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How the new WNBA collective bargaining agreement could affect Wizards, coach Kristi Toliver

How the new WNBA collective bargaining agreement could affect Wizards, coach Kristi Toliver

An archaic WNBA rule that brought the league scrutiny, and roped in the Washington Wizards, one year ago is now set to change thanks to a proposed new collective bargaining agreement. 

Kristi Toliver, a star guard for the WNBA's Washington Mystics, is also an assistant coach for the NBA's Wizards. But she isn't able to be compensated properly for her second job thanks to a league bylaw that stipulates WNBA teams are only allowed to pay players up to $50,000 for offseason work. 

Some of that money had been set aside for teammate Elena Delle Donne last summer and $50,000 is well below what many NBA assistants make. But, according to the New York Times, the league is aiming to change that rule in part to encourage the development of future coaches across the sport. 

The rule became national news just over a year ago thanks to a New York Times report that highlighted Toliver's situation with the Wizards. Ted Leonsis, who owns both the Mystics and Wizards, tweeted about the story at the time, suggesting he wished Toliver could be paid more.

"The league rules and collective bargaining agreements never contemplated having a WNBA player also working as an NBA coach. We’re glad to be the first and the rules need to change. Kristi is a critical member of our family at Monumental Sports," he wrote.

Toliver is now in her second season on the Wizards' bench. She also helped lead the Mystics to their first WNBA title in the summer of 2019.

She has been a key figure for two Washington basketball teams. Now, as long as the league ratifies the CBA, she will finally get paid what she's worth.

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On this date in tournament history: Chris Webber calls timeout

On this date in tournament history: Chris Webber calls timeout

The Michigan Wolverines were down two points to the North Carolina Tar Heels with 19 seconds to play in regulation in the second half of the 1993 NCAA National Championship game.

After grabbing the rebound off the missed free throw attempt, Michigan star Chris Webber (23 points, 11 rebounds) established his pivot foot, re-angling his body towards the basket, locked in a one-possession game with the championship on the line. 

Webber attempted to dish the ball off to a teammate, but after seeing a lurking Tar Heel, the future No. 1 pick continued his dribble towards halfcourt. 

The travel call was missed by the officiating staff, but not by the broadcast crew.

"Oh, he walked," Bill Packer exclaimed on the broadcast. "He walked and the referee missed it!"

CBS announcer Jim Nance continued on with the gameplay, as only 12 seconds remained on the clock in regulation.

"Webber brings it into the frontcourt," Nantz said. "They have no timeouts remaining."

If only someone had told him.

Webber, trapped in the left corner by a UNC double-team, signaled for time, resulting in a technical foul shot for the Tar Heels as well as possession.

"He called a timeout," Nantz said. "Michigan doesn't have any!"

At the opposing foul line, UNC's Donald Williams (25 points) knocked down both free throws, increasing their lead to four points with 11 seconds remaining. 

From there it was all over.

North Carolina 77, Michigan 71.

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On this date in tournament history: Emeka Okafor leads UConn over Georgia Tech to win national championship

On this date in tournament history: Emeka Okafor leads UConn over Georgia Tech to win national championship

Before he departed on a very successful NBA career, former Wizards center Emeka Okafor was a standout member of the UConn Huskies.

In 2004 the Huskies went on to win their final nine games of the season before they captured the Big East championship.

After making their way through the NCAA Tournament bracket, the only team standing in coach Jim Calhoun's way were the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, lead by future Wizards guard Will Bynum (17 points, five assists).

Georgia Tech didn't back down early, taking a 12-11 lead over the Huskies with 13:41 to go in the first half. 

Okafor (24 points, 15 rebounds) scored to give UConn the lead right back, and they never trailed again.

At halftime, the Huskies lead the Yellow Jackets by a staggering 15 points and they kept their foot on the gas to start the second half.

The Huskies were able to extend their lead to 25 during the second half before Bynum at Georgia Tech came roaring back, but by then, the game was out of reach.

UConn emerged with an 82-73 victory over the Yellow Jackets, led by Okafor and future NBA journeyman Ben Gordon (21 points).

Okafor was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

UConn's women's basketball team would go on to win its national championship a day later against the Tennessee Volunteers.

Connecticut became the first school ever in Division I to win NCAA titles in men's and women's basketball in the same season. 

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