Over the last several years, New England’s resident WNBA team – the Connecticut Sun – have planted its flag not only in the nutmeg state, but around the region as well.
This has been proven with its television deals as of late. The Sun in the last few seasons have been aired on both of New England’s major regional sports networks in NBC Sports Boston and the New England Sports Network (NESN).
Then – came this tweet from the official Sun account that certainly made headlines in a news period that is starting to become busy again around the WNBA.
The franchise announcing that it will indeed play a game in Boston in August of 2024. Also – said game will take place at TD Garden – the home court of the Boston Celtics.
Between the Sun and Celtics, New Englanders have been treated to championship-caliber basketball in the professional ranks. A couple of years ago, the Celtics were in the NBA Finals only to be defeated by the Golden State Warriors in six games.
Also, a couple of seasons ago, the Sun competed in the WNBA Finals only to be dispatched by the Las Vegas Aces in four games.
Boston nearly completed the comeback of comebacks in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals when they trailed the Miami Heat 3-0 only to win the next three games to force a Game 7 in Boston – one Miami was victorious in.
On the WNBA end of the ledger, Connecticut was in the WNBA semifinals against the New York Liberty only to be dispatched by the seafoam, black and copper in four games as the Lib clinched a berth in the Finals – against those same Aces.
The Celtics are once again at the top of the Eastern Conference standings once again. As of this writing, Boston is first in the east at 15-4 ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic (?!?!) who are both at 14-6.
As for Connecticut, their 2023 saw the Sun finish with a 27-13 record, feature Alyssa Thomas firmly in the MVP conversation alongside Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson and saw Stephanie White win Coach of the Year in her first season at the helm.
The Sun’s re-emergence as contenders also came amidst a massive front office shakeup prior to 2023. Curt Miller took the coaching job with the Los Angeles Sparks and Darius Taylor, a former assistant at the Atlanta Dream became the Sun’s general manager. Morgan Tuck became assistant general manager. Jen Rizzotti sees visions of the Sun winning its first ever championship and that could come sooner rather than later.
And imagine what the Sun may have resembled if they had a full season of a healthy Brionna Jones to go alongside Thomas and DeWanna Bonner – both of whom were All-Stars last season.
The fact that the game was announced for August 2024 means the matchup at TD Garden will take place after the Olympic break. Next year’s Olympics in Paris are scheduled to run from July 26 until August 11.
We almost certainly will not know who the Sun’s opponent will be until the full 2024 WNBA schedule gets released. Connecticut will almost certainly once again be contenders next season in the same sphere as the Aces and Liberty. Throw in the Dallas Wings, Minnesota Lynx and Atlanta Dream in that mix for good measure. Washington Mystics too (if healthy).
But one would hope that game would be against a team such as Las Vegas or New York to ensure maximum buzz.
The WNBA needs more rivalries – and a Sun-Liberty rivalry is staring the W directly in the face. Anytime a Gotham franchise plays in New England, it is always a hot ticket among Boston locals. The Liberty – especially this “superteam” rendition of the Liberty that is within an eyelash of its first-ever WNBA championship – will surely be no exception.
And the Aces are a draw in itself because they are the (super)team to beat. The Sun would know a bit of something about defeating Las Vegas – they were one of only two teams (Dallas being the other) that picked up a victory over Vegas prior to the All-Star break.
Or – the Sun will play the Indiana Fever at TD Garden. After all, the Fever have a very famous “Boston” of their own.
We love you, B. Terrell – but we think this is a bit of a hot take.
Even though UConn may have been somewhat diminished in the women’s basketball realm from when they won championship after championship, UConn still holds massive importance. It is a major reason why Connecticut has a team.
Not to mention having a professional sports franchise owned by a Native American tribe (The Mohegan Tribe) is a great public relations look for a league like the WNBA that bastions itself as unapologetically progressive.
But this is the same WNBA that only recently announced expansion to the Bay Area because the Golden State Warriors’ Joe Lacob was ready to fork over a $50 million fee for a new team. And this franchise has relocated before – the Sun were originally the Orlando Miracle before making the long trek up Interstate 95 to Uncasville.
Our guess is the Sun playing at TD Garden is not a precursor to a full relocation to Boston – but we would not be surprised if this is a precursor to the Sun playing, perhaps, one or two home games in the City of Beans on a year-by-year basis.
The Sun want to be New England’s team – not only Connecticut’s. Drumming up support in New England’s flagship city (which is also a very passionate and historic basketball city) is a great way to accomplish just that.
Whoever the Sun play at TD Garden, as long we get a healthy dose of one of our faves in Terrika Foster-Brasby on our television screens, we will be among the happiest of happy WNBA campers.
And let’s not overthink this…we already have an idea on who should perform at halftime at TD Garden. Boston’s very own…
Ironically…one of her tracks is also called…