It is a fine thing to win. Ask anybody who plays for or roots for the New York Giants. Or ask anybody who bet on them.
How fine a thing it is to become so accustomed to winning that losing begins to feel impossible is another matter. It might sound like a hypothetical question with respect to anybody but Maya Moore.
Maya Moore played basketball for the University of Connecticut from 2007 until 2011, which means that she won. In fact, her teams won two national championships. During those two seasons they didn’t lose a game.
Upon graduation, Ms. Moore was the first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Lynx. In order to make sure she would feel entirely comfortable with her new club, Minnesota won the WNBA championship.
The WNBA playoff run overlapped training for the women’s pro basketball season in Spain, but that did not dissuade Ros Casares of Valencia from offering Maya Moore the opportunity to play forward for them.
“Show up when you can,” they said.
And she did. Based on Moore’s comments published Monday, she seems to be having a lovely time. She counts among her teammates players from Australia, Belgium, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, as well as from Spain. She has learned to shout “screen” in Spanish.
“Bloqueo!” she shouts, and the players from Australia, Belgium, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, as well as Spain, understand. Thoroughly. Because the last time I looked, Ros Casares was 17-0. This suggests that there is every chance they will win a championship.
This summer in London, the U.S. Women’s Basketball Team – featuring, almost certainly, Maya Moore – will likely win a gold medal, which is Olympic-speak for a championship.
I suppose it’s possible that Maya Moore has become so good at basketball that no team for which she plays can lose. This cannot be said of Eli Manning or Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. It cannot be said of Wilt Chamberlin. It cannot be said of Bill Russell…(well, actually, yeah, it can). But it cannot be said of Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr, and it cannot be said of Roger Federer or either of the tennis-playing Williams sisters.
But in the early days of 2012, it can be said of Maya Moore, so I thought somebody better say it.