Veterans and newcomers-alike, have fallen victim to the injury plague that has swept the WNBA this season. Stars like Asjha Jones, Essence Carson, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird are on the list of storied veterans with season-ending injuries. While Kara Lawson, Tan White, Seimone Augustus and Renee Montgomery are expected to return this season, being off the court this time of the span, is crushing. While the injury pendulum is weighed down on one side by frustration and doubt, the other side represents background players rising up to new roles. The WNBA All-Star teams this year will be absent of faces who perennially grace the sidelines. Injury is the predominant reason, but sensational rookies and breakthrough players are equally responsible.
Just under three weeks from the opening tip of the WNBA All-Star Game, I pieced together my best 10: five East starters, five West starters, and six players of the bench for each side. As an example, to the constant blow of injuries like Essence Carson of the New York Liberty, easily would have made my ballot. She played incredible basketball this year until her season ended with an ACL injury in a loss to Atlanta back in June.
The list below is up for debate. That is the fun of it. Be sure to tune into the WNBA All-Star game, which will be nationally-televised Saturday July 27th at 3:30PM on ABC.
EAST STARTERS: Cappie Pondexter G (NY); Epiphanny Prince, G (CHI); Angel McCoughtry, G/F (ATL); Elena Delle Donne, F (CHI); Tina Charles, C (CT).
OFF THE BENCH: Allison Hightower, G (CT); Ivory Latta G (WASH); Shavonte Zellous, G (IND); Tamika Catchings, F (IND); Sancho Lyttle, F (ATL); Sylvia Fowles, C (CHI).
WEST STARTERS: Diana Taurasi G (PHX); Lindsay Whalen G (MIN); Maya Moore, F (MIN); Glory Johnson, F (TULSA); Candace Parker, C (LA).
OFF THE BENCH: Seimone Augustus, G (MIN); Kristi Toliver, G (LA); Tanisha Wright, G (SEA); Nneka Ogwumike, F (LA); DeWanna Bonner, G/F (PHX); Brittney Griner, C (PHX).
*TEAM NOT REPRESENTED: San Antonio Silver Stars
*TEAM(S) MOST REPRESENTED: Los Angeles, Minnesota and Phoenix all with 3 and all from the Western Conference.
*NOTE: It is likely that with her popularity, rookie Skylar Diggins will be voted an All-Star this season. I felt veteran guard, Tanisha Wright, on a Seattle team without it’s superstar duo this season (Sue Bird/Lauren Jackson), deserved the last spot on my ballot for the West squad.