Devereaux Peters played for three seasons with the Lynx, a reserve forward who was traded to Indiana for Natasha Howard. She was a player who sometimes appeared on the verge of breaking into the starting lineup but was typically in coach Cheryl Reeve's rotation coming off the bench.
In today's Washington Post, Peters writes about a different challenge: The one that comes from men who want to play her in one-on-one.
She won't. She absolutely won't. She totally and definitely won't. (Are we clear, guys?)
Peters wrote: "I had to prove my skill in middle school against the boys who thought girls don’t play basketball. I had to prove my skill in high school when the guys’ egos were hurt because the girls basketball team was more successful and more popular than theirs. I had to prove it in college when grown men started challenging me to one-on-one games because there was no way this college woman was better than they were. Time and time again, I have trounced men — far too many to count. Now I have nothing to prove."
Peters continued: "There’s something about basketball that activates men’s egos. It’s almost as if they still consider it a sport that women should not be playing. In 2018, that is truly a tired narrative. The WNBA has existed for more than 20 years, and before that women played college and overseas basketball. Get with the times! Does this happen in other professions? I’ve never heard of a person saying they’re a real estate agent, only to have someone snap back, 'I bet I would sell more houses than you.' "
She didn't used to turn down the challenges: "I am a competitor, and when I was younger, I lived for those challenges. Whenever a man called me out, I took it upon myself to embarrass him if a court was available (preferably with a crowd present). Throughout high school, college and even very early in my pro years, I handed out losses to countless overconfident men."
Who makes these challenges?
They sound like the basketball version of Internet trolls: "Collegiate and professional male basketball players have too much respect for us to be jerks; they understand the game at the highest level and know that we’re extremely talented and that what we do is remarkable. Instead, it’s always the men with the broken hoop dreams who didn’t have the grades or the talent to play in college. The men who 'dominate' in their 25-and-up rec league at the gym."
In case you're wondering, the Lynx often practice against a men's team. Here's a video from a few years back