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Author Topic: 2024 WNBA Thread  (Read 7867 times)

MU82

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2024 WNBA Thread
« on: May 15, 2024, 09:39:19 AM »
Based on comments/conversations in other threads, there seems to be enough interest to start a stand-alone WNBA thread ...

Some people had a conniption fit about what Taurasi said awaited Clark in the WNBA. But it's hard to argue that her basic point - that Clark would be facing much more talented opponents game after game with the Fever than she did at Iowa - wasn't spot-on.

She was defended well by the Sun all game yesterday, had very little room to shoot, was played physically, and had to force a lot of passes into small windows that closed quickly. She finished with 10 turnovers to go with 20 pts (5/15 shooting). And while the Fever have a couple/few good players, they are still not very good and she often won't get much help.

Indiana's schedule suggests Clark and her team has a pretty rough learning curve ahead: 2 games against NY, followed by another with Conn, followed by Seattle, LA and Vegas.
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Marquette Fan

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2024, 10:20:15 AM »
I’m interested to see how Caitlin Clark mania translates to the WNBA.  I had no problem with what Taurasi said and yes Clark wasn’t going to come in and dominate in the WNBA right away.

I was happy to see the Lynx win - have switched my affiliation from the Sun to them with Natisha Hiedeman getting traded to the Lynx.

Thanks for starting this thread.

JWags85

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2024, 10:32:03 AM »
Based on comments/conversations in other threads, there seems to be enough interest to start a stand-alone WNBA thread ...

Some people had a conniption fit about what Taurasi said awaited Clark in the WNBA. But it's hard to argue that her basic point - that Clark would be facing much more talented opponents game after game with the Fever than she did at Iowa - wasn't spot-on.

She was defended well by the Sun all game yesterday, had very little room to shoot, was played physically, and had to force a lot of passes into small windows that closed quickly. She finished with 10 turnovers to go with 20 pts (5/15 shooting). And while the Fever have a couple/few good players, they are still not very good and she often won't get much help.

Indiana's schedule suggests Clark and her team has a pretty rough learning curve ahead: 2 games against NY, followed by another with Conn, followed by Seattle, LA and Vegas.

I think the theme of Taurasi's statement was less of an issue than her general grizzled old hater condescension for every new player.  From my perspective, it was less "she's amazing, but this is a different game" and more like "I don't get the hype, wait till she plays real players".  And thats coming from someone who LOVED watching Taurasi at UCONN and early WNBA days.

As for Clark, honestly, it was fodder for both depending on how you view her.  The Fever still are super flawed.  Boston was terrible last night and Clark was getting double teams/face up guarding from the center line in.  She's gonna struggle putting up big assist numbers due to the team she's playing with.

That being said, it was a tale of two halves.  she started 0-5, but wasn't overly forcing, rest of the game she went 5-10 and was really the only offense the Fever had in the second half.  The TOs were terrible, but the officials let her get played much more physical than she saw at Iowa, that will for sure be an adjustment.  She got smacked on 2 layups I saw that ended up with her losing the ball out of bounds that would definitely have been FTs any game last year.

If she plays like she did in the second half and even has half the TOs, she'll run away with ROY.

MU82

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2024, 10:44:23 AM »
Agree that if last night's game was Clark's "floor," she's gonna be just fine, Wags. And yes, Taurasi was condescending ... but her point wasn't wrong. And of course, we're both right about the Fever. They've had the #1 pick two straight years for a reason.

I'd bet on Clark being a good, maybe even very good, WNBA player. I highly doubt she will be a generational talent at that level as she was at her previous level, but who knows?

Will be curious to see how many eyeballs were on last night's game.
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Lennys Tap

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2024, 10:58:21 AM »
Agree that if last night's game was Clark's "floor," she's gonna be just fine, Wags. And yes, Taurasi was condescending ... but her point wasn't wrong. And of course, we're both right about the Fever. They've had the #1 pick two straight years for a reason.

I'd bet on Clark being a good, maybe even very good, WNBA player. I highly doubt she will be a generational talent at that level as she was at her previous level, but who knows?

Will be curious to see how many eyeballs were on last night's game.

Nobody cared about the WNBA before Clark arrived. If you’re right and she only turns out to be just another good to very good player in the league people will rapidly lose interest. Only hope for the league is if she’s a star.

