Is The Career Of Imani Boyette Over Before It Began?

Imani Boyette
Jessica Hill/AP

It was revealed this week that Imani Boyette asked for the trade that sent her to Atlanta, which might not have been the best move.

At the time the Chicago Sky sent center Imani Boyette and forward Tamera Young to the Atlanta Dream for forward Jordan Hooper and a 2018 first-round draft pick, most thought the trade was a clear win for Atlanta. At the time the Dream were trying to secure a spot in the WNBA playoffs and the Sky seemed like a team ready to call it a season and look toward the future.

Instead, the Dream have lost nine straight games and have been all but mathematically eliminated from the postseason. Meanwhile, the Sky went on a tear that has them still eyeing the eighth playoff spot if they can get some help from the teams above them in the standings.

Not exactly what Dream fans were expecting when the trade was announced at the end of July.

And now it has been revealed that the reason the trade went down in the first place wasn’t exactly what everyone thought.

In a recent interview on WBLZ’s “Crush Sports Talk” show, Boyette revealed that she asked for the trade because she didn’t see much of a future with the Chicago Sky.

“I asked to be traded. As a professional, it’s different. So if something is not serving me and my career, I need to do what’s best for me. Everything ain’t for everybody.”

As Boyette got more into specifics, it turns out many of her issues with the Sky seem to be related to her relationship with head coach Amber Stocks, who is in her first year with Chicago.

“It wasn’t serving either one of us. We just didn’t click. She didn’t see the same value I saw in myself. Everybody doesn’t have to think (I’m) a star but somebody does.”

Now players have issues with coaches or the franchises they play for all the time. It was just such a situation that led superstar Elena Delle Donne to demand a trade to the Washington Mystics.

But there is a huge difference between Delle Donne and Boyette.

As a rookie last season, Boyette averaged 6.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks and was named to the 2016 WNBA All-Rookie Team. This season before the trade her her scoring per game was down due to the fact that Stefanie Dolson was getting the majority of the minutes at center. But since the trade to Atlanta things have not gotten better.

Boyette has averaged 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in seven games with the Dream and has played just an average of 10.1 minutes in those games. Not exactly numbers that make you think Dream head coach Michael Cooper has a ton of faith in Boyette.

So the question becomes has Boyette done irreparable damage to her WNBA career by letting her confidence in her skills overcome common sense?

Rumors continue to swirl that Cooper might be on his way out the door once the Dream’s season comes to an end. That would mean a new coach with a new system that might not have a place for Boyette and her still-developing game.

On the other hand, Chicago is a team that is rebuilding and Boyette could have been a key part of that if she had stayed. There is no doubt that Alaina Coates is the Sky’s center of the future, but Boyette could have been a solid bench player on a team that desperately needs to deepen their bench.

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Arrogance is not a quality most coaches want to deal with in their locker room. Especially from a player that doesn’t have the skills that they think they do or the numbers to back them up. And if this season is any indication, Boyette might not be good enough or have the temperament to be a starter in the WNBA.

The problem for Boyette is that she might be the only person who doesn’t see that.

About David Goodman 36 Articles

David Goodman has been a Philadelphia sports fan from the moment his father taught him how to say the words “F*ck Dallas”. He loved watching the Phillies win the World Series in 2008, but really hopes to see his beloved Sixers win an NBA title before he dies.

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