VIDEO: ‘How Was It Not a Sellout?’: WNBA Coach Shocked that Crowd Didn’t Show for Brittney Griner’s Return

Vanessa Nygaard
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Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard bemoaned the fact there wasn’t a sellout crowd for Brittney Griner’s triumphant return to the game after nearly a year embroiled in the Russian prison system.

Friday was Griner’s official return to the court after spending ten months being arrested, tried, and convicted of a drug offense in Moscow last year. Griner scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds, and made four blocks and two assists during her team’s loss to the Sparks at L.A.’s arena.

But coach Nygaard was miffed that the stands weren’t exactly overflowing with fans for Griner’s return to the game.

“I mean, it was great. But like honestly, c’mon now LA. We didn’t sell out the arena for BG?” Nygaard said, according to Fox News. “Like, I expected more, you know, to be honest. Right, it was great, it was loud. But how was it not a sellout? How was it not a sellout?”

Griner also had one small disappointment from Friday’s game; her team lost.

“It was nice to be back on the court and in a real game and everything. The love from the fans who came out was amazing and the players. I definitely felt it and I felt it when I was there (Russia),” she said. “It was nice, but performance-wise, it wasn’t good enough because I couldn’t help the team with a dub.”

Not many on Twitter were very sympathetic over coach Nygaard’s lament about the crowd:

Griner, of course, loudly supported the anti-national anthem movement in 2020, but since returning home form a Russian Gulag, she says she suddenly has a new love for the United States and said she will stand for the anthem from now on.

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