July 22, 2010 --Somebody walked into our office last week and asked if rookie extraordinaire Tina Charles had a nickname. After racking our brains for a bit and doing a quick Google search we came to the conclusion that she did not. Well, at least she didn't have one that was widely known or used.
That led to an inevitable brainstorming session about potential nicknames for Charles. I've never been a huge fan of forcing nicknames on athletes just for the sake of giving them nicknames -- I think it works better to let it happen organically -- but she kind of needs one because you can't just call her Tina since there's a WNBA legend still playing that has earned the right to be called that before anyone.
The initial idea thrown out there by a co-worker was "Tina the Glass Cleana" since rebounding seems to be her strongest asset, as she currently leads the entire WNBA with 12.0 per game. A couple people followed with "Charles in Charge," but we decided that was ultimately better used as a story headline rather than a nickname. Both nicknames were also discouraged because they are both longer than Charles' actual name.
My strongest contribution? "Sun Block." That was followed up with "SPF 31" since that's the number she wears. While Charles isn't exactly in Sylvia Fowles territory, she is still one of the better shot-blockers in the game and one of the top defenders, so these have potential.
"T-Money" and "T-Pain" were also introduced, but, yeah, they lack a little creativity.
We'd like to get your feedback on the best idea for a nickname among the subpar efforts we came up with, so please vote in the poll if you have a second.
Skinny:"Tina the Glass Cleana" turned in one of her weaker efforts on the boards Tuesday in the Sun's overtime loss at home to East rival New York. She collected just six rebounds in 33 minutes of action, which was tied for the third-highest total on the team (Kelsey Griffin had 9, Sandrine Gruda 7, Asjha Jones 6). It marked the second single-digit rebounding effort in her last three games. Charles will have to get used to the fact that teams are going to make it a priority to keep her off the boards and maybe draw her out of the paint to limit the areas in which she is most effective. Oh, "SPF 31" also had no rejections in the game. Previous ranking: 1
Skinny: While the Sky continued to play great ball this past week, extending their winning streak to three games to reach .500 on the year, it was a so-so week for Prince. The Rutgers product did contribute 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the team's win over the Sparks on Friday, but she went scoreless on five field-goal attempts in Chicago's victory over Washington Sunday. Despite the donut Prince is still third among all rookies in scoring with a 9.0 ppg average, behind only Charles and Minnesota's Monica Wright. Previous ranking: 2
Skinny: Orville Redenbacher of popcorn fame lived by the motto, "Do one thing and do it better than anyone." Griffin seems to be applying that credo to her game as well, as she is becoming not only one of the best rebounders on her team (oh yeah, "Tina the Glass Cleana" is her teammate), but in the league. Despite having started only six games this season and averaging only 19.0 minutes per contest, Griffin is 27th in the entire WNBA in rebounding. And if her 8.0 rpg average over her last three games is any indication, she'll be climbing the ranks in the coming weeks Previous ranking: 3
Skinny: Greene makes the biggest leap of the week, coming from the Honorable Mention group to No. 4, despite an egregious error in the Liberty's game in Connecticut Tuesday. In the final seconds and with her team up four, Greene fouled Connecticut's Renee Montgomery by inexplicably reaching in when she went up for a three-point attempt. Montgomery went to the line and sank all three free throws, then a few seconds later was draining an off-balance trey to send the contest into overtime. New York still managed to win the game, thanks in large part to the play of the ever-clutch Cappie Pondexter, but Greene's gaffe could have cost the Liberty a crucial win. Previous ranking: NR
Skinny: Monica, you are really testing our patience here. We are still waiting for your shooting numbers to level out a bit, but there has been little improvement in that area over the course of the season. Take this past week for example. In the only game the Lynx played over the past seven days you made just one field goal in nine tries, dropping your season field-goal percentage to .304. It should be noted, however, that in that same game -- a two-point defeat to first-place Seattle -- you attempted six free throws, which shows you are being aggressive, which we like. Previous ranking: 5
Sylvia Fowles ended up with 27 points on an impressive 12-14 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals to help the Chicago Sky tie the Eastern Conference Finals at 1 game apiece versus the Indiana Fever.