Atlanta Dream. Chicago Sky. Connecticut Sun. Indiana Fever. New York Liberty. Washington Mystics. Los Angeles Sparks. Minnesota Lynx. Phoenix Mercury. San Antonio Stars. Seattle Storm. Tulsa Shock.
Those are the 12 teams that make up the WNBA, and you probably didn’t know all of them.
Sure you might have gotten the Sparks or the Lynx, but the chances that you got all 12 are slim at best. But that’s okay. I took a Sporcle quiz the other day where you get a few minutes to name all of them and I only got 10 of the 12—sorry Atlanta and Tulsa—so you aren’t alone Look, I get it. You only have a certain amount of time available to devote to sports and women’s basketball is not high on that list.
It’s not at the top of my list either.
Now, don’t take that the wrong way. I am a huge proponent of the WNBA. The fact that there is a professional basketball league for women is a tremendous thing and I’m glad many women get the opportunity to live out their dream and play basketball for a living.
Just because I don’t watch games on a regular basis doesn’t mean I don’t love the league. I realize that sounds a bit hypocritical, but like Future, I’m just being honest. While I may not watch every night, I fully support the league and its mission.
I know there are dudes out there who hate on the WNBA, but I’d feel confident betting everything I have that those are the same dudes who think Men’s Humor is hilarious, so you have to take their opinions with a grain of salt. Like how can you hate on the league? In hating on the WNBA you are in essence are just hating on women; and there’s nothing lamer than hating on women.
Considering that most of you are like me in that even though you may not watch every night, you at least have an appreciation for what the league does, you may have missed this bit of cool news as the league started up its 18th season: starting this year, Basketball-Reference is now updating WNBA stats every night.
You may be asking yourself why this is important? Why is this guy writing about this? Well Basketball-Reference and the sister sites covering baseball, football, etc. are the leading sites for statistics. They hold insane amounts of data—both current and historical—for any team or player you can think of, and in the burgeoning age of the statistical revolution in professional sports, are a valuable asset.
Being a women’s league and also a very young professional sports league, the WNBA is far behind other major leagues in many ways. Not having their stats updated on a nightly basis on the premier stopping ground for sports statistics on the internet was yet another prime example of that fact. Now, we do have to be realistic. Having Basketball-Reference update WNBA stats every night isn’t going to all of a sudden increase the league’s popularity tenfold. However, it is an important achievement as the league continues to fight for relevancy in a saturated American sports market.
Think about it. If you were trying to get more involved in the league and so you went on-line to check out how a certain team or player was doing and couldn’t find updated stats, that’s not going to make you more interested in the WNBA. No, it’s going to drive you away and add to the misguided perception many people already hold about the league.
So go ahead. Check out the WNBA on Basketball-Reference. They’ve got a lot of neat things there. And then go ahead and give the league a chance, maybe watch a game or two. I have a feeling you’ll be pleasantly surprised.