Paul Snyder’s July Hoops Journal

As I drove up island Sunday June 2nd to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to cover the NY Liberty against the Indiana Fever all I could think about was what to ask Caitlin Clark in the pregame press conference. The Fever had flown to NY for the game after getting their first home win against the Chicago Sky the day before. Clark had been knocked to the floor by Chennedy Carter on an inbounds pass in the 3rd quarter of the win against the Sky. The referees called an away from the ball foul on the play that everyone was talking about. It was an intentional body shot and should’ve been called a flagrant foul. After the game Carter refused to answer any questions about the non-basketball body check. Clark handled it like a pro. Saying, “I wasn’t expecting it. It is what it is. It’s a physical game.” The Fever won the hotly contested game 71-70 and flew to NYC to play the Liberty June 2nd.

Pregame Caitlin Clark Interview

In the pregame press conference it was revealed that the WNBA had upgraded the cheap shot on Clark to a Flagrant-1 violation that morning. I asked Caitlin, “My question is your love for the game is evident. You’re smiling. It seems like you’re having a good time even though it’s a grind and everything going on with the physicality. Are you having fun?” Caitlin answered, “Absolutely. There’s moments I’ve been frustrated or upset… There’s so many people that would love to be in my position. I get to do this as my job? How lucky am I? Sometimes that’s hard to remind yourself of. At the same time that kind of takes the pressure off and allows me to play the game I love. Thanks for the question.” The Liberty won the game 104-68. Clark had a tough game. She made one of ten shots. It was a long three pointer. She dished out five assists and grabbed two rebounds. It was probably her worst game of the year. I came away thinking how special she is? You can knock her down and talk crap to her but she’s going to come back. The Fever’s record after the loss was 2-9. After finally getting some days off from having back to back games, the Fever have improved to 7-11 and their rivalry with Chicago is building to epic proportions.

Breanna Stewart Pregame

The NY Liberty improved to 7-2 with the win against the Fever. They currently stand atop the WNBA with a 15-3 record. On June 25th the Liberty lost a thriller to the Minnesota Lynx 94-89 in the 4th edition of the WNBA’s Commissioner’s Cup. The game doesn’t count in the standings for either team. As I send this Journal in, the Liberty are one game ahead of Minnesota and the Connecticut Sun. The Commissioner’s Cup is an in season tournament with total compensation topping out at $500,000. The winning team’s players make around $41,000 and the MVP gets an additional $5,000. Each player on the losing team gets $10,000. Each team also partnered with a non-profit organization. The Lynx raised $10,000 and the Liberty raised $5,000 for their non-profits.

One of many Stripers

Finally, out here in Montauk the fishing has been outstanding. I got out recently and caught around 15 striped bass and a couple of bluefish on diamond jigs. I also caught a bluefish with a spinning rod after it attacked a top water plug. It was some of the best fishing I’ve seen. The spring and early summer fishing has been on fire. Afterwards I stopped by Westlake Fishing Lodge. They expanded the tackle shop and now carry Van Staal fishing gear. They have exclusive Long Island rods for inshore and offshore jigging and now carry fly fishing tackle.

Catch ‘em up and check out a WNBA game. It’s well played basketball with great players, story lines and rivalries.