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Renee Brown recalls getting her job with the new WNBA in 1996 and almost immediately hopping on a plane for Europe to sign up players for the leagues 1997 launch. Youth Brazil Jerseys . She has some funny stories of tracking down people in those olden days before everyone was constantly accessible by cell phone.Brown, the leagues chief of basketball operations and player relations, knows the history of the WNBA because she lived at the epicenter of it. Now, after 20 years, Brown is leaving the league, and its important to both applaud her contributions and also think about what qualities the WNBA should look for in her replacement.The timing is perfect for me, Brown said Tuesday in regard to ending her tenure after the WNBAs 20th anniversary season. She started as director of player personnel, and then her duties expanded. In 2005, the title of chief of basketball operations was added. Brown also has had a longtime association with USA Basketball, including as a coach with the 1996 Olympic team.As congenial as she is, Brown doesnt often share much in-depth with the media. When asked Tuesday some of the bigger challenges she has faced in her time with the WNBA, Brown didnt offer any insight.Nothing, really, she said. Its all been so enjoyable for me to go to games, watch players get drafted, be a part of USA Basketball. Running camps and clinics for young people. Ive been very, very blessed.Brown also didnt give specifics on what she planned to do next. She said she wanted to stay involved in womens sports and womens empowerment, and would leave her options open. For now, though, she said her entire focus is on the on-going WNBA playoffs.This is all understandable; Brown doesnt want to talk about anything that might detract from whats happening on court. But this year has been one of transition for the WNBAs leadership: Lisa Borders became president in February, and former Phoenix Suns/Mercury executive Jay Parry was named senior vice president/chief operating officer in April. Now a new person will be taking over Browns high-ranking spot.Brown said she will help in the search for her replacement. As for what qualities are most needed, Brown said it depends on how the job will be defined going forward.Ill have to take Lisas lead in regard to what does she want in this role, Brown said. But I think the main part of it is theyve got to be passionate about wanting to help improve and continue the success of our league.Again, this is vague. But to some degree the WNBAs upper management always has had an element of vague to it. If you ask around the WNBA teams, youll find that communication between the league office and each franchise isnt always clear, or even frequent enough. Brown has worked many years at trying to fill in those gaps, but she also has had to wear multiple hats.The areas that Brown oversaw are things that, in the NBA, might be split among a few different people. Of course, the NBA is a much bigger industry, with 30 teams as opposed to 12. Its doubtful that the WNBA front office will be expanding soon, so knowing how much there is to do in Browns job impacts the kind of candidates the WNBA should interview.It has to be someone who works very well and is trusted by Borders, but who also develops a strong relationship with each of the 12 franchises. And be someone whom the players, their union, and their agents feel they can talk to as well.Yeah, thats a lot to do. Which means a multitasker with great people skills who is also not afraid of confrontation and mediation. It also should be someone who is already familiar with the WNBA and can take the handoff from Brown and hit the ground running. As opposed to spending a year or two just figuring out stuff that everybody whos in or around the WNBA already knows.Brown didnt talk about the challenges, but theyre not a mystery. They include scheduling/travel, balancing the demands of players overseas careers, and dealing with how the franchises are run differently.The latter is true in any professional league; there are always teams that have better ownership and management than others. But there is also a standard that leagues try to enforce with all their teams.The WNBA has some teams that are affiliated with NBA teams, and some that arent. There can be pluses and negatives to both. Teams have different housing/practice facility situations. Some teams have longtime pros in media, community relations and ticket sales, while others have more of a revolving door in those roles.Thats not to suggest theres any magic wand or mandate from above that will easily equalize everything. But Brown surely has had to deal with the specific concerns that each franchise has, and thats a crucial ongoing task for her replacement.Due diligence in hiring for this job would include talking to retired players, including recent retirees such as Tamika Catchings. Also to people like Dan Hughes and Lin Dunn, who had experience in both coaching and in the front office in pro basketball. Get insight from people still in the league and those who have stepped away.Brown was asked about the changes in the WNBA that have happened in her tenure in regard to the product put on the court, which I think is now consistently very good.She pointed to things such as the 8-second back-court violation, the 24-second shot