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Jim Souhan: Seven things the WNBA can address as it rises in popularity

Jim Souhan, Star Tribune on

Published in Basketball

MINNEAPOLIS — With beautiful ball movement and intense defense, the Chicago Sky last weekend won the 2021 WNBA championship.

They became a wonderful story because of Candace Parker returning to her hometown and winning another title, and because of two guards who are married starting in a championship backcourt, and James Wade becoming one of sport's more endearing coaches.

Now that the league has had time to celebrate an entertaining postseason, let's make the league better.

Here's how:

Stop competing with the NFL

WNBA ratings continue to rise, and they were particularly good before the NFL season began. Then the Minnesota Lynx played their only home playoff game opposite a Vikings-Seahawks game at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the deciding game of the Sky-Mercury finals went up against an NFL Sunday.

 

Stop it. Even baseball, once America's most popular sport, can't compete with the NFL.

The WNBA should seize the summer, when it would be in competition with only baseball, which, during the regular season, is a regional sport. If the WNBA insists on playing in the fall — a mistake — then at least schedule games other times than Sunday afternoon.

As a general sports columnist, I desperately search for topics during the summer and am overloaded with options in the fall. When the Lynx play during the summer, I love covering a meaningful basketball game instead of just another baseball game.

Stop with the roster machinations

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