Green is the New Orange: Time for NBA players to walk the walk on WNBA investment

Photo Credit: Lamar Carter

We hear it all the time from a laundry list of NBA players that they are staunch supporters of the WNBA. 

Whether it is LeBron James, Ja Morant, Chris Paul, Trae Young, Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving and a number of others, NBA players are not shy in how much they love to give the W its flowers. 

The orange hoodie has become the signature item of clothing within WNBA circles. Nowadays, one will barely go a week without a social media post from an NBA player or a NBA team showcasing how said player or team backs the women of the WNBA via said orange hoodie. 

Thanks to a newfound clause in an upcoming collective bargaining agreement that is to be ratified between the NBA and its players association, players in the men’s association will be able to display their support in a much more valuable color than orange. 

That color is green. 

Reports have indicated that there is a clause in the NBA’s new CBA that will enable players to invest in WNBA or NBA teams. 

Since this became widely known news, much of basketball Twitter latched on to this with the thought that this is essentially a LeBron James clause. King James has been long rumored to have interest in a possible NBA expansion franchise in Las Vegas and KD has been rumored to possibly be linked to a NBA expansion franchise in Seattle. 

After all, it was the Seattle Supersonics who initially drafted the Slim Reaper before they were shipped the following season to Oklahoma City in what was, arguably, the biggest (and most controversial) theft of a professional team in the history of North American sports. 

But the WNBA investment element of this cannot be overlooked. The fact that this clause was placed in the NBA’s new CBA with the players is a hint that there is an interest among players in investing in WNBA teams. 

And there are a number of WNBA teams – such as the Chicago Sky and Dallas Wings that could certainly use an infusion of cash. 

One future Hall of Fame NBA baller will certainly be watched like a hawk in terms of if he has any investment plans for the WNBA. And that is the MNBA’s version of CP3. 

Remember that Paul is not just someone who has professed his love and support of the WNBA. He happens to be the president of the NBPA. In addition, early last year, he was named the recipient of the first-ever WNBA Advocacy Award that was named after the late Kobe and GiGi Bryant. 

The W was roundly roasted on social media by its many backers for awarding him that award as opposed to someone such as a Nneka Ogwumike (president of the WNBPA) or even a Renee Montgomery who joined forces with a New England-based investment group to rescue the Atlanta Dream from the clutches of Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock. 

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert consistently mentions how the league’s ability to make greater investments to improve the experience for players comes with bigger revenues. Engelbert talked about how those greater revenues allowed for the expansion of its chartered flights program. If more money is flowing into the WNBA’s coffers, that will greatly help as well. 

A few weeks ago, it was announced that the Las Vegas Aces had brought Tom Brady (yes, that Tom Brady) on board as a minority owner in the franchise. The much-ballyhooed friendship Brady has with Kelsey Plum is apparently paying dividends. 

The only issue is the Aces are one of the few WNBA teams that are not exactly in need of investment with all of the money Mark Davis has put into the team. The same applies to the New York Liberty and its owners – Clara Wu & Joe Tsai. 

The teams that could use a much-needed cash infusion are those like the Wings or the Sky – the latter of whom it was reported back in January that they were bringing on a former Slack executive by the name of Nadia Rawlinson as part of its ownership group. 

To this day, Rawlinson has yet to be listed on the Sky’s official website as a minority owner. 

Who is going to step up with this new clause in the CBA where the NBA has its own version of a Brady? Certainly No. 23/No. 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers has amassed more than enough riches to throw a few coins in the W’s direction. Trae Young can certainly throw some money in the Dream’s direction. Kyrie Irving can certainly throw some money in the Wings’ direction. Zach Levine, DeMar DeRozan or Patrick Beverley can certainly bless the Sky with some much-needed coins.

A few years ago, there was a hit show on Netflix that was all the rage. That show? Orange is the new Black. It is time for the many advocates of the W throughout the NBA’s ranks to show us that Green is the New Orange.