There was some good news and some bad news for Phoenix forward Brandy Reed Friday night.
The good news was the league made a special exception and named her to the Western Conference All-star team after coaches overlooked her.
The bad news was her team lost for the second time to Utah this season, 87-84, a few hours after the announcement.
"It's a tough loss," she said after the game. "We continue to struggle with this team in their arena."
The defeat took some of the joy out of Reed's news that she would be the lone Mercury representative at this year's All-star game played on her home court, America West Arena, Monday night.
Before the game, Reed was visibly cheered by the phone call that came from league officials to a teammate's cell phone as they waited for a flight in the John Wayne Airport in California. The Mercury spent 11 hours and traveled through Los Angeles and Denver before arriving in Salt Lake for Friday's game.
"I can't put into words the way I felt," she said with a smile. "I was just ecstatic. I was happy. I'm looking forward to playing Monday night."
She said she felt the league's action was prompted by the outrage expressed by Phoenix fans and Mercury officials. Phoenix coach Cheryl Miller had been vocal about her disappointment that Reed was not selected as an All-Star reserve.
Reed is ninth in scoring and 16th in field goal percentage. She is the first player to ever score 30 points against the defending WNBA champion Houston Comets, which she did in June.
Her 17. 2 points per game weren't enough to turn the heads of the Western Conference coaches, however. Miller had even threatened to skip the game in protest, but asked fans to support the All-Stars anyway.
"It just shows how big the league is," Miller said. "I would have gone anyway — dressed in black. I'm definitely going now . . . I'm very happy for her and happy for the fans."
Seemingly hurt by the slight, Reed went out last night and stung the Monarchs in Phoenix's 72- 64 win, the day after the All-Star reserves were announced.
She led the team in scoring 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. She had 17 points in the first half of the game against Utah, and ended with 25 total. She only had four rebounds.
It was Reed who shot what would have been the game-winning shot with just 20 seconds to go in the game with the score at 85-84. She missed, however, and the Mercury had to intentionally foul All-Star Natalie Williams to stop the clock.
She said she wasn't sure "how the process went down," just that it was the vocal support that brought the move.
"The entire Phoenix organization was really on it and aggressive about making it known they wanted at least one Mercury player in uniform . . . I really want to thank the fans."
Reed said making the All-star team was a goal she'd made for herself earlier this season.
"I'm just going to try to remain calm, and just go out there and have fun."