The sad state of the WNBA

Pam Richter

Early last week, the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream had to move its location of its first round playoff games. The Dream normally played in Phillips Arena, but had to move the games to Gwinnet Arena because Sesame Street Live was already booked in Phillips Arena.

The fact that a WNBA team had to move its game because of Sesame Street Live is down right comical to me.

As an advocate for women’s sports, I am ashamed to admit that I don’t even watch the WNBA anymore. And I laughed when I found out the news that the Dream had to move their games because of Sesame Street Live. Let’s give that one more second to sink in.

As a die hard women’s college basketball fan, it would be natural for me to be a fan of the WNBA as well. I used to be a fan of the league, which is now in its 10th season. Even last month, I attended a game in Indianapolis, an Indiana Fever game.

Sitting in the stands, I was able to speak about the players’ college careers, but didn’t know much about their professional careers. The league, even for the biggest fans of women’s basketball has become too difficult to follow.

Players constantly change teams as an attempt for teams to save money. From year to year, there are few players who stay on the same team, with the exception of a few, and only a few, stars.

Even if the teams were hard to keep up with, I might consider watching the league, but trying to watch the games for just the basketball has become an impossibility for me.

Women’s college basketball focuses on the team, not on the individual. A pure team effort is needed for a team to be victorious. The players know the basics of the game and play within their strengths.

A few years ago, this is how the WNBA was. In recent years, the WNBA has made a push to follow the NBA style of basketball with more isolation plays and less of a team effort.

Women’s basketball is different from the men’s game, there’s no question about it. The line is closing in because the WNBA is attempting to be more like the men.

The WNBA needs to go back to team-oriented basketball and embrace the women’s basketball game.

I’m concerned about the future of the league.  I’m a huge women’s basketball fan, and if I’m not watching, who is?



Filed under Women's sports, Writer: Pam Richter

2 responses to “The sad state of the WNBA

  1. Angie Lovelace

    I feel like the WNBA made a mistake lengthening the season this year. They previously concluded their season around Labor Day, but this year they are playing well into September. This late season overlaps with the beginning of football and the end of baseball, which seem to be just to much of an entertainment competition for the WNBA. This compiled onto games primarily played on the weekends and the always increasing ticket prices is making a negative impact on even the die-hard fans.

  2. Pat

    A few years ago, this is how the WNBA was. In recent years, the WNBA has made a push to follow the NBA style of basketball with more isolation plays and less of a team effort.

    I’m not sure what NBA have you been watching lately, maybe outside Sportscenter highlights. The NBA is getting more and more team-oriented and all of the teams who won the NBA title this decade played great team ball (think to the Pistons, Spurs, Celtics, even Lakers). I know it because I watch lots of NBA games. I’m just sick of people who don’t watch much NBA bringing up the same old stereotypes about the NBA. Theres individual play but also great team play. It’s a nice mix.

    Also, it’s not true that the WNBA keeps increasing ticket-prices, like the above poster mentioned. Tickets are cheap. Even tho it’s never a good thing when the WNBA has to move playoffs games in other venues.

    And the WNBA game got a lot better. It’s a good thing they brought in the 24-second shot clock, just like in the NBA. Why? Because the average score increased from about 65 pts per game to 76 pts per game. Which is a good thing.

    I also think a mix of individual and team play, just like in the NBA, is a great thing. Just look at this year’s WNBA Finals. That’s the reason why they were so good.

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