So Agent Zero, aka Sneaker King, aka Two Guns, aka Phat Contract, aka Still getting paid, aka OG Low Tops, said some stuff about the WNBA. I’m the first person to ignore most topics that rank high on social media sites because I really don’t like getting into petty parties and back and forths on things that I can’t control, but I’m a hoops guy. I’m a former coach and player and I still have a strong attachment to basketball via players and friends who are now a part of the world that I gave my life too for so long.
The WNBA is broken. Gilbert Arenas is right on a number of fronts, but I have a feeling he’s never seen the women of Orange Is The New Black out of character… those are beautiful women! Which is besides the point.
The WNBA is broken and no one can act like it isn’t. No one can act like the fact that women ballers might be lesbians actually hurts the brand. No one can pretend that having Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, and Sheryl Swoopes at the inception, right after the Olympics wasn’t the reason for the early success of the league. All good looking women who were marketable and could flat out ball was an added incentive to watch the game (I know Swoopes is gay now, just go with it). That “We Got Next” tagline was golden.
The WNBA is broken, but not because of the things I wrote above. Yes there are “out” players, but Britney G is a beast and she dunks and brings excitement so being gay has jackshit to do with people not staying tuned. Do people feel an attraction to athletes? You’re damn right so a part of the entertainment is that we feel that we could dream about these athletes so yeah I get that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but Gil has a point about the perceived attractiveness, but here is the real reason the league is broken.
The WNBA is broken because of timing. After a long NBA season, during the summer months we get a break from traditional indoor sports. We begin attending baseball games and we go to the beach, take family trips, visit theme parks and plan family picnics. For kids who play the game they are traveling extensively on the travel basketball circuit and kids who play other sports are training and preparing for the upcoming year.
The WNBA is broken because the dumb ass people who run the league insist on leaving it as a summer sport. Now I know why this is. Many of the ladies balling have bigger and better contracts to get to overseas. The league is accommodating to those players. I get it. BUTTTTTTTTT
You want to know how to fix the WNBA? I’ve been saying this for years and maybe this article will pick up traction. Right now the NBA bargaining agreement is coming up for arbitration again. A new television contract is coming into play that will pay NBA players an ungodly amount of money. The WNBA needs to be at the table and there needs to be a serious discussion about these things:
- NBA games range from 2-3.5 hours long with tv time outs. Currently the game is 48 minutes. The league has experimented with 44 minute games. Cut the games back to 11 minute quarters.
- Take the WNBA games and move them to the same season as the men. Turn the season into a 40 game season. This means go back to the high school basketball format and play the WNBA game prior to the NBA game.
- To do the above, the tv time outs can be placed throughout the entire night. Limit the amount of time outs given to the coaching staff. With the tv time outs spread through both games, you literally get two games for the same time limit and price as one.
- Cut the half time from 15 to 12 minutes in the NBA and down to 10 minutes in the WNBA
- Bill all games with the stars of each team. Imagine a night of Ella Delle Donne and Jimmy Butler vs Maya Moore and Andrew Wiggins. I don’t give a damn who you are, three hours at an NBA arena featuring this night of hoops is great.
Let’s get to heart of the matter since Gil raised the issue to the national forefront. The WNBA has a problem, and yes for some the thought of openly gay people is a threat, but let’s be real that is not why the WNBA isn’t gaining ground. The problem is purely timing. You can put Naked Twister as a sport in the summer and people would still go to Disneyland over watching the game. But if you give me two games for the price of one 20 times a season in my season ticket package… watch what happens.