Uncle Rico

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2024, 11:19:31 AM »
Nobody cared about the WNBA before Clark arrived. If you’re right and she only turns out to be just another good to very good player in the league people will rapidly lose interest. Only hope for the league is if she’s a star.

I hope so.  As an evangelical Christian, the idea of women’s sports being popular is very concerning
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Pakuni

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2024, 11:23:32 AM »
I hope so.  As an evangelical Christian, the idea of women’s sports being popular is very concerning

The players have been told diabolical lies about pursuing sports as a career, when their true vocation is breeding.

Anyhow, the old man "nobody cares" take was inevitable, facts be damned.
One should compare WNBA TV ratings vs Big East TV ratings and tell us which nobody cares about.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 11:28:24 AM by Pakuni »

The Hippie Satan of Hyperbole

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2024, 11:29:35 AM »
Nobody cared about the WNBA before Clark arrived. If you’re right and she only turns out to be just another good to very good player in the league people will rapidly lose interest. Only hope for the league is if she’s a star.

The WNBA's ratings are generally around what NBA/USA gets for the EPL. Its championship series outpaced events like the average Wimbledon coverage on ESPN. (Despite being held during the NFL regular season and MLB playoffs.)

So I don't think its fair to say that "nobody cared" about the WNBA. It by and large is a niche product in a sports world full of them.
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Uncle Rico

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2024, 12:19:18 PM »
The WNBA's ratings are generally around what NBA/USA gets for the EPL. Its championship series outpaced events like the average Wimbledon coverage on ESPN. (Despite being held during the NFL regular season and MLB playoffs.)

So I don't think its fair to say that "nobody cared" about the WNBA. It by and large is a niche product in a sports world full of them.

Lenny doesn’t care about women’s sports = no one cares about women’s sports.
Ramsey head thoroughly up his ass.

MU82

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2024, 12:22:07 PM »
Nobody cared about the WNBA before Clark arrived. If you’re right and she only turns out to be just another good to very good player in the league people will rapidly lose interest. Only hope for the league is if she’s a star.

I disagree with most of this, but I'm not in the mood for a multiple-page back-and-forth about it, so I'll let you tangle with others.
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JWags85

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2024, 12:49:01 PM »
The WNBA's ratings are generally around what NBA/USA gets for the EPL. Its championship series outpaced events like the average Wimbledon coverage on ESPN. (Despite being held during the NFL regular season and MLB playoffs.)

So I don't think its fair to say that "nobody cared" about the WNBA. It by and large is a niche product in a sports world full of them.

Yep, and thats totally fine!  The sooner the discussion about the league, its success , etc... is moved away from comparison to the NBA (or the other top 4/5 leagues), the better the relative success and growth of the WNBA can be measured.  And this goes for both the haters of the WNBA, and its rabid supporters.

WhiteTrash

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2024, 12:52:56 PM »
Good lord. Only took a few post before hijacking MU82's attempt to have conversations about the WNBA.

(I know, welcome to Scoop  >:()

 

lawdog77

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2024, 01:26:59 PM »
Nobody cared about the WNBA before Clark arrived. If you’re right and she only turns out to be just another good to very good player in the league people will rapidly lose interest. Only hope for the league is if she’s a star.
Attendance has been rising the past several years. There are some college players now that might make better pros-Paige Buckets, and Juju Watkins. The league is not going to fold if Clark doesnt meet expectations. It's OK to just say its not for you.

Spaniel with a Short Tail

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2024, 01:38:18 PM »
Just heard about the crazy Griner divorce/annulment/pregnancy story last night. Looking forward to see how that ends up.

21Jumpstreet

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2024, 05:52:30 PM »
Watched the Fever and the Aces last night. I’m a bigger Kate Martin fan than a Clark fan for sure, but Martin likely won’t play much. Clark was pushed around and made a priority for probably the best defensive team in the WNBA. She will be fine when her team improves, Boston gets fit, and they can spread out and run like at Iowa. What stood out to me most from a negative was that she still displays some of the whiny, palms up attitude and ole defense. I’m sure she was pressing big time, I’m sure the Sun wanted to make a point (and they are a very good team), and the arena was packed, eyeballs watched, merch is selling. Will be interesting to watch the rookie class effect on attendance, specifically when Clark is in town.

