A few days ago, the Las Vegas Golden Knights dropped the hockey puck for the first time in Las Vegas, marking a watershed moment in Nevada sports history. The NHL’s Golden Knights represent Vegas and Nevada as its lone professional sports franchise until the NFL’s Oakland Raiders leave The Town for Sin City in 2020.
At least…until now.
After the inaugural season of the Golden Knights, it appears a WNBA team could be not too far behind – more specifically, the San Antonio Stars. Where to, W? Nevada, it appears.
A source has told the Associated Press that Spurs Sports & Entertainment, the entity that owns both the Spurs and Stars, are in talks to sell the WNBA team to a Las Vegas-based owner.
Final approval would have to come from the WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors, but based on everything that is out there, that approval appears to be all but imminent.
And if there needed to be any more confirmation that the deal seems all but done, look no further than what the Stars just posted on their social media.
— San Antonio Stars (@SAStars) October 13, 2017
The Stars were one of the original WNBA franchises beginning as the Utah Starzz before relocating a few years later to San Antonio as the Silver Stars. The Stars leaving for Las Vegas would mean the Dallas Wings, who themselves relocated not too far ago from Tulsa as the Shock, would be the lone WNBA team remaining in Texas.
One of the Stars’ players, Sequoia Holmes played her collegiate basketball at UNLV, meaning the relocation to Las Vegas would be a homecoming for the 31-year old who first came into the W in 2008 with the Houston Comets. She has also played a few seasons overseas.
This move signifies that Lisa Borders is looking to broaden the WNBA’s reach by continuing to make it more of a bi-coastal sport. The Stars appear to be on the move to Las Vegas and Borders was in the Bay Area for last season’s NBA Finals – a sign that a team could be on its way to San Francisco once the Warriors move out of Oakland’s Oracle Arena and into the new Chase Center starting with the 2019-2020 NBA season.
To say this is tough for Stars fans to bear is an understatement. Losing a team either through relocation or a folding of operations is always a hard pill to swallow – just ask fans of the Utah Starzz, Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Portland Fire, Sacramento Monarchs, Miami Sol, Houston Comets, Detroit Shock, and Tulsa Shock.
There will still remain a connection of San Antonio to the WNBA with Becky Hammon as an assistant coach for the Spurs and with Gregg Popovich as an outspoken advocate of hers, but this will undoubtedly leave a Stars-shaped hole in the hearts of women’s basketball fans throughout central Texas.