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Malice in the Palace - WNBA style

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So much for the WNBA being "a place for lesbians to make out when they score." I was going to write something about the Lynx's fade back into the Western Conference pack, but wouldn't you know it--80's basketball icons turned coaches Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, and Michael Cooper got the ladies from the Shock and Sparks all worked up and playing like it was Detroit-LA circa 1989.  The embedded video from ESPN may suffer from undue buffering, but it gives you a pretty comprehensive idea of what went on.

I watched most of the game, and to me the blame lies squarely on the WNBA referees, who are terrible to begin with. Obviously, the physicality isn't the same as the men's, but given that 95 percent of the WNBA players could flatten ordinary guys like a pancake, there's still plenty of dangerous force involved to make calls and warn folks to keep events from getting out of hand. To me, it's another black eye for professional basketball referees. Adding injury to insult , the Shock's Cheryl Ford--Karl Malone's daughter--gets hurt trying to be a peacemaker.

Another supposed peacemaker--Detroit assistant coach Rick Mahorn--ends up either shoving or at least putting both hands on Lisa Leslie, who fell to the court. For that move, he got ejected along with Candace Parker, Plenette Pierson--the two primaries in the fracus--and DeLisha Milton-Jones, who shoved and punched Mahorn in the back after he took Leslie down.

From all that was said post game, it doesn't seem like Mahorn was intentionally trying to harm or cheap shot Leslie, but given his past as a brawler/player, and his involvement with the original Malice drama featuring one Ron Artest, maybe sitting one out might be a wise decision next time. Here's a guy who ought to know better by now.

My only other complaint was that Chris Baker wasn't there to get a shot from one of the ladies. I have a feeling that would shut him up.

Seriously, here's hoping everyone learns from this and keeps this an isolated incident. There's no need to act like a bunch of testosterone laden guys at a church league. And, to Laimbeer, Mahon, and Cooper: boys, it's time to let the old rivalries go.