WASHINGTON - Mystics guard Natasha Cloud had been thinking about the statement she wanted to make when her team beat the Las Vegas Aces from the moment a feed came back to the locker room after Washington’s Game 3 loss.
Aces center Liz Cambage, who had dominated the Mystics in the paint in that loss, advised Washington’s small forwards to “get in the weight room.”
“For us it was just adding fuel to the fire,” Cloud said on Saturday, as her team prepared to take on Connecticut in the WNBA Finals. “We understood Vegas was going to come out and that their game – they were in desperation mode. We didn’t take care of us business [that night] but we were still the better team, we were up 2-1, so I said to everyone that when we win I’m going to do push-ups on the floor.”
The Mystics came back to win Game 4 to advance to the Finals – which start on Sunday at 3 p.m. And as the team was celebrating a second straight trip to the Finals in Vegas, Cloud had perhaps the best answer possible to Cambage’s remarks.
She went to the center of the court, surrounded by her teammates, and did push-ups. It went viral on social media. So how does one train to do push-ups that make such a statement?
“It really just starts with your mindset,” Cloud said. “You need to get in the weight room first and foremost. Petty push-ups, it just really comes with a lot of trash talk and your ability to get your mindset.
“And add the clap. They didn’t get the clap, but I did the clap in there too.”
Cloud isn’t the only player on the floor in the Finals to have a viral social media moment lately. Connecticut guard Rachel Banham has become a Twitter sensation for her new tradition of photobombing the game’s officials in pregame.
It starts with the officials taking their game photo and looking later to find Banham in the background posing.
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) September 20, 2019
“I’m just a goofy person and there’s really no method to the madness,” she said. “I just post up behind and whatever comes to my mind I just start hitting it.
"Lately, I’ve been turning to google [for] poses because I’ve started to run out of some or I’ve asked fans for ideas because that’s helped me some.”
Officials, she said, didn’t know for most of the season. It took until a game before the playoffs for a referee to notice. Her teammates also help tell her what pose will go over well.
“Laying on the floor will always get [a good reaction],” she said. “Because it’s like, what are you doing laying on the floor during warm-ups?”
As for what she has planned for the Finals, Banham said she is still brainstorming ideas with teammates.
“I’m trying to take it to the next level,” she said.
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