Going through WNBA withdrawals? Yeah – we are too

Photo Credit: Lamar Carter

It was not that long ago when the Las Vegas Aces defeated the Connecticut Sun in four games to claim the franchise’s first ever WNBA championship.

In fact, it was only September when the Aces solidified its status as being at the top of the W’s food chain.

Since then, we have seen a steady stream of WNBA-related news. These have included the latest updates on Brittney Griner being wrongfully detained in Russia, how Aces players have basked in the glow of their championship triumph, apparel and digital marketplace deals involving WNBA players, details on the 2023 Athletes Unlimited basketball season and how various W entities are encouraging people to vote in this year’s midterm election.

We also now know that Curt Miller, who coached the Sun to two WNBA Finals appearances this past season as well as in 2019, will head west to assume a similar role with the Los Angeles Sparks. Notably, Miller was both coach and general manager in Connecticut, but Eric Holoman and the Sparks are committing to hiring someone new for its general manager role.

As expected, we are getting these small bites of WNBA news throughout what is still the early stages of the offseason and we are continuing to pray for BG’s mental health in the hopes that she will be out of her unjust situation in Russia sooner rather than later.

Then – of course – there are the periodic updates we get from team accounts on how players are faring with their overseas teams. WNBA players, even with the Griner saga on their minds, were still expected to travel overseas. After all, they still are paying them more money than their WNBA teams but Russian teams such as UMMC Ekaterinburg and Dynamo Kursk appear to be getting a side eye from many a player.

The point is that since the season has concluded, there is no denying that a good bit of us are going through withdrawals. After all, Twitter (now under the ownership of the creature known as the wild Elon Musk) even got rid of the colorful WNBA hashflags that the teams and league used throughout the season. Only that for WNBA Twitter remains.

Plenty of us have particularly experienced these WNBA withdrawals as of late because we endured a period of no girls or women’s basketball period. After all, following the conclusion of the WNBA season, the high school and collegiate seasons do not get underway for another month and a half. In November, that will change with the onset of the high school and college basketball seasons, but it had to feel like an eternity since the Aces’ championship parade and South Carolina’s first game.

In addition, the FIBA World Cup made the waiting period between the conclusion of WNBA and the start of the high school and college seasons a bit less daunting, but only to a certain extent as most pundits knew Team USA would leave Australia with gold medals draped around their necks.

Here is what we as WNBA fans have to remember. The WNBA has a painfully long offseason. But while the 2023 season is still a long way away, there are plenty of noteworthy dates on the calendar that should have us occupied until that time occurs.

One of those is the WNBA draft lottery – which we are not that far off from. It will take place on November 11 (during South Carolina vs. Maryland) with the Indiana Fever, Atlanta Dream, Washington Mystics and Minnesota Lynx vying for the opportunity at the No. 1 overall pick (which will almost certainly be the Gamecocks’ Aliyah Boston).

Our guess is the top pick is not being traded this time like it has been in the build up to the last pair of drafts.

Then – there is the start of free agency, which is always a wild and wooly time in WNBA circles, but all indications appear that 2023 WNBA free agency may take the concept of chaos to a brand new level.

Sometimes the WNBA can put us through the ringer with some of its questionable business and scheduling decisions. But it is periods like this that underscore why we are gravitated towards it so much, why our timelines feel a lot more complete with it all over said timelines and why it is, as the great Ari Chambers would say, so important.

Stay patient women’s hoops fans as it will not be long before it consistently engulfs our timelines as our attention turns to the high school and college scene. In the meantime, we are still deciding which season we are going to binge watch over again on League Pass.