Author JAY COHEN, AP Game Writer

CHICAGO (AP) – Sue Bird and Sylvia Fowles play in the final WNBA All-Star Game. Candace Parker and Kahleah Copper are looking for bragging rights. Some of the biggest players in the league try to shoot 4 points.

And everyone is thinking about one person: Brittney Griner.

Griner continues to be locked up in Russia in front and in the middle while the WNBA participates in the ceremony in Chicago for the first time. Birds and the rest of the All-Stars wore T-shirts with the name Griner and No. 42 to perform on Saturday, and the deal is set to continue to push Griner’s release on Sunday’s game at the home of the Sky defender.

“I think for all of us, we just want the BG name to be at the forefront of everything we do,” Bird said. “Yes, from time to time we answer questions about All-Star and talk about basketball, but you’ll see his name on the back of all our shirts, and as I said, it doesn’t. It’s a real change. We want it to always be there.”

Political Cartoons

Griner, 31, pleaded guilty Thursday to a drug charge that could land him in prison for 10 years. The same day, Bird saw his girlfriend, football star Megan Rapinoe, receive the Presidential Freedom Medal at the White House.

Rapinoe had a BG and a rose sewn on his jacket for the occasion, and Bird wore a “WE ARE BG” pin. opportunity in the moment he can talk to the President to talk about BG, that’s why I know. ”

Griner was first arrested at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow in February, when he returned to play basketball in Russia. Police say they found vape cans containing cannabis oil in his bag. Speaking through an interpreter, Griner told the court on Thursday that he had no intention of prosecuting and that he had acted accidentally because he had filled in the matter promptly. The case was adjourned until Thursday.

Griner’s plea may be an attempt by him and his counselors to expedite court cases.

“Obviously he is part of our family and our No. 1 priority is to get him home,” All-Star guards Arike Ogunbowale said. “It should not exist. He’s been there too long. Then we will obviously talk about him at every opportunity. ”

Griner’s closure comes at a time when relations between the United States and Russia are strained. The State Department, in which Griner was incarcerated, filed a lawsuit against him under the auspices of his special envoy for the detainees, who is also a senior government official.

Biden phoned Griner’s wife, Cherelle, Wednesday to assure him that she was doing everything possible to get Brittney released soon. He spoke to Biden after reading a letter from Brittney Griner in which he said he feared he would not return home.

“We talk about ‘We’re BG’ and what it means to us,” All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith guards said. “Just try to strengthen his spirit, continue his legacy and be as alert to him as we can in trying to bring him home and deliver the message.”

Griner is a respectable starter in his eighth All-Star selection. With No. 13 Birds and 8 Fowles, two WNBA poles ready to retire after this season.

The Birds will play alongside Seattle Storm teammate Breanna Stewart on Team Stewart, while Fowles has teamed up with former teammate Parker and Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson on Team Wilson. Parker and Courtney Vandersloot will take on Copper and Emma Meesseman in the Sky teammates’ competition.

“I really want to beat them,” Copper said. “I’ve been talking trash with Candace all week, so I look forward to winning.”

Brass is one of the WNBA strikers who can look at a 4-point circle – one of the three rules for changing the game. The shooting clock was set to 20 seconds, and no free throw will be tested until the last two minutes with extra time if necessary. Players will be awarded the highest points available in free throw games ahead of time.

WNBA “can make some monsters” with 4 shots, Diggins-Smith broke.

Jay Cohen can be reached at

Other AP games: and

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This may not be published, broadcast, reposted or redistributed.

Source link