If you can’t poke fun at your missteps, really, what’s the point? For all our sakes, it appears WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert and the league see it the same way.
Engelbert quickly became the butt of jokes two weeks ago in Chicago when she awarded a very tiny All-Star MVP trophy to Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum. Not only was the trophy quite small, but Engelbert helped Plum carry it closer to photographers for the official photos.
Here’s that moment as a refresher. Plum is holding that thing like it’s so fragile she might break it at any moment.
Engelbert, Plum and the Aces team — who poked fun the audacity of this trophy with a hilarious mock presentation of their own — were back in Chicago on Tuesday night for the Commissioner’s Cup championship. The Aces won the title, 93-83, over the Chicago Sky and were having a jovial time in the bowels of Wintrust Arena knowing they had a big payday coming when Engelbert joined them.
She delivered a gift for Plum, complete in what can only be described as an iconic blue Tiffany box. At least it looked like it. And that’s what makes the unveiling even better.
Yup. Cathy’s got jokes!
Plum was asked after the game about being gifted the trophy and A’ja Wilson immediately began laughing while Chelsea Gray gave a look of amused exasperation on her behalf.
“They’re playin’ with me, dawg,” Plum said. “Cathy thought she got jokes in her bag.”
“It was funny,” Wilson said, still giggling.
“It was funny. Honestly, when she handed me the box and I opened it, I was thinking it was going to be a significant trophy. Then it was smaller than the original one, which was already like microscopic. She said the other one is on back order, which is just …”
“Shipping. Shipping and handling,” Gray said
“It’s funny. Funny, Cathy,” Plum finished as Wilson leaned over from stifled laughter.
The small stature of the original trophy was the talk of the Twitter in the days after the All-Star game. It drew frustration from those who saw it as another example of women being treated as less than male athletes. Comparisons were made to Steph Curry’s massive 2022 All-Star trophy and even the cup-stacking championship trophy.
But if there’s any way to right the ship of public opinion, it’s to find a funny way to recognize the viral media moment and answer if with an attempt of your own. Maybe there’s more to come.
“OK,” Plum wrote on Twitter, tagging Engelbert’s account. “This ain’t over.”