clock, and the reset to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound as all contributing to more possessions, which equals more offense.What shes most proud of from a cultural standpoint is that young female players now have so many women role models to follow.When you ask a player who she wants to be like, Brown said, its great to hear them say someone like Diana Taurasi or Lisa Leslie or Maya Moore. It warms my heart and is very meaningful to me.Brown is from Henderson, Nevada. She played at UNLV, then got into officiating, and then became a coach, starting at the junior high level. When she looks back on how her path led to the WNBA, she feels like it was serendipitous. She recalls getting involved in USA Basketball just by going to a practice in Colorado Springs run by current Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, and waiting to talk with her.Ive been fortunate that every step along the way has been a step of growth and opportunity, Brown said. So much of my career came from people recognizing my love of the game.That love has been a guiding force in the WNBA. As the league starts its next chapter, it needs someone with the same commitment to keep building on what Brown has done. Wholesale Brazil Jerseys . But what about the officials? Every sport has officials and they also have stories about hard work and sacrifice but their accomplishments are seldom recognized by anyone outside their inner circle. Brazil Jerseys From China . General manager Jarmo Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch on Friday that he wants to see Gaboriks contributions go beyond the scoresheet before considering a long-term deal for the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. . If ever they start actually putting pictures beside words in the dictionary, the Blue Jays left-handers mug will appear beside “Consistency. Lets talk about batting. Pakistans batting. Its been talked about before - many times - but when your batsmen help you to No. 1 in Test cricket and drive you to the bottom in other formats, it needs to be discussed again. Not just discussed, it needs to be understood and addressed because the disparity is too great.First, we need to understand what modern batting is. And for this we might turn to Graham Thorpe, the ECBs lead batting coach. Before the first Pakistan Test this summer, I hosted an event with him at Histon Cricket Club near Cambridge. He talked about his career, and he spoke mostly about batting.When he spoke about batting method, he didnt speak about his batting method, which was gritty and pragmatic. He spoke about modern batting and future batting and what is required. He spoke about 360-degree run-scoring and fast hands. He spoke about generating momentum into a shot.He spoke about unorthodox batting, or what we think is unorthodox batting, but will be normal batting in the future even if we think it is unorthodox now. He spoke about how England are embracing modern batting. He spoke about the sophistication in identifying future batting talents and the effort to make them, and the complexity in adapting coaching and mentoring to an individuals needs.You dont need to take Thorpes word for it, though perhaps you should because making batsmen is his job and England are doing rather well because of it. England might not yet be the best in any format, but theyre impressive across them all - and there are any number of batsmen waiting to take the place of those who might fail in international cricket.You need to look at whats happening in youth cricket in England, in youth county cricket, and in county academies. The system has its faults but they are making batsmen, batsmen who live Thorpes vision, and they are making them from a young age.The modern batsman isnt made when he has won a professional contract or when he has become an international cricketer. The modern batsman is made from a young age, with effort and time and investment and repetition and muscle memory. England are making better and better batsmen despite recreational participation in cricket dropping year on year.It wasnt so long ago - less than 20 years - that England were bottom of the Test rankings. In August 1999, after losing a home series to New Zealand, England were the worst Test team in the world.Even more recently England were off the pace in limited-overs cricket. All that has changed. Change has taken planning and structure and commitment and facilities and, importantly, an eye for talent.Pakistan arent making batsmen. Pakistan are making a mess of batting. That isnt itself new. Pakistan have always made a mess of batting to some degree. Just as Indians have peered over the border with envious eyes at Pakistans pace bowlers, Pakistanis have done the same, looking at Indias batsmen.India has a batting culture and it continues to inspire. Pakistan has a batting culture too, but you wouldnt know it. Indeed there was a time when, despite the stylists over the border, youd judge Pakistans batting to be stronger.Thats a long time ago. Pakistan now makes hard work of batting for the simple reason that they arent putting in the hard work. Making a batsman requires talent, yes, but it also requires effort, time, investment, and muscle memory. Consistent hitting and shot execution require a honed technique, mental bravery, and impeccable preparation.On matters of effort