The WNBA released its first round of WNBA All-Star returns on Thursday. We have good news, bad news, and ugly news:
The Good News
Elena Delle Donne leads all Eastern Conference frontcourt players in All-Star voting with 19,280. She is well ahead of Liberty post Tina Charles (12,055) and Sun post Jonquel Jones (10,585). Considering that Delle Donne is one of the WNBA’s biggest stars and the Mystics’ franchise player, she should be a safe bet to be Washington’s first All-Star Game starter since Chamique Holdsclaw in 2003 — even if fan voting only counts for half of the vote, like the NBA All-Star Game.
The Bad News
No other Mystics player is in position to start the game on votes alone. Kristi Toliver is third in guard voting with 3,498. She could be the leader considering that Dream guard Tiffany Hayes has just 4,288 and leads all guards in the East. That said, even if Toliver leads all Eastern Conference guards in voting, there’s a good chance she may still not start the game considering that her production isn’t on par with some other guards like Sugar Rodgers of the Liberty or Mystics teammate Tayler Hill.
The Ugly News
Those Emma Meesseman votes we put out at the beginning of All-Star voting may not count. Even if they ultimately do, the WNBA removed Meesseman from the Mystics roster because she was suspended for playing in EuroBasket Women.
That sounds messed up. But “suspended” in the WNBA includes more circumstances than players who misbehave, get caught for performance enhancing drugs, or get too many technical fouls. It also includes circumstances when a player decides to play for an international team during the middle of the season.
So yes, Meesseman was suspended for balling out in EuroBasket, because that’s what the WNBA rules call it. She wasn’t the only WNBA player in the tournament of course. Epiphanny Prince, Alex Bentley, Kia Vaughn, Sancho Lyttle, and Courtney Vandersloot also suffered the same fate. During the tournament, they were taken off the team rosters, and the WNBA didn’t promote them in All-Star campaigns. That is messed up to say the least.