Marina Mabrey burns her former team, scoring 19 points against Wings

“People are going to say what they’re going to say,” Mabrey said. “Maybe people agree that they should have traded for me, and maybe they shouldn’t have. I know my value.”

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Chicago Sky guard Marina Mabrey plays during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on May 28.

Chicago Sky guard Marina Mabrey plays during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on May 28.

Erin Hooley/AP

Sky guard Marina Mabrey has been the center of debates since she was traded to the team before last season.

It’s not unusual. The centerpiece of a trade is always subject to scrutiny. In the case of former Sky coach/general manager James Wade trading everything but the kitchen sink for Mabrey, reminders of what he gave up are around every corner.

There was another reminder Thursday when the Sky faced the Wings, who own the right to swap first-round picks with the Sky in next year’s draft as a result of Wade’s 2023 trade.

“They’re not going to let me forget that one,” Mabrey joked Wednesday after practice.

Mabrey scored 19 points against her former team, shooting 3-for-6 from the three-point line.

Last year, Mabrey was the Sky’s second-leading scorer behind Kahleah Copper, averaging 15 points per game. This year, she leads the Sky with 14.8 through 13 games. Even though she’s aware of the scrutiny attached to the trade, she never has cared about what the critics have said.

“People are going to say what they’re going to say,” Mabrey said. “Maybe people agree that they should have traded for me, and maybe they shouldn’t have. I know my value.”

Mabrey’s value is summarized by her nickname: “Money Mabrey.”

It was bestowed upon her during her rookie season with the Sparks. Her Sky teammates often have thrown it around in news conferences because of Mabrey’s knack for draining threes in the clutch.

The swagger she exudes is a clear indication of how she has come to embody the moniker. In the Sky’s loss to the Fever on Sunday, Mabrey finished with a team-high 22 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals.

However, with the game on the line, Mabrey stepped to the free-throw line and missed her two attempts.

The moment, Mabrey said, brought her to tears after the game until a piece of advice from her dad provided a reset.

“He told me, ‘You have to get back up and do it again,’ ” Mabrey said. “ ‘Everybody’s going to fall down.’ ”

Mabrey has trusted herself in big moments, saying, “You have to miss some game-winners to make some game-winners.”

Her team trusts her, too.

“We’d love to have you there again,” coach Teresa Weatherspoon said was her advice to Mabrey after Sunday’s loss.

This and that

  • Former Sky forward Morgan Bertsch started the season with the Mercury before being waived June 10. She signed a rest-of-season hardship contract with the Wings on Wednesday. She had three rebounds against the Sky.
  • The Sky will play their third game against the Fever on Sunday, and tickets, according to VividSeats, are trending as the hottest WNBA ticket with an average price of $351.
  • The Sky are ninth in the WNBA standings. If they make the playoffs and the Wings fail to do so, putting them in the draft lottery, the pick swap will be nullified.
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