Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen left her team in Turkey because of a contract dispute.
It's common for WNBA players to spend their "offseasons" competing overseas in various women's basketball leagues, and a main motivation is simple: money. While the top salary for a WNBA player in 2013 will be a little over $100,000, the same players can earn double, triple or even more than that in Europe and elsewhere. Lynx standout Maya Moore is reportedly making mid-six-figures this offseason in China, where she has become an international sensation in yet another country.
But Lindsay Whalen, her Lynx teammate? Well, it appears as though she hasn't been as lucky this year. While Whalen has had several good experiences overseas playing in the Czech Republic, this offseason she was playing for Galatasaray, a club in Istanbul, Turkey. And things, well, haven't quite worked out.
Whalen tweeted on Monday that she has left the team because of a contractual dispute. Her exact three tweets: "Thank you to my teammates and coaches for everything during my time with Galatasaray! Unfortunately because the terms of my contract were not met I felt it was in my best interest to not continue with the organization. Thank you to the fans of Galatasaray!! Your support of the team and players is amazing!"
So everything was good, it seems -- except for the money, which is a big deal. NTVspor.net reported that Whalen hasn't been paid for two months -- not a good thing in any job, particularly one Whalen was doing well and averaging 13.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 10 EuroLeague games.
The former Gophers star has played three years with the Lynx, helping them to the WNBA title in 2011 and a runner-up finish in 2012. Attempts to reach Whalen were unsuccessful, so it is unclear whether she will try to catch on with another overseas team for what's left of this season. Minnesota's first regular- season game in 2013 is June 1, but training camp will begin well before that.
For Whalen -- who pretty much played year-round in 2012 between overseas obligations, the WNBA season and helping Team USA win a gold medal at the London Olympics -- maybe it will just be an impromptu vacation.
A Lynx official confirmed that Whalen has left her overseas club but was also quick to note that the guard is very much still a part of the WNBA squad. Barring anything unforeseen, she will even get paid by the Lynx.
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