After the longest period in many of our lives without access to any live sports whatsoever, plenty of sports fans seem to be having the same revelation — a lot of our identity revolves around sports, our favorite players, and our chosen teams. This may not exactly be news to a lot of us, but when sports finally did restart, I found myself examining what exactly that meant to me and my habits. One thing I realized very quickly was that I had been taking one league in particular for granted — the WNBA!
I make no secret of being an overt supporter of women’s sports. I have a specific vested interest in basketball due to growing up with it and really, truly loving the sport. When the WNBA kicked off their season before the NBA, I found myself tuning in more than ever before to somewhat satiate my need for more basketball. The more I watched, the more I wondered why I hadn’t been a regular watcher sooner.
Admittedly, having a Cyclone (The Lynx’ Bridget Carleton) playing consistently and contributing elevated her games to “must-watch” status, but I found myself tuning in to other games as well. Once you see the likes of Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart working together or the little we saw of Sabrina Ionescu before she got hurt, it’s hard to imagine going back to watching the occasional game and not keeping track of what’s happening in the league. After watching so many of these athletes in college and then basically losing track of them afterwards, it was nice to catch back up and see how they’re doing these days.
Women’s leagues like the WNBA have long had problems breaking into the same public consciousness as men’s sports for a variety of reasons, but the vitriol directed to many players on social media has long been a huge source of ire for me. I could go on several rants on the topic that would ultimately do nothing, but instead, I realized that supporting the league and doing my extremely small part to elevate their mission is a significantly better use of my time (and much easier on my mental health!).
Some of the biggest stars of the NBA have gone out of their way to support the W, and who knows good basketball better than the likes of Lebron James, Ja Morant, and Trae Young? Going forward, I encourage all sports and basketball fans, regardless of gender, to recall how that time without it felt and take full advantage of it being back… every league of it!