CHICAGO SKY BEAT PHOENIX MERCURY IN 2021 CHAMPIONSHIP
A crowd of 10,000 spectators stood on their feet in Wintrust Arena, Chicago on Sunday, October 18. They were singing “We are the Champions” as WNBA team Chicago Sky defeated the Phoenix Mercury, earning its first ever championship title in Game 4 of the Championships.
The WNBA runs their championships in a best of five format. The Sky had won Game 1 and Game 3, before competing in Game 4. After their initial two wins, they only needed one more win to cement their championship. In Game 4, the Sky won 80-74, eliminating a large deficit in the fourth quarter after trailing for much of the game.
The Sky dominated in Game 1, with multiple players scoring in double figures. Kahleah Copper led the Sky with 21 points. Allie Quigley had 18 points, and Candace “Ace” Parker added another 16. In Game 2, the Phoenix Mercury excelled, tying the championship to 1-1. During the game Mercury players like Diana Taurasi, who was recently crowned GOAT (Greatest of All Time), and Brittney Griner, who stands at six foot nine, helped seal the win. However, in Game 3 and 4, the Chicago Sky took back the lead and managed to snatch the title.
Like every fast-paced and thrilling sports game, there was also drama and emotional celebrations. In Game 2 Diana Taurasi was fined $2.5K for “inappropriate contact” with a referee. Taurasi had pushed a referee out of the way in order to get to her teammate who had fallen on the floor. Additionally, after losing out on the title game (4), an emotional and frustrated Taurasi broke the locker room door. The entire Mercury team declined to comment and answer questions from the media after losing game 4. The WNBA has not yet determined whether or not the Mercury team will be fined for this, since speaking to the media is part of the job. In a more positive story, Chicago Sky player Candace Parker, who is Illinois-born, sprinted to greet her family as soon as the final buzzer sounded, bursting into tears of joy. Parker also dedicated her season to Kobe and Gianna Bryant, who passed away last year.
The 2021 basketball season was an exciting and fantastic year for the WNBA. With highlights such as the Commissioner's Cup tournament, the release of the W25 (the top twenty five players of all time) and a dramatic final to end it all, this season was one to remember. We will have to see if it can be topped by the next season, which begins in May 2022.
“10/10/21: Chicago Sky @ Phoenix Mercury.” WNBA.com - Official Site of the WNBA, 17 Oct. 2021, https://www.wnba.com/game/20211010/CHIPHO/#/box-score.
“Candace Parker Dedicates Sky's WNBA Title to Kobe and Gianna Bryant.” Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo!, https://sports.yahoo.com/candace-parker-dedicates-chicago-sky-wnba-finals-title-to-kobe-and-gianna-bryant-005908784.html.
Kalland, Robby. “Diana Taurasi Broke the Door to the Locker Room after Losing Game 4.” UPROXX, UPROXX, 18 Oct. 2021, https://uproxx.com/dimemag/diana-taurasi-phoenix-mercury-broken-door-game-4-loss/.
Metcalfe, Jeff. “Chicago Sky Crush Phoenix Mercury in Game 3 with WNBA Finals-Record Rout.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 16 Oct. 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/wnba/2021/10/15/chicago-sky-crush-phoenix-mercury-wnba-finals-record-rout/8476786002/.
Rutgers University Athletics. “Finals MVP Kahleah Copper Wins WNBA Title with Chicago Sky.” Rutgers University Athletics, Rutgers University Athletics, 18 Oct. 2021, https://scarletknights.com/news/2021/10/17/womens-basketball-finals-mvp-kahleah-copper-wins-wnba-title-with-chicago-sky.aspx.
Voepel, Mechelle. “2021 WNBA Finals - Candace Parker's Legacy Comes Full Circle as She Leads Chicago Sky to First WNBA Championship.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 18 Oct. 2021, https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/32421201/2021-wnba-finals-candace-parker-legacy-comes-full-circle-leads-chicago-sky-first-wnba-championship.
Voepel, Mechelle. “Chicago Rallies Past Phoenix to Win First WNBA Crown; Sky's Kahleah Copper Named MVP.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 17 Oct. 2021, https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/32419158/chicago-rallies-phoenix-win-first-wnba-crown-sky-kahleah-copper-named-mvp.