Brittney Griner’s appearance at a recent Phoenix Mercury practice did not go unnoticed.
The 32-year-old has obviously had a year straight out of a nightmare, what with her prolonged detention in a Russian facility before ultimately being brought home by President Joe Biden.
Griner then felt a certain amount of wrath from angry Americans who were annoyed that she was traded for the ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout.
Through it all she has attempted to keep her head up and get back living life as normally as possible. That return to normalcy began this week when Griner inked a one-year, $165,100 contract with the Mercury.
Upon her return to practice, fans couldn’t help but notice how different she looked now. Some even confused with her prominent NBA star Ben Simmons.
There she is 🧡 pic.twitter.com/AM2GZcAIOy
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) February 21, 2023
— MaxDaddy (@Max_Daddy_720) February 22, 2023
thought that was Kuzma for a quick second
— Cold Water Enthusiast (@kidkonnect) February 22, 2023
Ben Simmons is back pic.twitter.com/J8o4EpIGQK
— Smoothie (@smoothie2145) February 22, 2023
Legit thought that was Ben Simmons
— R.G. De LaGheteaux (@ScootMcGavinJr) February 22, 2023
Legit Saw Ben Simmons at first glance.
Are they the same height? @glockpain
— Reese929IndAtl Follow Me. UGA B2B CHAMPS ! (@Reese929IndAtl) February 22, 2023
That said, aside from the minor mix-up with her new appearance, the reaction to Griner’s return seemed overwhelmingly positive.
Fans were really happy to see her back and safe.
— Changing Hands Bookstore (@changinghands) February 22, 2023
— 𝐺ℎ𝑜$𝑡y (@GhostyGG__) February 21, 2023
— Theodis B. Brown (@tbud4410) February 22, 2023
It will be interesting to see how Griner ultimately reacts after the year she had.
At one point she was known for her aggressive play and willingness to throw punches when the situation called for it.
Yikes. Now we know why he snapped. https://t.co/ChCBTtxzvZ
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 22, 2023
These days, attitude-wise at least, she seems much more mellow.
What version of Griner will WNBA fans get in 2023? Time will tell.