no diplomatic way to start this column. The W in WNBA pisses
the NBAs desire to extend their brand by making sure
that people instantly recognize that this new league is part
of the larger NBA organization. I understand that the goal
is to instill a sense of seamless integration between the
two leagues so that, eventually, fans en masse will accept
that basketball is a year-round sport.
run the risk of marginalizing the womens league as an
add-on or after thought to the mens league. On the Seattle
PI Storm bulletin board, there was recently a post by someone
who was questioning why anyone would bother being a fan of
the WNBA. I think his crowing statement was that any good
high school boys team could play and win against WNBA teams.
Without addressing this inane statement directly, it does
illustrate the unfortunately common perception that the womens
game is inferior, weak and not worth watching.
that the W helps to reinforce this perception. For me, its
one small step up from naming a college team the Lady Vols,
Lady Rams, Lady Aggies, etc. Why cant they just be the
Vols, Rams or Aggies? Why do they have to be the Lady
version of the mens team? At least the UW teams are
all Huskies, regardless of sport or gender (although thats
probably more due to the fact that a Lady Husky is a female
dog and we all know where that line of logic leads).
the fact that most of the WNBA teams are tied to their NBA
counterparts by team colors, logo and name similarities, I
am honestly surprised that we arent fans of the Lady
Sonics instead of the Storm. One of the things I appreciated
about the ABL was that it was simply a basketball league and
not a womens version of this or that.
the W in WNBA, the NBA has permanently labeled this league
as a subordinate that they see as the womens version
instead of a league that has its own integrity and worth.
of years ago, Nike ran a series of commercials with the taglines
WMLB (or WNFL, WNHL), its only a matter of time
showing young girls playing sports with the same attention,
competitiveness and desire as boys. Theyre right. It
is only a matter of time unless those who eventually develop
these leagues decide to honor the game or marginalize it.
is reality. As much of a fan as I am of the Storm and the
WNBA, I have a hard time seeing how the idea that the WNBA
is a lesser version of the NBA is going to change for those
people like the guy who thinks the Mount Vernon Bulldogs (Washington
State AAA Boys champs) could take the Storm.
I believe the quality of the game and players will prevail,
but they have a long way to go thanks in part to that W.