Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard criticized the lack of spectators at the Crypto.com stadium in Los Angeles for Griner’s first WNBA game following her 10-month imprisonment in a Russian jail in a press conference following her team’s 94-71 loss to the L.A. Sparks.
Nygaard urged L.A. to move forward. “We didn’t fill the arena to capacity for BG? To be completely honest, I had high hopes. Although loud, it was fantastic. So how did it avoid being a sellout? How did it avoid being a sellout?
The game on Friday drew an estimated 10,396 spectators, or about half the arena’s capacity. During the pregame ceremonies, Griner received a standing ovation from those in attendance as a video homage to the Phoenix Mercury star aired on the big screen.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who visited both teams before the game, was one of the spectators. Griner praised the vice president’s visit, saying, “It was amazing.” “It was good to be able to chat to her, thank her for everything, and see her face to face. When she entered, the group also had a great time.
Griner recorded some impressive figures in her first game back, including 18 points, six rebounds, and four blocks, despite the fact that her team did lose by a large margin.
Do you think Griner’s coach has a point about the lack of support showing for their basketball star, or do you reckon this tactic could backfire and make things worse? Let’s chat!