Moore Takes Home MVP Trophy … Again

By Brady Klopfer

Some things don’t change.

Entering Saturday’s contest, Maya Moore had won the previous two WNBA All-Star Game MVP trophies. Now, with the game finally located in Minnesota, it seemed too good to be true. She couldn’t do it again, could she?

She could.

In front of a raucous crowd, Moore made it a three-peat. Team Parker beat Team Della Donne 119-112, and when the final buzzer sounded, Moore finally got to hoist the trophy in front of her home fans.

It was a vintage Moore performance, and one that highlighted a flawless philosophy towards the All-Star Game. Moore wasn’t chucking shots, trying to max out her scoring output. She wasn’t overtly playing for the MVP trophy. She got her teammates involved, had fun putting on a show, and when the game started to get competitive in the second half, quietly went to work.

When all was said and done, she finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. It was the kind of well-rounded performance that Moore has built her career on. And it was the style of impact - quietly wait in the shadows, playing quality basketball, waiting for the moment to flex and take over - that has made her one of the most captivating and influential players in WNBA history.

 

There were other options for the award. Skylar Diggins-Smith was arguably Team Parker’s best player, scoring 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting, with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. But it was the way Moore controlled the game and the atmosphere, while serving as an ambassador for the event, the sport, and the league, that earned her the trophy. Down the stretch, it felt like her game. She was often the one feeding Diggins-Smith, yet she was always there, ready to take over the game when her teammates called upon her.

It’s what makes her so special.

Moore’s legacy is cemented, yet it continues to grow. She’s still in her prime, and already has five All-Star selections, five All-WNBA selections, four championships, and both a regular season and a Finals MVP to her name. And while the All-Star Game is something of an exhibition, and Moore’s trophy case is overflowing with MVP awards from the summer game, you have to think that this one, in front of her fervent and faithful Lynx crowd, has to be incredibly special.