The Chicago Sky tipped off their 10th season in the WNBA as a franchise, playing host to the Indiana Fever. Elena Delle Donne scored 31 points and the Sky beat the Fever 95-72 to win their fourth consecutive WNBA opener. However, there was a large centerpiece to the puzzle that was missing in the opener.
The two-time WNBA All-Star center Sylvia Fowles skipped media day and practice leading up to the opener, holding to her stance not to play until she’s traded to another team. Coach and general manager Pokey Chatman seemed resigned to the likelihood that Fowles will miss practice and possibly sit out the season rather than play for the Sky, and said she’s ready to move on without her.
“Her absence says that she’s exercising an option in professional sports and we have to deal with it, and part of dealing with it is just moving forward,” Chatman said.
The Sky raised their Eastern Conference championship banner prior to the tip; last season they played in their first WNBA Finals and were swept by the Phoenix Mercury.
Delle Donne was 11 of 20 from the field, 9 of 10 from the free throw line, and had eight rebounds, four blocks and three steals.
The Fever shot just 26 of 66 from the field (39.4 percent). They hit 7 of 20 3-pointers, but committed 20 turnovers.