Tuesday, April 19, 2011

15 Reasons to Look Forward to the 15th WNBA Season

15. Breakout stars: We’ve seen Leilani Mitchell and Crystal Langhorne take home the Most Improved Player crown over the past two years. Who is your pick to breakout in 2011? Watching the players evolve over the years into a greater version of themselves is thrilling, to say the least.

14. The playoffs: Take a moment and look at the rosters for each team in the league. Done? Now, give me a legitimate reason why the playoffs and finals aren’t going to be ridiculously competitive and special. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

13. The battle for MVP: Diana Taurasi? Lauren Jackson? Sylvia Fowles? Angel McCoughtry? Tamika Catchings? Cappie Pondexter?

12. The All-Star game in San Antonio: I’ll be at the AT&T Center on July 23rd. Will you?

11. Candace Parker’s return: Now fully healthy, Parker is on a mission to lead the Sparks back into the playoffs and is more driven to win than ever before. Look for a 20-10 season from CP3.

10. An extremely competitive West: Minnesota, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Antonio and an improving Tulsa team – who do you see grabbing the West’s four playoff spots? A couple of really good teams are going to eventually be on the outside looking in.

9. Sue Bird: Watching her play the point guard position on a nightly basis is a privilege.

8. The Atlanta Dream & the Minnesota Lynx: My goodness, the Dream and Lynx are stacked at nearly every position. On paper, they are the deepest teams in the league and could, arguably, be the most fun to watch.

7. Generating a wider audience: Whether it’s through the quality of play, coverage in the media, player accessibility, in-game attendance, television, social networks, or partnerships I get the feeling the league is poised to create a following of fans like never before.

6. June 21 – the 15th anniversary of the inaugural game: Los Angeles Sparks vs. New York Liberty. This game is special in so many ways.

5. The Top 15 Players and Moments in league history: Through this effort, we get to look back and re-live some of the amazing players and moments that shaped the league into what it is today. That, my friends, is pretty cool.

4. Diana Taurasi: Healthy + Rested + Motivated = Scary for the rest of the league.

3. Sheryl Swoopes back in uniform: In a chat I did with the Minnesota Lynx a few months back, a commenter asked who my favorite player of all-time was in the WNBA. My answer? Sheryl Swoopes. I could not be more excited to see her play again.

2. A talented class of rookies: Multiple draft picks will make instant contributions to their respective teams in 2011. Each player brings a unique skill-set to the table and can fill a team’s specific need(s) quickly whether it’s through rebounding, scoring, defense, or depth.

1. Celebrating 15 years of the WNBA all-season long: Isn’t this what it’s all about?

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