The WNBA is in a bit of financial trouble. You have to wonder whether the NBA would be able to focus on its own labor relations to a larger extent if they did not have to deal with the WNBA and maintaining those assets. I think both leagues can survive and indeed thrive. It is interesting that a WNBA team like the Tulsa Shock feel the need to sign players like Marion Jones and Sheryl Swoopes in order to get more publicity for the club.
You can also look at the hiring of Nolan Richardson as the head coach of the Tulsa Shock as some sort of publicity stunt in order to order to gain more attention for the Tulsa and the WNBA as a whole. The question is what exactly can save the WNBA and help get more ticket sales and higher television ratings.
Could Britney Griner be the answer for the WNBA as they look for a way that the league can remain viable in these somewhat difficult economic times. The WNBA has to have stars and the six foot six Griner may in fact be the answer for the league going forward. One of the questions will be whether or not the Baylor star will be willing to leave school early. Baylor has been very competitive in recent years and I am sure that Griner would like to win a National Title if she can. Kim Mulkey may leave the school as the Baylor Bears head coach if Griner ends up leaving early and goes to the WNBA. You have to remember that Baylor was able to win a National Title in 2005 under Kim Mulkey as noted by the New York Times. She has proven that she can win a number of big games in the past. Mulkey comes from a storied Louisiana Tech program that has been a dominant force in women’s college basketball before.
There can be a lot of dollars created for a Texas team if Brittney Griner ended up being in the WNBA with the San Antonio Silver Stars. Dan Hughes is the current head coach of the Silver Stars and he would certainly love the idea of having Griner on his roster. Hughes has been involved in women’s basketball since the 1980’s as a coach in the state of Ohio as noted by the WNBA. Hughes is someone who has been involved with the WNBA almost non stop since the year 1999. The San Antonio Silver Stars were originally the Utah Starzz so this is an original franchise that has already seen a high amount of adversity.
Jere Longman. “To find the source of parity, follow the money.” New York Times.
Silver Stars Staff. “Dan Hughes resumes his role as Silver Stars head coach.” WNBA.com