25 years of greatness are expected to be celebrated next week as the 2021 WNBA season tips-off. But who will come out on top? Is another Storm coming? Or will other franchises rise like Mercury to the Sky and Spark life back into this battle for the Sun that is all Aces?
Could it all be the Dream this year? Down in the ATL the Georgia franchise is a few letters short of a peach, but they made a capital exclamation last year, overhauling their previous ownership group. Now it truly is a new day in the A as with legend Angel McCoughtry gone it’s up to Tiffany Hayes to Hawk fly to superstar status for this Dream to soar. We believe. Time for the league to wake up.
The biggest news to touch the Sky this offseason is legend Candace Parker’s homecoming. Her 1-2 punch with DeShields could bring more than diamonds to a team that hasn’t seen shine since the days of Delle Donne. Gabby Williams’ commitment to the French national team hurts them, but that gives Allie Quigley the opportunity to sky high like the Eiffel.
The Sun will still rise even if eyes will focus more on the Mercury of Phoenix than this hot connect. Alyssa Thomas may be gone but Jonquel Jones and DeWanna Bonner may be the silent superstars to make noise when everyone else is focussing on the big news. We take the Sun for granted, but if you don’t get ready for it this Summer, you’ll only get burned.
This Indiana team is giving me Fever like Peggy Lee or those new Stranger Things themed jerseys that get an 11 out of 10. GM and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings has plenty in her grasp for the quarter century anniversary of an association she helped mold in her image. The young core of Kelsey Mitchell, Victoria Vivians, Teaira McCowan and Lauren Cox, paired with the veterans Jantel Lavender and Danielle Robinson could cure a four season playoff sickness before it has its own anniversary of a half decade. Time to turn all this upside down like the Fever on the shorts.
New York Liberty
Sabrina Ionescu’s bubble may have burst in the Wubble last Summer, but this former outstanding Oregon Duck is the future of this franchise and league. Her time will come like this teams move to Brooklyn were all the Net gains are like Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. But don’t count New York out like Julius Randle or RJ Barrett. The Liberty could still make a landmark statement this season before passing the torch. With Rebecca Allen, Natasha Howard, Asia Durr and more, this team has boroughs of talent.
Led by all-superstar Bradley Beal, triple-double monster chasing Oscar, Russell Westbrook and more than just big in Japan, Rui Hachimura, the Washington Wizards surprised everyone this season. Even after a bad start that left everyone wanting out of this town like John Wall. The Mystics aren’t mystifying anyone though. We already know how good they are. Big star Elena Delle Donne and 2012 MVP Tina Charles (still yet to make her debut with the this team) may have missed last years shortened season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s a reason DC sat out this Summers draft. They’re good. Tell Seattle there’s another storm on its way. The capital want their championship back.
Before taking flight the Dallas Wings pulled their new uniforms honoring Women Airforce Service Pilots after the WNBA and Nike learned that the program excluded black women. Don’t let this mistake ground your love for the Texan franchise who look to truly honor their powerful core of women led by Satou Sabally, Megan Gustafson, Bella Alarie and Allisha Gray. There will be more turbulence at times in these skies though, as this former Detroit and Tulsa franchise need to shock people on the score-sheet before they can claim a constant postseason home on their way to the throne.
Las Vegas Aces
The potential of the Aces is as high as A’ja Wilson playing ball with Saweetie between the skyscrapers of New York for the ‘Fast (Motion)’ video, or as tall as ruling Aussie Liz Cambage and her plans to boycott the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (like we all should until it’s safe) for their whitewashed lack of diversity in a Paralympic promotional photo shoot. This punching pair are high rollers, but Sin City has even more stacked ready for a chip with former number one draft choice Kelsey Plum and star Dearica Hamby. Not to mention basketball Gods, hoop heaven sent legend Angel McCoughtry. Proving this team are more than a 1-2, as they even picked up Chelsea Gray from LA for added Spark. Gaaawd! In that many years this team may have that many trophies. Expect Vegas to win big.
Los Angeles Sparks
No longer rooted in LA, the biggest Los Angeles legend since Lisa Leslie not called Shaq or Kobe may be gone, but Derek Fisher’s team still has Spark without Candace Parker. For one the Ogwumike sisters are back in the act. Chiney rejoins this franchise and associations leader Nneka after sitting out last season and chasing Parker in the pundit stakes, changing the broadcasting game. And adding Erica Wheeler and Amanda Zahui B to a team that already features Brittney Sykes, Erica Wheeler, Kristi Toliver, Sydney Wiese and WNBA great Seimone Augustus (who is still more than good) is huge. But losing CP3 and the range of ‘Point Gawd’, Chelsea Gray hurts. Dry your eyes though and look to the digital skyline in this city of stars and their brand new, rebellious jerseys. For the potential of Te’a Cooper has them smiling in Los Angeles like when her boyfriend Dwight Howard came through last year for a Laker redemption.
Maya Moore is a social justice hero and an WNBA legend. But the Lynx right now are prepped and loaded during her sabbatical and honeymoon with the man she served justice to, Jonathan Irons. The great Sylvia Fowles is joined by the likes of Kayla McBride, Aerial Powers, Natalie Achonwa and Napheesa Collier the chance to reign like those Twin Cities music jerseys that honor legends like Prince for these queens.
It’s not just Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton bringing color to the Valley like those new Suns jerseys this season. Peep the Mercury hot threads the WNBA has to offer in Phoenix this Summer, but more importantly the stars rocking them, raising Arizona like Nicolas Cage. Big Brittney Griner, the superstar rise of Skylar Diggins-Smith and Canada’s very own Kia Nurse. If I do say so myself that’s a wonderful three. Oh yeah and the Kobe dubbed, ‘White Mamba’, Diana Taurasi. Starring in LeBron James ‘Space Jam 2’ won’t be the only ‘New Legacy’ blockbuster this Summer for the newest member of Don Cheadle’s ‘Goon Squad’. The only way to beat a “better GOAT” like Sue Bird…is with a “better GOAT.” Word to Kendrick in the Kobe Nike commercial.
Saving the best for last like a Vanessa Williams hit from the 80’s, the Seattle Storm left Florida’s Disney World Wubble with the championship and a target on their back. The reigning champs have umbrellas though. And it’s not just MVP and the games greatest Breanna Stewart (congratulations on your engagement) and GOAT Sue Bird still at a Brady or ‘Bron level at 40. Katie Lou Samuelson is the future and legends don’t come much bigger than Aussie greatest Lauren Jackson back with the Storm for a reigning reunion. Add the depth of Jordin Canada and Jewell Loyd in this champs war chest and this classic franchise with a new look are ready to plant their flag on more than Seattle’s Space-Needle.