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Residents in New York’s capital dunk on Rebecca Lobo over remark about Albany: ‘Unnecessarily harsh’

Residents in New York’s capital city came to its defense on Tuesday after WNBA legend Rebecca Lobo took a swipe at Albany during Monday night’s Elite Eight game between Iowa and LSU.

Lobo, who played for the WNBA’s New York Liberty during her pro career and starred at UConn in college, joked with fellow ESPN broadcaster Ryan Ruocco there wasn’t much to do in Albany. Ruocco talked about Caitlin Clark’s family trying to lure the sharpshooter out of her room before the regional final.

Lobo’s remarks didn’t sit well with some in the city.

“It felt unnecessarily harsh, and I think for a city of our size, we have a lot to offer,” restaurateur Dominick Purnomo told News 10 in Albany.

“It was Easter weekend. You could’ve gone to Mass and taken in the cathedral. If you’re into history, we have the Albany Institute of History and Art, we have the New York State Museum.”

Todd Shapiro, the owner of the “War Room” and a former spokesman for Ivana Trump, called for other bars and restaurants to cancel their ESPN subscriptions, according to the New York Post.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy told the newspaper if Lobo couldn’t find something to do in Albany, then that’s on her.


Rebecca Lobo with the Liberty

“If she can’t find something to do in Albany, there’s some psychological problem going on,” he said. “Albany is not the capital of entertainment in the world, but it’s a livewire city.

“The woman might have a problem finding something to do anywhere in the world if she can’t find something to do in Albany. Give her my best wishes.”

Lobo’s comment even caught Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s attention, who offered to give the ESPN broadcaster a tour of the city.

“There’s plenty to do if you take the time to look – some of the nation’s oldest museums, a stately Capitol, award-winning restaurants, and a basketball game or two downtown,” Sheehan wrote on X, the company formerly known as Twitter. “@RebeccaLobo, let’s take a ride before you leave town. Happy to show you all there is to see and do.”

Lobo responded to the criticism on X.

Rebecca Lobo smiles in 2022

“I’ve spent many fun-filled weekends in the Albany area over the years coaching my kids’ AAU teams,” she wrote on the social media platform. “No shade intended towards the capital city and the outstanding job they did hosting the regional.”

Fox News’ Chantz Martin contributed to this report.

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