Chelsea Gray is the heir apparent to the WNBA’s point guard legends

the w is it.0 - Chelsea Gray is the heir apparent to the WNBA’s point guard legends

She’s on her way to being the sport’s next point guard legend. Plus, several other cool things you may have missed.

Welcome to The W Is It, a weekly column about all the stuff that freakin’ rules in the WNBA. Have any tips of topics to cover? Find me @mellentuck on Twitter.

On June 2, an exhausted Los Angeles Sparks team flew across the country to New York without an injured Candace Parker for an 11 a.m. east coast time game against the Liberty. L.A. was also down center Maria Vadeeva, who scored 24 points in the season opener before returning to Russia for EuroBasket commitments, and back-to-back reigning Defensive Player of the Year Alana Beard. That combination created a recipe for disaster … until they still won, 78-73.

That happened because Chelsea Gray is the best active point guard in the world, and her touch only gets smoother when the pressure is dialed to the max.

Settle down, I said “active.” She’s no Sue Bird or Diana Taurasi yet, both of whom are sidelined for weeks to come. But it’s time to look at the 2014 No. 11 pick who came back from two major knee injuries as the successor to those two Point Gods.

@Candace_Parker

Without a doubt @cgray209 had the Play of the Game yesterday #GoSparks #LeadTheCharge pic.twitter.com/VgEOvWD2vq

— Los Angeles Sparks (@LA_Sparks) June 9, 2019

There are levels to Gray’s command over the floor. At 5’11, she is far from the tallest, but she’s strong enough to defend those who tower over her. She’s nimble too, which is how she’s become one of the league leaders in steals.

On the offensive end, she’s a wrecking ball of controlled dominance. She bounces off defenders, lets threes fly with a one-handed follow through, and flips passes behind her head.

Above all else, she’s one of the game’s best and most consistent closers. Lynx fans remember her well from Game 1 of the 2017 Finals, when she swished home the game-winner in Minnesota. The Sparks went on to win that series in five games. They also remember her from the season opener in 2018, when she drove to the cup and flipped in a left-handed layup at the buzzer to slay the Lynx again.

Gray has reinforcements coming when Parker, Vadeeva, and Beard come back, but she’s used the beginning of this season to show that she’s her own star ready to lead a winning team.

The W has plenty of other great point guards, like Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot, Connecticut’s Courtney Williams, and Las Vegas’ Kelsey Plum. But Gray has become the standout next-best after Taurasi and Bird. She’s the future of the position, and the absences of Parker and Vadeeva are only allowing us to see it sooner.

@Teaira_15) calls GAME in her #WNBA debut for the @IndianaFever! pic.twitter.com/umebU3eNUg

— WNBA (@WNBA) May 25, 2019

The biggest critique against the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft was that she couldn’t score well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kalani Brown bringing light to WNBA walk-ins deserves a round of applause

We stan this!

Seimone Augustus has worn her OWN jerseys to three games so far

The Lynx legend is sitting out after undergoing a knee scope, but the fits are still READY.

Here she is walking in in her rookie jersey:

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2006 Vibe for the season opener. Catch the game on CBS Sports 7pm CT.

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Then her college jersey:

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Back Down Memory Lane: 2002-2006 LSU Lady Tigers : @michelleblexrud

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And then her own high school jersey:

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What’s The Sound When You Want To Get Loose…. CHS C/O “02” @david_sherman

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Incredible.

Brittney Sykes signing autographs for this kid rules

The best type of crying.

WNBA Stan of the Week – Donovan Mitchell

Former Louisville Cardinal and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell showed up to a New York Liberty game with two phones and his sister to watch his friend and college basketball co-star, Asia Durr, in action.

Louisville really had these two at the same damn time. Sheesh.

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Who woulda thought

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This week’s Wrigley Delle Donne update

Elena Delle Donne’s biggest dog, Wrigley, is doing just fine after recovering from ACL surgery. As of June 1, he was wearing a cone on his head but it’s just temporary. She promised she’d let him know I asked about him.

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I fought da no dogs on da cowch fing was temporary.

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