The WNBA Star Brittney Griner has finally landed in the United States. The United States is welcoming the star with open arms after she was released from Russia. All of this could be coming to an end, as Griner has been booked for violating a law in Russia and there are reports that she was detained for 7 days before being freed by a court order.
Table of Contents
Brittney Griner Lands In The U.S. What To Know About WNBA Star’s Release From Russia
WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from her contract with Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg, and she is now headed back to the United States. Here’s what you need to know about her release from Russia and what’s next for the WNBA star.
Griner signed a one-year deal with UMMC Ekaterinburg in 2019, but she was limited to just nine games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She averaged 16.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game in those nine games.
Now that she’s been released from her contract in Russia, Griner is expected to return to the United States and rejoin the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, the team she has played for since 2013. It’s unclear if she will be available for the start of the 2021 WNBA season or if she will need some time to get back into game shape after spending nearly a year away from basketball.
either way, it will be great to have Griner back in the WNBA. She is one of the league’s most dominant players and helped lead the Mercury to a championship in 2014. She was also named the league’s MVP in 2015.
Why She Left
It’s been a whirlwind year for Brittney Griner. After leading the Phoenix Mercury to a WNBA championship in September, she signed a one-year deal with UMMC Ekaterinburg of the Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League. But just two months into her stint in Russia, Griner has been released from her team amid reports of “harsh living conditions and poor treatment.”
So what exactly happened? Here’s what we know:
Griner reportedly struggled with the adjustment to life in Russia, both on and off the court. She was reportedly homesick and felt isolated from her family and friends back in the United States.
On the court, Griner struggled to adapt to the physical style of play in the Russian league. She was frequently fouled and had trouble getting calls from referees. She also didn’t get much help from her teammates, who were reportedly not as skilled as she was.
The final straw came when Griner got into an on-court altercation with an opposing player. The fight escalated quickly, and Griner ended up punching the other player in the face. She was subsequently suspended for six games by the league.
After serving her suspension, Griner decided she’d had enough and asked to be released from her contract so she could return home to the United States. Her request was granted, and she landed back in the U.S. on December
Her Future Plans
Since being released from her contract with Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg, Brittney Griner has been busy planning her next steps. The WNBA star has made it clear that she wants to return to the United States and continue her professional career in the Women’s National Basketball Association.
Griner was a highly sought-after free agent when she was first released from her Russian team, with multiple offers on the table from different WNBA teams. However, she ultimately decided to sign with the Phoenix Mercury, the team she played for prior to her stint in Russia.
The 6-foot-8 center is one of the most dominant players in the WNBA, and her return to the league is sure to be a boost for the Mercury. In Griner’s four seasons with the team, she has averaged over 17 points and eight rebounds per game. She was also named to the All-WNBA First Team in each of those seasons.
With Griner back in the fold, the Mercury are once again title contenders in the Western Conference. They will look to make a deep run in the playoffs this season and bring another championship back to Phoenix.
What Happens Next?
Now that Brittney Griner is back in the United States, it’s time to take a look at what’s next for the star center.
First and foremost, Griner will need to get acclimated to her new surroundings. She spent the last several months playing in Russia, so she’ll need to readjust to life in the States. Additionally, she’ll need to get used to playing against top-level competition again after spending time in a lower-level league.
Once she gets settled, Griner will be ready to resume her role as one of the best players in the WNBA. She’s a two-time All-Star and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. She’s also one of the league’s most popular players, so her return will be welcomed by fans and teammates alike.
Griner will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact on her new team. The Phoenix Mercury is currently atop the Western Conference standings and is looking to make a run at a championship this season. Griner will give them another talented piece that they can put alongside Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor in their quest for a title.