BY SPNW Staff 02:59PM 02/12/2014

Storm’s Jackson will miss 2014 WNBA season

Seattle Storm center Lauren Jackson Monday underwent emergency surgery to repair a torn meniscus in her right knee as well as her left Achilles tendon. Jackson, 32, will sit out the 2014 season, according to a statement released Wednesday by the team. It will be the second season in a row Jackson has missed because of injuries.

Jackson didn’t play in 2013 following surgery to fix a chronic hamstring injury after playing for the Australian national team in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Her latest setback came while playing for Heilonghjiang, a pro team in China’s Harbin province. The soonest Jackson can resume her career WNBA will be 2015, though she plans join Australia’s national team in late September for the world championships in Turkey. Her rehab program is estimated to take four months.

“I’m so sad that I can’t play this year in Seattle,” Jackson said. “This injury took me by surprise and I’m just coming to grips with the severity of it. I want to finish my career in Seattle and I’m going to be as healthy as possible to do that.”

Jackson, a three-time MVP and seven-time All-Star, helped lead the Storm to titles in 2004 and 2010, but her last three seasons were marred by injuries. Storm coach and general manager Brian Agler said the team will move on without her in the short term.

“We all want Lauren healthy and to compete again for the Storm,” Agler said. “Until then, we will move forward, prepare for the 2014 season and work to put the Storm in position to compete for a championship.”


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    Lauren played 13 games for the Storm in 2011, 9 in 2012, none last year and will miss this year. Understandbly her National Team committments come first however she’s still playing in Europe. If that’s the case it might be time to let her go. If the Storm are still on the hook for her salary and it counts against the team then might as well hang onto her but if not it’s time to move on.

  • poulsbogary

    Yes Jafabian. It happens every season. Storm player personnel come back from Europe, Russia, Australia leagues damaged, hindered, banged up. They regard the league here in America as second rate. It is a major slight to treat the fans here in that manner. It is disresepctful to the fans here to show up as damaged goods unready to play. Everyone around here complains that their 2 championships rate equal to the superbowl and it is just laughable.
    It is time that Sorm players begin to take THIS league seriously, or ther won’t be a league much longer.

  • woodman

    poulsbogary, I think they want to play here (and take it seriously) but the league can’t pay them very much, so they go play in Europe or Asia in the off-season to make some decent money. Kinda sucks, but that’s the reality of the WNBA.

    • jafabian

      It’s a 3-4 month season. For the league to offer bigger salaries they’d need to make the season longer and they don’t want to compete against the NBA.

  • RadioGuy

    When it comes to women’s pro basketball, the money is overseas. Competitively, the WNBA is the best league in the world, but the team salary cap of under $1 million (with a max $100K per player) makes it a sacrifice of sorts for its players. LJ makes a lot more money playing a shorter schedule in front of smaller crowds in Australia, which makes me wonder what the WNBA teams are doing with greater revenues from higher attendance and higher ticket prices when they’re paying so much LESS money to players.

    The WNBA’s contract with ESPN includes about $1 million per team a year, which means the Storm player payroll is accounted for before they sell a ticket for at least $16 (and that’s prorated for season tickets). If every one of the average 7,000 people at Storm home games paid just $16 to sit in the nosebleeds, that’s another $2 million. The contract with Microsoft to put Bing on the jerseys is worth over $1 million annually and the team is in the middle of a ten-year sweetheart lease at KeyArena.

    I like the Storm, but I’ve heard this franchise is losing money and it totally escapes me as to how that is happening when their revenue stream is at least four times what they’re paying their players for a 34-game season over three months. What are they spending that money on?