Sheryl Swoopes (Image source: YouTube/Gil’s Arena)
WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes gave a sobering dose of reality to basketball fans who believe that LSU superstar Angel Reese will easily take the league by storm.
Swoopes also became a collegiate icon as she scored a then-record 47 points to lead Texas Tech to the championship title in 1993. Swoopes explained that Reese, currently crafting her legendary status at Louisiana State University, will have a steep learning curve as she transitions into the WNBA in 2024.“She would be just another player in the WNBA the first few years,” she said resolutely on the “Gil’s Arena” podcast hosted by former NBA star Gilbert Arenas. Swoopes hastened to add that she is not “hating” on Reese, as some might automatically think, but instead being realistic about what the league is like since Swoopes went through the process already.
“I have no reason to hate,” she said. “Like I told somebody else, I’ve been there, done that. You’re trying to get to where I’ve been. The reason why I say that is because people are fighting for jobs and there aren’t a lot of spaces, not a lot of spots. People are fighting for jobs.”Swoope’s message is substantiated by the fact that one of Reese’s teammates on their 2023 championship team, standout Alexis Morris, was cut by the Connecticut Storm after just one month — despite the fact that Morris was the 22nd pick in the WNBA Draft.
“So Angel Reese coming to the WNBA, it’s not going to be what people think it’s going to be her first couple of years in the W.”
Swoopes believes the major mistake players and fans make is that they underestimate the skill set it takes to make it, and then thrive, in the professional ranks.
“I don’t think people truly understand how good these women are,” Swoopes said. “Like, no you don’t just leave college and come to the W and do what you did in college. These are fully grown a– women who are good, right? And they’re like, ‘Oh oh no, no, no. I can’t wait for you [collegiate stars] to get to the [WNBA] league.’”
There are other examples of players that folks wrongly believed would come in and blow the league back. Swoopes pointed out how Kelsey Plum and Sabrina Ionescu — who were competing in the 2023 WNBA Finals — took several years to find their professional swag.
Source: Rolling Out