The end of every WNBA season and the crowning of a champion – in this case, the Chicago Sky, is always a bittersweet occasion for women’s hoops fans.
Yes, we celebrate a new team and a new city being recognized as a championship city, but attention quickly turns to which players eventually will be traveling to the UMMC Ekaterinburgs and Dynamo Kursks of the overseas leagues.
The reason for this is well-documented because WNBA salaries are not exactly the best in sports. The WNBPA hoped to address this over time with the collective bargaining agreement that was struck between it and the league in early 2020 before the onset of the pandemic.
After all – Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun won league MVP this season. She did not travel to the bubble in 2020, but still came back to lead the Sun to a No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. In a just world, Jones would be enjoying her offseason, doing community work throughout Connecticut and New England and be all over our television screens, radio dials and social media feeds with her name and likeness in endorsement deals.
But as we know in women’s sports, it is far from a just world.
League MVP doing league MVP things 😤 pic.twitter.com/5cYtqE30cu
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) November 8, 2021
In a just world, if a player wanted to travel overseas, it would feel more like an option moreso than a must.
There are WNBA players that are getting a chance to stay stateside at least somewhat after the conclusion of the season. Some of the most obvious examples are with Candace Parker (Chicago Sky) and Chiney Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks) who are NBA analysts for TNT/NBA TV and ESPN, respectively.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 11, 2021
Heat vs Lakers tonight! Both teams have new veteran point guards: Kyle Lowry and Russell Westbrook. Here’s what each guy does better than anybody else: pic.twitter.com/CQF1sQC1lh
— Chiney Ogwumike (@chiney) November 10, 2021
Then, there’s the New York Liberty. Fresh off a season that saw the seafoam, black and copper (no Kahleah, that’s Chicago) make the postseason for the first time since 2017 (their last at Madison Square Garden) and nearly pull of a shocking upset over eventual Finals participant Phoenix Mercury, the Liberty are giving its young (Black) stars a “push,” as it is commonly referred to in the wrestling business.
Between Betnijah Laney and DiDi Richards dressed in their Friday best at New York Fashion Week and Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere recently honored at her alma mater UCLA, the young core of the Lib is not simply outside … but outside outside.
𝑵𝒆𝒘 𝒀𝒐𝒓𝒌 𝑳𝒊𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒚 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑴𝒊𝒏𝒅 🗽 pic.twitter.com/budr7T9TZz
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) October 24, 2021
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) October 7, 2021
Happy Halloween 🎃 from 👑🐝! pic.twitter.com/JrIEluGsf6
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) October 31, 2021
Together, with funding from @EmpireBCBS , @iHeartRadio, and @HeartofAmericaF, we launched a food distribution program with more than 2,000 pounds of food being given away to students and families every month during the school year — serving more than 400 families to-date.🗽 (2/2) pic.twitter.com/8C1SswYKYt
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) November 10, 2021
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) November 11, 2021
We still need to do something about Ellie’s eyes, Lib. Let’s chat soon, sis.
Then – there is the recent announcement of a new basketball league to be launched by Athletes Unlimited in early 2022.
Several WNBA players will be part of the new venture – including Courtney Williams, Natasha Cloud, Odyssey Sims, Jantel Lavender, Essence Carson, Sydney Colson and Ty Young among others.
The league will take place from late January to late February – entirely in Las Vegas with tryouts in December in the Atlanta area.
— Athletes Unlimited (@AUProSports) November 8, 2021
No cap this @AUProSports bout to be crazyyyy! The vibes of being on a different team each week is really like some pickup type hooping! I know I better go top 5 every week or that chip gone be OD on my shoulder 😂😂🤗
— Courtney Williams (@CourtMWilliams) November 10, 2021
Then – there’s Kysre Gondrezick and Chennedy Carter. After seemingly months of the Indiana Fever draftee and Atlanta Dream draftee being invisible during the regular season, the two were spotted together at an Adidas event in Los Angeles.
I think we’ve found Chennedy and Kysre. 👀
— 𝐁. 𝐓𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐥 (@itsBTerrell) November 2, 2021
in LA for Adidas event.
— 𝐁. 𝐓𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐥 (@itsBTerrell) November 2, 2021
A world where WNBA players can enjoy their offseasons? Let’s manifest…