Lennys Tap

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2024, 06:55:02 PM »
The WNBA's ratings are generally around what NBA/USA gets for the EPL. Its championship series outpaced events like the average Wimbledon coverage on ESPN. (Despite being held during the NFL regular season and MLB playoffs.)

So I don't think its fair to say that "nobody cared" about the WNBA. It by and large is a niche product in a sports world full of them.

I’ll respond to your post since it’s the only one that’s neither hysterical nor trying to misstate my position.

 “Nobody” wasn’t meant literally. I understand Rico (as an Evangelical Christian) took it literally and made dumb assumptions based on it. Others, not so much.

As you say, WNBA is niche. Salaries are low and the league as a whole needs to be subsidized. Perhaps the audience has been growing (I honestly don’t know) but it hasn’t been earth shattering. Then along comes Caitlin Clark. Arenas are sold out - my daughter took  one of my granddaughters to a Northwestern - Iowa regular season game where scalpers were selling seats for $500+. NCAA tournament games that she plays in have record ratings - by a mile. She is, for lack of a better word, a phenomenon. And if she’s a pro star, she can bring the same heretofore disinterested (in the WNBA) fans along with her. I don’t think it’s likely they’ll stick around if she turns out to be just a good or very good player. That was all I was saying.



MU82

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2024, 10:20:30 PM »
Lenny, you don't allow for the possibility that another player or three or five could capture the attention and admiration of fans and build on any excitement Clark creates?
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Lennys Tap

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2024, 07:02:38 AM »
Lenny, you don't allow for the possibility that another player or three or five could capture the attention and admiration of fans and build on any excitement Clark creates?

Anything’s possible, I guess. But it seems much more likely that she’s the unicorn and if the WNBA is going to see a real spike in popularity in the near future she’ll be the one leading the charge.

Goose

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2024, 07:30:46 AM »
82

I thought Clark was great for women's sports and I hope she lives up to the hype as a pro. That said, I think it is going to be a very long time before we see the star power Clark provided. It was a perfect storm with NIL endorsements and non stop coverage by Fox and ESPN. Truthfully, all of the attention she received might have been a bad thing for the "next" Clark. I am not sure how anyone could match the hype and not have it feel forced.

I'll admit, I am not a women's basketball fan, but I did watch more than the previous 59 years of my life this season. When the college season ended, I was pretty much done with watching Clark. I am pulling for her and hope she helps the WNBA. I think it is a long shot that she, or others, help the WNBA have real staying power. I hope I am wrong.

dgies9156

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2024, 08:21:06 AM »
Gang, if you go back and look at ANY sport, you will see the same up-tick the WNBA is experiencing now.

The NBA could not keep a team in Chicago until 1966. Through much of the 1970s, it was cocaine infested and its championship series was on tape delay. It took the Bird/Magic draft, ESPN, a tough drug policy and the consequent enthusiasm with Michael Jordan's arrival to turn the NBA into what it is today.

Until the Colts/Giants championship game in 1959, the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s and the consolidation of the national television contract by Pete Rozelle, pro football was what you followed when your favorite college player's eligibility was up. At best it was an afterthought. At worst, it was the Green Bay Packers franchise nearly failing.

Even the AFL was a joke until someone threw money at it, attracted Joe Namath and a host of other NFL stars. Suddenly, they merged and the AFL made the NFL what it is today.

I don't know if Catlin Clark is the real deal or not. Maybe she's going to be the female Michael Jordan, maybe she'll be another Rebecca Lobo. Time will tell. But if she gets more girls into sports and focused on strong competitive values, exercise and judgment good coaching and hard work bring, then God love her, she will have accomplished an awful lot!


The Hippie Satan of Hyperbole

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2024, 08:53:07 AM »
The WNBA has been growing in popularity for awhile and the metrics are there to show it. Clark will help, but if she somehow fails to live up to the hype, the league is still in a very good place.

Lenny's mentioned the NBA subsidy, but I am not exactly sure what that means. I get the impression that it has gone from a straight cash infusion in the early days of the league, to more of covering overhead costs in locations where they share facilities. My understanding is that many of the teams have been operationally cash flow positive for awhile now.

