Starting Five: Things We Want to See for Women’s Hoops in 2024

We have had the chance to review the year that was 2023 in our final piece of last year – and those were certainly a memorable 12 months within the women’s sports space. 

The calendar has now shifted to a new year – 2024 – and who knows what these 12 months will have in store. 

We certainly have ideas as to what ought to be in store for the realm of women’s hoops over these next 12 months. Without further adieu, for our first piece of the new year, here is our five (of many) things we would like to see happen within women’s basketball in 2024. 

A New Team For Skylar

For those that may not have remembered, Skylar Diggins-Smith was on the shelf all of 2023 – and the Phoenix Mercury sorely missed having her in their orange and purple colors to complete their big three. 

Diggins-Smith aired out her frustrations towards the Mercury organization on social media last year, all but ensuring that her time in Arizona had come to an end. 

While a number of folks within WNBA Twitter were hoping that a trade could be engineered to send Diggins-Smith to the Indiana Fever, that talk appeared to be more fantasy than reality. 

Heck – even Diggins-Smith herself seemed to indicate that Indiana may not be all that high on her. 

The reality is that at this stage of her career, Diggins-Smith wants to be on a contender. While the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty are established contenders, the Connecticut Sun or Atlanta Dream may make the most sense. 

The Sun because it is the team that appears closest to disrupting the two-headed monster at the top of the W’s food chain that is Aces-Liberty. The Dream because it is a team that is well on its way to being perennial contenders and adding Diggins-Smith could fast track that process. 

For now, the Bay Area’s new WNBA franchise is simply being referred to as “WNBA Golden State.” 

Perhaps, the 2024 calendar year will give us more answers as to what the team will resembles once it takes to the court at San Francisco’s Chase Center in 2025. Perhaps, we may even know its name and colors. 

Given it is a Joe Lacob-owned franchise under the same umbrella as the Golden State Warriors, one can expect the logo to at least have some form of blue and gold in it. As for the name – that is anyone’s guess. 

There is a chance we may know more in 2024, but is not, all of that will likely be revealed at the 2025 NBA All-Star weekend – slated to take place in San Francisco. 

We know that Team No. 13 will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area with games taking place in San Francisco proper with headquarters and practice facilities in Oakland. 

What about Team No. 14? 

The latest update on a possible 14th team was that Denver and Charlotte appeared to be in the lead for that team. Since then – all has been calm on the expansion front. Maybe, though, it has been a bit too calm…

Perhaps 2024 will give us a few more answers – especially since the WNBA would ideally like to be at 14 teams by next year. 

Not just Caitlin…

While Caitlin Clark is an outstanding player – and will be great at the WNBA level – the media may be making the same mistake that it did last year. 

We remember the record amount of attention last year’s national championship game between Iowa and LSU received. And while she was a huge part of that, let us not act as if no one else exists within women’s college hoops. 

There are so many talented players within the college ranks that too say the sport is reaching record levels of viewership because of only Clark is laughable. 

Let Black Women Coaches Dress as they Please

Notice how LSU coach Kim Mulkey’s over-the-top fits have become such a cultural phenomenon among women’s basketball people? There have even been “Dress Like Kim Mulkey” days because everyone is so enamored with her attire. 

But it appears to be a distraction if a Black woman coach happens to commit the cardinal sin of…wearing a miniskirt. Or wears anything less than an all-black pantsuit ala Hillary Clinton.

This happened with Sydney Carter, the former coach at Texas A&M and is now currently at Texas. Recently, Breonna O’Conner was let go from her perch as coach at Opelousas in (of all states) Louisiana despite an 18-4 record at the time because … of her attire. 

O’Conner eventually landed another job at Scotlandville, but the double standard is an obvious one when juxtaposing two Black women coaches with a white woman coach.

With the number of WNBA players that are receiving their own shoes, it is long past time to finally bestow one upon the face of women’s basketball – not just in the United States, but globally.

All A’ja Wilson does is win – on and off the court. She recently raked in enough money to where her mother could retire at age 26. Her “Dear Black Girls – How to be True to You” book is scheduled for release next month. And where ever she goes, championships follow.

Nike…Wilson is one of your marquee athletes not to mention you are the apparel provider for numerous colleges and high schools around the country. Nike – you are the main apparel provider for the WNBA. Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu both have their own signature shoes.

We are not stopping until we get those A’ja kicks, Nike.

Just Do It.