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WNBA players, coaches share grievances with awards voting

"They should let players and coaches vote on these awards," Courtney Williams said Friday. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud had a bone to pick with the WNBA defensive award selections, and she set off a chain reaction of grievances from coaches and players across the league.

Cloud took exception to WNBA awards voting after being shut out for the Defensive Player of the Year award and the all-defensive team selections.

“Voting for this league is a joke,” Cloud wrote on social media in a now-deleted post, before alluding to awards voting boiling down to politics in another post.

Mystics head coach Eric Thibault also weighed in, calling Cloud’s absence “hard to understand.”

“Removing positions for the All-Defense teams is mostly to blame,” he wrote. “Stats are how people largely vote on/explain these awards, and that means steals, blocks, and rebounds. Two of those three immediately skew towards bigs.

Los Angeles Sparks guard Lexie Brown had a similar thought, asking on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: “What do guards need to do more to be considered elite defenders?”

Chicago Sky guard Courtney Williams proposed a change to the voting pool. A national panel of 60 sportswriters and broadcasters voted on the Defensive Player of the Year award and the all-defensive teams, but Williams would prefer voters from within the league itself.

“Yeah they should let players and coaches vote on these awards,” Williams wrote on X. “It’s just different having to scout and play against it night in and night out.”

After the kerfuffle over the defensive awards, Chicago Sky forward Isabelle Harrison looked forward to the announcement of the 2023 WNBA MVP, which is set for Tuesday. Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas, New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart and Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson are the front-runners for the award.

“Before MVP is announced, trust me when I say, if (Alyssa Thomas) doesn’t win IMO, the credibility of this award tremendously drops,” she wrote on X. “Obviously no disrespect to others considered for it but plz plz plzzzz respect the year she’s having.”