You’d Think A Five-Time Olympian Would Be Playing Somewhere This Season

By Gregory Moore
Updated: May 24, 2005

Tanara McLean

Teresa Edwards is a five-time Olympian and an icon in women’s basketball. Currently she is not playing for any WNBA team.

SAN ANTONIO — It’s hard to believe that Teresa Edwards, the former Georgia Bulldogs leader, the former Atlanta Glory player/head coach who scored 46 points in a woman’s game, the former FIVE time Olympian, is not on anybody’s WNBA roster this season. It’s hard to believe because one would think that general managers in this league would be keeping track of such instances. Evidently they don’t read the Internet enough to get an idea of who is still out there and who is not for their WNBA rosters. But for Edwards to not be playing this year strikes a cord with me a little more because it seems like the WNBA doesn’t want her around when in reality she would be good for the league and the game.

I can’t picture Edwards doing game analysis right now because she still has some game left in her. In the three seasons that I have covered the WNBA in this city, I have seen Ms. Edwards lead a Minnesota Lynx team and she has done a more than admirable job in that capacity. Edwards should be playing for somebody and she should be allowed to bring her leadership, veteran leadership mind you, to some team that could benefit from her abilities. Yet that has not happened because it seems that the very team in which she became an integral part of is holding on to her ‘rights’, thus hampering this athlete from actually doing what she loves to do best; play ball. She has been shackled by a system that needs to be completely overhauled in that league. Athletic slavery has been dead for decades now but why is the WNBA practicing such an antiquated way of keeping a person away from the competition?

The strides that Curt Floyd made on the behalf the thousands of free agent athletes worldwide just don’t extend to the men’s side of professional sports, it extends to the women as well. Maybe this column wouldn’t be written if it were ‘just another sistah getting waxed by the system’. Maybe the topic wouldn’t even be on my radar screen if I didn’t have the opportunity and privilege to speak to Edwards on a radio show. That’s the funny thing about this business; when opportunity knocks you better open the door. In the case of Edwards, this is a situation that needs to be brought to the attention of a lot of people because we are not just talking about another WNBA player. In this situation we are talking about a woman basketball player that is literally an iconic figure in the field and the league would be foolish to not have her as an ambassador this season.

In professional athletics there is so much posturing done in these situations that sometimes I wonder whether the owners, general managers and agents aren’t all doing their own version of American Idol or Dream Job. I’d like to ask the Minnesota Lynx management one question: do you want Teresa Edwards on your team or not? From the information on your own website, that answer is an emphatic “No”. So do the right thing Lynx management, just like you released Tasha Butts, release Edwards so that she can pursue her career. That’s the fair way to do things in this situation.

Edwards deserves that much from a team that apparently does not want or need her services. She’s earned that right because she is an icon in the sport; bar none.

Vikings’ RB has ‘whizzed’ his way out of a job. Onterrio Smith needs Dr. Phil and this is not a joking matter. The four-year tailback for the Minnesota Vikings is now banned from playing in the NFL for this season and he must make a personal appeal to the commissioner to get back in after that suspension is served. Maybe Dr. Phil isn’t strong enough. Anyone got the phone number to Eric Michael Dyson, Tavis Smiley and maybe a few members of Louis Farrakhan’s FOI troops?

Smith is a drug addict of the worst kind; he’s in complete denial. He’s a pothead who is now jeopardizing his own future by trying to get by and cheat his way through life and through the NFL. If any of his friends, family members and associates are reading this story or any other story on this subject matter, get to Smith and shake some serious sense into him because evidently common sense isn’t so common where he is concerned. Somebody close to him needs to show him just how serious he has screwed up a portion of his life because right now he is on a fast track to hell without a return ticket.

In no shape, form or fashion am I trying to say that I would have all the answers to Smith’s problems with the hippy lettuce. Even if I knew Smith and how to get a hold of him, what good would that do? If he hasn’t listened to individuals who cared about him as a person in the past, why would this time be any different? Because he sees the handwriting on the wall? Heck that phrase had been on the wall the moment he was released from Tennessee during his freshman year in college. The problem is that this writing is no longer just a couple of lines, it has now become a full fledged diary and that diary is going to tell a story soon if Smith doesn’t re-write the ending.

No one wants to see any athlete lose their livelihood but what can any of us do when these athletes continue to abuse their God given talents with drug and alcohol abuse? Absolutely nothing. Maybe somebody that knows Onterrio Smith will understand the urgency of the situation and help him get the treatment that he deserves.