Angel Reese triumphs in her first showdown with WNBA referees

    The start of Angel Reese‘s WNBA career has had ups and downs. Through eight games, the Chicago Sky‘s new star has struggled to shoot the ball (34 percent field-goal accuracy), but her nine rebounds per game are a team-leading average and the seventh-highest mark in the league so far.

    Reese had another one of those “Jekyll and Hyde” performances in Chicago‘s most recent game, at home against the New York Liberty. The Sky fought hard and even took the lead in the third quarter, but the Liberty pulled away late to win 88-75 — and Reese suffered her first career ejection late in the fourth quarter. However, an unexpected development following the game has painted Reese in a different light.

    The WNBA rescinds Reese’s second tech

    The WNBA on Wednesday announced that it had decided to strike Reese’s second techincal foul from the record of Tuesday night’s game. This halves Reese’s fine from the league, reducing it from $400 to $200 — meaning Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball, who pledged to pay Reese’s fine, owes the WNBA a little bit less.

    Reese had been tossed from Tuesday night’s game after waving off official Charles Watson — who had assigned her the initial technical foul (which still stands) after she “disrespectfully addressed” him once she was whistled for her fifth personal foul with 2:31 to go. The WNBA rescinding the second tech means the league clearly did not buy Tuesday night’s explanation from lead official Maj Forsberg, which attempted to justify Reese’s ejection.

    This small victory for Reese is a victory nonetheless. Even though she is already worth millions of dollars thanks to various endorsements and sponsorships, Reese would not have wanted to cultivate a repuation as a difficult and combative player so early in her career — and Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon will undoubtedly remind her to toe the line a bit more carefully in the future.

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