• Wed. Nov 25th, 2020

Brittney Sykes, Sydney Wiese spicing up Sparks’ attack

ByArlene Huff

Aug 12, 2020
brittney-sykes,-sydney-wiese-spicing-up-sparks’-attack

In Tuesday’s runaway victory over the New York Liberty, the Sparks’ stars accounted for 32 points on 12-of-19 shooting.

Candace Parker, Chelsea Gray and Nneka Ogwumike, the team’s perennial All-Stars? Sure, they put up 34 points in the type of not-so-taxing outing that will benefit the Sparks down the stretch of a condensed schedule that has L.A. (5-3) playing its fifth game in nine days Thursday against the Washington Mystics (3-5).

But against New York, it was a pair of fourth-year guards who took their star turns: Sydney Wiese and Brittney Sykes started together from the first time and set the tenor from the tip – punching first, as Wiese described it.

“I don’t think it’s a try,” said Sykes postgame, in response to a question about the energy she tried to infuse. “I think it’s what was done.”

It’s a spicy pairing, Wiese and Sykes – or, as they refer to each other, “Garlic Salt” and “Sazon.”

Along with Marie Gulich, they’re roommates in the WNBA bubble, and, by both women’s accounts, they’ve been enjoying each other’s company, which has led to noticeable results on the floor – and at dinner.

“We get a cheat code a little bit when it comes to me and Syd because we’re roommates here in the bubble, and we’ve just been learning each other, on and off the court, and that off-the-court chemistry really brings it to the on-the-court lineup,” Sykes said, via Zoom, after Tuesday’s win, in which she played disruptive defense on a night when New York had 24 turnovers and only 12 assists.

“We spend a lot of time together, and she’s hilarious,” said Wiese, a career 3.6-points-per-game scorer who is shooting 66.7% from the field and 3-point range in the past three games, when she’s averaged 16.7 points.

“It’s fun and easy to live with her, and I’m fortunate to get to know her as a person and we have a lot of fun out there,” Wiese added. “We have a great connection and we’re going to continue to build off of that.”

There’s been improvement in the kitchen, too, where Wiese – with Sykes’ guidance — is expanding her culinary horizons to include seasoning besides garlic salt.

“When we first got to the bubble, Slim – I call her Chef Slim – I told her that basically what I can do in the kitchen, I use garlic salt. Like, I don’t know any other seasoning, garlic salt is what I live off of,” Wiese said. “And she was like, ‘Oh no. That will not do.’

“And so she’s been teaching me about some more seasonings and different things in the kitchen, so there’s another seasoning – it’s called Sazon – and so she started calling me ‘Garlic Salt,’ I call her ‘Sazon.’”

The signs of their growing camaraderie is evident not only in the box scores of late, but in other ways, too, Wiese said: “We do this sprinkle-the-seasonings-into-each-other’s-hands (gesture) and that’s how we operate out there.”

Sparks (5-3) vs. Mystics (3-5)

When: 4 p.m. Thursday

Where: IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida

TV: ESPN

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Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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