winter to pair with Lisa Leslie and potentially form the most dominant tandem in the short history of the WNBA. In a scenario familiar to L.A. basketball fans, the leagues most dominant and talented post player will be paired with its most uniquely gifted wing player. We may be embarking on an age of dominance comparable to that of the L.A. Lakers during their heyday that started at the beginning of the new millennium.

Lisa Leslie is a post of extraordinary proficiency both offensively and defensively. She is a terror in the post where she can overpower or outmaneuver most opponents. As a compliment to her post game, she is adept at shooting the free throw line jumper or driving either right or left to finish at the rim. Defensively, she is the ultimate drive stopper due to her natural ability to block or redirect shots in the paint. Unlike Shaquille O’Neal, she is a dependable free throw shooter and thrives in pressure situations. She is the face of the WNBA, its ultimate ambassador and greatest asset.

Chamique Holdsclaw was supposed to revolutionize the game. She was supposed to bring a new level of dominance to women’s basketball. Some called her the reincarnation of Cheryl Miller, others said she was simply the next great wing player after Sheryl Swoopes. Either way, ‘Mique was supposed to change the way women’s basketball was played. Along the way, something funny happened. Holdsclaw got to Washington and caught Marvin Gaye syndrome. Soon we were all asking, “Where’s the love?” Any person in any profession can tell you that if you do not love what you are doing you should probably quit. So she did. Instead of forcing us to suffer through watching a shell of the player we once knew, she walked away.

Depression is a monster of unfathomable proportions. Until a person, or at least someone they love, has wrestled with him his true impact cannot be realized. Depression causes beautiful people to ignore their loveliness, and intelligent people to disregard their intellectual prowess. It also caused perhaps the most electrifying player in the WNBA to question her devotion to the game. The only good thing about depression is that it can be overcome. Humans, as flawed as we are can find the fortitude to battle such beast. Chamique found that fortitude and she is back.

The upcoming WNBA season promises to be an interesting one. While there were no players in the draft that looked to be franchise changers, there was off-season movement that warrants attention. Among all those moves, the most important is this one: Chamique to Los Angeles. Ego’s and pride destroyed one dynasty in L.A., now let’s see how the women do. Here is a prediction for next season. The 2005 WNBA champions will the Los Angeles Sparks and the MVP of the Finals will be Chamique Holdsclaw.