Griner named Western Conference Player of the Week.


Written by: B. Keith Crear III | SFL Photo-Journalist

Brittney Griner, the 2014 WNBA Champion, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and two-time WNBA scoring leader, takes home the Western Conference Player of the Week award, the league office announced today. For Griner, the honor is the ninth of her career, second-most among Mercury players (Diana Taurasi, 20).

After scoring 27 points in each of the two games last week and recording a double-double in both, Griner receives the award for her outstanding performance over the course of the week. The 6-foot-9 center averaged 27.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 3.0 assists per game, while shooting an impressive 75.0 percent (24-of-32) from the field.

In the Mercury's game against Las Vegas on May 26, Griner had 27 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. For the ninth time in her career, she had 25+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 3+ blocks, which ties her for third most all-time in WNBA history, behind only Lisa Leslie (12) and Candace Parker (11). Her 28-point effort against the Aces was followed up by season-high returns in rebounds (16) and assists (4) as the team beat the Wings in Dallas on May 29. She grabbed 16 rebounds, two short of her career high and the most since August 17, 2018 against Atlanta when she grabbed 18.

This award is well deserved after Brittany's return to the Mercury announcement via the team's TikTok page had some vile and nasty comments. What was supposed to be an exciting, fun and amped up post, turned horrible and demeaning. 

Via the team's Twitter page, they stated, "That’s why our athletes continue their work as activists and to bring visibility to marginalized groups.The work continues. We won’t be bullied, intimidated or deterred." But as my grandma would say in regards to haters and doubters, "Show em better than you can tell em", proved to be the best response. 

Griner's big performance in Dallas included her 13th career regular season dunk, her first shot after August 10, 2019, and the 19th dunk she's downed in the WNBA (one playoff shot and five all-star games). Over the last 25 years, just three WNBA players have combined to dunk during regular season play.

This season, Griner is just outside the top-10 in scoring (17.8 ppg), fourth in field goal percentage (55.6), third in rebounding (9.7 rpg), and tied with teammate Brianna Turner in blocks per game (2.7). As a result, she has racked up four double-doubles in the team's first six games, the most she's had in the first six games of a season, including two in a row. 

Image Credit: Lorie Shaull, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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