Thursday, July 19, 2012

The problem with the WNBA

Do you know when the WNBA season began?  Prolly not.

Do you know the name of your local WNBA team?  Prolly not.

I'm a fan of basketball.  Period.  I am also the sister of a former high school basketball star, so ladies' sports was big in our family.  We've been ride or die with the WNBA since the very first season, 16 years ago.  However, in the last few years the WNBA has been on an amazing descent into oblivion and bankruptcy.  Lemme tell you a few problems with the WNBA:

  1. The play: Now, while the WNBA doesn't have much dunking, it's strong on fundamentals.  But if you're a basketball fan, that shouldn't matter right?  I'll be the first to say it: people like dunking.  That's what makes Blake Griffin & Amare Stoudemire so popular; not their fundamentals but the flash.  But if basketball was just about the flash, we'd all be lining up to see the Harlem Globetrotters.  
  2. Marketing: The WNBA season begins around Memorial Day.  Just as the NBA is entering into playoff season and professional basketball is winding down, there is more basketball on the horizon!  But does the WNBA market to avid basketball watchers? Nope.  They put their commercials on Lifetime in between a tampon commercial and another Rachel McAdams movie.  And the league doesn't know how to market them: are they NBA counterparts or sex symbols? They've tried both, both have failed.
  3. The season: Well, the season is only 30 games, which amounts to like 3 months.  AND during Olympic years, the league shuts down for like 3 weeks since most of their stars are playing for an Olympic team.  What league you know that does that?  AND not to mention they play WNBA games on ESPN: The Ocho and not ABC or TNT like NBA games.
  4. Lesbians: I don't mean this as disrespect to lesbians.  The problem with the WNBA is the lay-person believes the league and the games are only for lesbians.  Now, I applaud the WNBA for being LGBT-friendly; I think they're one of the only sports leagues that openly welcomes everyone.  But that doesn't mean that the WNBA isn't family-friendly as well.  
Well, I say all this to say 2 things: 1) More people, especially MEN, should start watching the WNBA.  If you're a fan of basketball, it shouldn't matter if the players have 2 X chromosomes or one. 2) WNBA, hire me!  I'll make everything better.  I promise! 

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