I think it would help if they moved away from the summer schedule however.
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MU82

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2024, 08:56:01 AM »
82

I thought Clark was great for women's sports and I hope she lives up to the hype as a pro. That said, I think it is going to be a very long time before we see the star power Clark provided. It was a perfect storm with NIL endorsements and non stop coverage by Fox and ESPN. Truthfully, all of the attention she received might have been a bad thing for the "next" Clark. I am not sure how anyone could match the hype and not have it feel forced.

I'll admit, I am not a women's basketball fan, but I did watch more than the previous 59 years of my life this season. When the college season ended, I was pretty much done with watching Clark. I am pulling for her and hope she helps the WNBA. I think it is a long shot that she, or others, help the WNBA have real staying power. I hope I am wrong.

I agree with you (and Lenny) that Clark was/is an athletic Haley's Comet that captured the attention of lots of people who never or rarely watched women's basketball and that we might never again see anything quite like her.

But similar was true of Bird/Magic, who burst onto the scene in the late-1970s and did wonders for both college hoops and the NBA. Before them, the NBA Finals were shown late at night on tape delay. Well, there never has been another Bird or another Magic ... but there was a Jordan, and then a Kobe and Shaq, and then a LeBron, and then other great players and compelling stories.

I am NOT predicting that the WNBA is headed for glory now that Clark has shown up, even if she ends up not being a transcendent pro. What I'm saying is that maybe, a year or three or five from now, there will be the women's basketball equivalent of "the next" - a Jordan or Kobe or LeBron who will be among the next wave to keep at least some of the momentum going. Maybe. Or maybe not.

What I'm also not saying is, "Nope. It's all Clark. And if she's not great, both women's college basketball and the WNBA will quickly go back to being ignored." Because I don't know that, either.

There is a middle ground between runaway success and return to being ignored.

Hockey had its Haley's Comet, a guy named Wayne Gretzky. Other great players like Lemieux and Ovechkin followed, but for a variety of reasons hockey is still a niche sport enjoyed by a decent-sized audience but nothing approaching basketball. Maybe that's the kind of place the WNBA will settle. Or maybe not. We'll see!
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Jockey

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2024, 03:38:39 PM »
Yet she doesn’t get paid. Girls can earn a bigger salary going into bowling or the rodeo.

withoutbias

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2024, 05:52:47 PM »
I agree with you (and Lenny) that Clark was/is an athletic Haley's Comet that captured the attention of lots of people who never or rarely watched women's basketball and that we might never again see anything quite like her.

But similar was true of Bird/Magic, who burst onto the scene in the late-1970s and did wonders for both college hoops and the NBA. Before them, the NBA Finals were shown late at night on tape delay. Well, there never has been another Bird or another Magic ... but there was a Jordan, and then a Kobe and Shaq, and then a LeBron, and then other great players and compelling stories.

I am NOT predicting that the WNBA is headed for glory now that Clark has shown up, even if she ends up not being a transcendent pro. What I'm saying is that maybe, a year or three or five from now, there will be the women's basketball equivalent of "the next" - a Jordan or Kobe or LeBron who will be among the next wave to keep at least some of the momentum going. Maybe. Or maybe not.

What I'm also not saying is, "Nope. It's all Clark. And if she's not great, both women's college basketball and the WNBA will quickly go back to being ignored." Because I don't know that, either.

There is a middle ground between runaway success and return to being ignored.

Hockey had its Haley's Comet, a guy named Wayne Gretzky. Other great players like Lemieux and Ovechkin followed, but for a variety of reasons hockey is still a niche sport enjoyed by a decent-sized audience but nothing approaching basketball. Maybe that's the kind of place the WNBA will settle. Or maybe not. We'll see!

Dude come on!  You cannot constantly call out posters for making predictions on both sides of the fence and telling them of course they'll end up right one way or another, and then be the king of, "I'm not saying (this), but I'm also not, not saying (this)!"

Either the WNBA will blow up, or it won't!  Either someone as good as or better than Caitlin Clarke will someday come along, or someone better or as good as Caitlin Clarke won't come along!

Thanks for the astute observations!

21Jumpstreet

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Re: 2024 WNBA Thread
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2024, 06:06:12 PM »
Pretty cool intro to tonight’s game harkening back to Hickory, Bird, Knight and Keady, Reggie,  and saying Indiana is once again the center of basketball.