- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2008

Women fight, too. At least the ones in the WNBA do.

They received encouragement from Rick Mahorn, one of the aging “Bad Boys” who sits on the bench of the Shock next to Bill Laimbeer, perhaps the most annoying NBA player of the last generation.

Mahorn, as peacemaker, shoved Lisa Leslie in an attempt to restore order, which is an unusual way to bring calm to a volatile situation that started after Plenette Pierson and Candace Parker became entangled while jostling for rebound position.

The benches soon cleared, and the WNBA soon was attracting national attention.

The benefit is that a larger segment of the sports public now knows there is a professional women’s basketball league.

Not that the WNBA necessarily covets that kind of publicity unless you believe in the tenet that all publicity is good publicity.

Guys dig chick fights, just like women dig the steroid-fueled long ball.

Once the deportment czar of the WNBA was finished handing out the suspensions, the Detroit team was down to Nancy Lieberman, who is the Minnie Minoso of women’s basketball.

She comes out of retirement once a decade to show that female athletes of a certain age are able to move at the speed of slow and slower.

She claims to be 50 years old and, to her credit, does not look one day older than it.

She played nine scoreless minutes in the Shock’s loss to the Comets last week and was able to come out of it without having a cardiac event.

That made it “historic,” as Lieberman put it.

And it changed the focus from women having a pillow fight to an AARP-eligible woman competing at the highest level of women’s basketball and pretending it was legitimate.

The suspension-decimated Shock needed bodies, and Lieberman’s apparently was one of the few available out of a nation of 300 million, not counting the rest of the world.

“In a crazy way, the timing is good,” Lieberman said. “Bill never looked at this like a circus or an opportunity for a novelty.”

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