Pakistan cricket falls short. When the game changed at the end of the 1990s, Pakistan failed to change with it. The talent pool didnt change. If anything, in desperate times cricket became more central to the nations self-worth. But the performance of the batsmen continued to decline.I say again, the talent pool doesnt change. From the 1970s to the 1990s, Pakistan produced world-class batsmen capable of excelling in both formats. Zaheer Abbas, Majid Khan, Javed Miandad, Salim Malik, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar, Mohammad Yousuf. Not too many, just enough. Even Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq are really from that era.You see the problem. Nobody of genuine substance, of world-class standing, has emerged for a decade or more. If the talent pool remains stable, then how can that be? The answer is that the game has changed. Batting has changed. And Pakistans preparation of batsmen hasnt changed with it. When hard work was required, it wasntt done or prioritised. Cheap Brazil Soccer Jerseys. The cricket board didnt realise or care. Pakistan still thought that talent was enough.Pakistan got away with it for too long thanks to their bowlers. Despite a broken infrastructure and inadequate domestic cricket, Pakistan continues to produce world-class pacemen and spinners.Why is that? Well, a bowler can be made later, once his physique is established. A bowler can be developed with less support than a batsman. The luckiest bowlers boast a natural athleticism and dont need a bowling machine or someone willing to wield a sidearm to sharpen their skills. Yes, bowling requires high skill and fitness, but the fact that you havent prepared since you were 12 years old or younger wont harm you as much as it will in modern batting.Pakistans decline in batting, then, was covered up by the bowlers. Until recently, that is, when two regulatory changes made Pakistans bowling less effective in limited-overs cricket. First, in 2011, two white balls were introduced in one-day internationals. Now there is less reverse swing to pull back a runaway innings. But Pakistan stumbled on until the ICC clamped down on the actions of mystery spinners. That left Pakistans batting exposed. It left its pace bowlers exposed. It left the emperor with no clothes. Pakistans limited-overs performances fell off a cliff.Pakistan still has good bowlers. The problem isnt as deep as the batting. It doesnt necessarily have good bowling. That can be put right with a modern coach and the quality of bowlers at his disposal.Look no further than the evolution of Pakistans bowling during the limited-overs series against England. During the T20 at Old Trafford, Pakistans bowlers offered something different, something new. They won the match with an exceptional display, a world-class effort.The batting came off too, at Old Trafford and in Cardiff. But there is some way to go before the right people are batting in the right positions and playing the right way. You dont end up ninth in the world for no reason. It has been said before: Pakistans one-day batting is stuck in the 1990s. Its dot-ball cricket in a boundary world.Yet, the end of the England tour offered a vision, the slightest hint, of something better.When Mickey Arthur took charge as coach, he must have wondered at the disparity between Test and one-day performance - but not for long. The problem was obvious. The old virtues and teachings remain relevant to Test cricket, where Younis and Misbah are taking responsibility, leading and inspiring the next generation. Limited-overs cricket is different - and Pakistan havent adapted.But once Younis and Misbah are gone, only Asad Shafiq is established to lead the next generation of Test batsmen. Unless Pakistan acts now, the decline in one-day cricket will be followed by a collapse in Test cricket. The modern batting skills developed for T20 and one-day cricket are diffusing upstream, and will eventually transform Test cricket too.Talent isnt enough, its time for hard work. That hard work isnt just with the national team. It is there but also in academies, in domestic cricket, and on A tours, to prepare the next generation of batsmen. Pakistan crickets greatest bane is its failure in player development. That needs to end or cricket will go the way of squash and hockey.Responsibility for the failure rests squarely with the cricket board. The board creates the infrastructure, organises domestic cricket and academies, and appoints selectors and coaches. The board must act because Arthur can only succeed with its support - and he knows whats required.Cricket is more a batsmans game than it has ever been but Pakistan arent making batsmen. Yet they could. Weve seen it in Test cricket. We saw glimpses towards the end of the limited-overs series. Pakistans batting isnt done yet. It needs hard work, not just talent.An entertaining tour of England is a moment to savour but it isnt a moment to be self-satisfied. Its a moment to reflect and analyse and build for the long term, for Pakistan leave England with an unexpected positivity and ambition, a Test ranking to preserve and a World Cup place to secure.Pakistan are still in the game, fighting. They kill your hope and then they raise it from the depths. The story of Pakistan cricket moves on but the emotions endure. 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