The WNBA needs to expand to open up more roster spots

In an period dominated by social media, ladies’s basketball is experiencing a second like by no means earlier than. Brittney Griner is back. He The WNBA has numerous tales. And because of Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark and Jill Biden, collegiate play is wrecking tv scores. However, for the sport to succeed in one other stage, one factor should occur: the growth of the WNBA, which is able to result in extra roster spots in one of the best ladies’s skilled basketball league on this planet.

Too many gamers, few roster spots

The WNBA has a numbers downside. Too many gamers and few jobs. In accordance Sports only for women, solely 15 of the 36 gamers chosen within the 2023 WNBA Draft had been on opening day rosters to start out the season. With solely 12 groups within the league, there are solely 144 roster spots within the WNBA. This yr alone, the No. 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34 and 36 groups had been all residence when the season started.

Sadly, this is not a new problem. In 2021, solely eight gamers from that draft appeared on the opening day rosters. In 2022, the quantity was 15, the identical as this yr. And when you could say the numbers are bettering, it nonetheless signifies that being a first-round decide within the WNBA would not assure you a job.

“The very first thing I did after I got here in, I mentioned, ‘Okay, we’ve got 12 groups in a rustic of over 300 million individuals. That is not sufficient,” said WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert again in February. “That is why we discuss growth, and you need to be in additional cities to develop the fandom extra. That brings me to be right here at present.”

Nashville, Philadelphia among the many growth choices of town

In accordance the athletic, Nashville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Toronto are the cities that could possibly be one of the best choices for growth. Only a few weeks in the past, the Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky performed an exhibition sport in Toronto for the league’s first sport in Canada earlier than the beginning of the 27 season.

“The power was unimaginable. After we walked out, the seats had been crammed to the brim and so they had been already cheering. I used to be amazed,” said Sky head coach James Wade.. “You could have one thing particular right here in Toronto. I noticed so many Maple Leafs jerseys, baseball jerseys, and I believed, ‘The WNBA deserves this too.’

When the WNBA began, there have been solely eight groups. At one level, it grew to 16 franchises. It has now been lowered to 12, with the Atlanta Dream (2008) being the final growth staff. Between collegiate play, the dominance of Workforce USA, and the growing buzz around the WNBA, ladies’s basketball is experiencing a legit and long-awaited spike in recognition. If this is not one of the best time to develop the sport, then I do not know what’s. Additionally, in a post-Brittney Griner world, we have to give our ladies one of the best alternatives to play at residence.

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