HoopsHype WNBA rumors

August 22, 2013 Updates
August 4, 2013 Updates

A financial website called "24/7 Wall Street" predicts the WNBA will disappear by next year — after David Stern steps down as NBA commissioner. The logic is Stern's strong support of the women's league (six of its 12 teams are bankrolled in part by the NBA counterpart in the same city; all receive logistical support) and his utter control as commissioner have combined to keep the WNBA afloat despite poor TV ratings and declining attendance. The question is whether his successor, Adam Silver, has either the passion or the power to keep the WNBA afloat if NBA owners balk at continued investment. An official of at least one non-NBA-supported team, the Chicago Sky, says that won't happen because Silver has shown he also cares deeply about the WNBA. Chicago Tribune

May 24, 2013 Updates

The WNBA is riding high these days, eagerly awaiting the debut of college megastar Brittney Griner in her first pro game Monday. Then it will fold in a handful of months. At least that's the thought process of financial website 24/7 Wall St, which is picking the WNBA as one of 10 U.S. entities to disappear by next year. It cites circumstantial evidence -- NBA Commissioner David Stern, long a protectorate of the WNBA, is retiring next February -- and also looks at some unfavorable trends. Los Angeles Times

March 28, 2013 Updates

The WNBA has signed a six-year extension with ESPN that is separate from the network's NBA deal. Sources said the deal is worth $12M per year, which amounts to about $1M per WNBA team, and runs through the '22 season. Sports Business Daily

February 18, 2013 Updates

It was not our intention to play "Gotcha" with the greatest flopper the sport has ever known. We just wanted to gauge how far he’s come since his Detroit Pistons days, when he could incite a riot in a dozen ways, most of them involving melodrama — a flop, a shove, a covert elbow, a fake outrage. Chuck Daly, as he often did, put it best once: "Laimbeer," the great coach said, "could drive people insane and then just walk away — he was like Gandhi." "People disliked me because I never went away," Laimbeer corrected. "I was always there, and people couldn’t stand it. I was an irritating person to play against, and I’d get under your skin." Newark Star-Ledger

No one ever doubted his talent for this. Check out how many Laimbeer videos there are on YouTube, and then count how many are tagged with "fight," "flop," "cheap shot" or "hard foul." Spoiler alert: The answers are "3,700" and "more than half." And a large number involve him getting punched in the face by a 1980s wing of the Hall of Fame: Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Robert Parish, et al. Oh, and Isiah Thomas, if we’re including practices. There should be some kind of medal for that. "The Bad Boys moniker will live forever," Laimbeer said triumphantly. "You see they’re now doing a documentary on those Pistons teams? It was our identity, and we’re proud of it. But no, there’s no medal for getting punched. The real badge of honor is the championship." Newark Star-Ledger

October 26, 2012 Updates

Former Detroit Pistons' great Bill Laimbeer has returned to the head coaching ranks. It's just not in the league he was hoping to do it in. Laimbeer, who helped the Pistons win back-to-back NBA championships in 1989-90, was named head coach and general manager of the WNBA's New York Liberty Thursday. Laimbeer is no stranger to the WNBA. He coached the Detroit Shock from 2002-09 before leaving the club to become an assistant coach with the Minneosta Timberwolves. Booth Newspapers

October 16, 2012 Updates

Understandably, Augustus wants to be married in Minnesota where she now lives and where Varner is from. She helped bring the state a championship last year, and her Lynx are in the WNBA Finals right now against the Indiana Fever. "I'm hoping that it passes 'cause then we're able to have a nice wedding here and actually be able to legally do it here instead of having to go a few hours away to Iowa or somewhere like that to have it done," Augustus said. "You want to be able to do it in a city that, for one, has embraced me and been like my second home and is her home -- this is where she's from — to be able to share a special moment in Minnesota history." USA Today

October 3, 2012 Updates

So naturally, our conversation briefly shifted to women's basketball: with the Lacob family and Weyermann now working together as part of an organization that just bought into both the NBA and the D-League, how much interest is there in getting back into women's basketball and bringing a WNBA team back to the Northern California? "Well, I don't know what I'm allowed to say and what I really should say, but to be clear [Weyermann] is a president of the Santa Cruz Warriors but his overarching title is Vice President of New Franchise Development - that's his full title," Kirk Lacob responded when asked about the possibility of the organization bringing the WNBA to the Bay Area. "So he might be president of this team, but for the Warriors he still has a title: he's the Vice President of New Franchise Development. His job is to help us with any new projects that happen." For WNBA Fans

May 20, 2012 Updates
July 24, 2011 Updates

There were the record number of first-time WNBA All-Stars, and a halftime ceremony honoring the best players in WNBA history. Indiana Fever guard Katie Douglas didn’t fit into either category. So she made her mark another way. The four-time All-Star capped one of the closest WNBA midseason showcases ever by hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer with 56.7 seconds left, and the Eastern Conference hung on for just its third All-Star game victory over the West, 118-113 on Saturday. “We got together during practice and the first thing we said was that we wanted to win,” said New York Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter, who led the East with 17 points. “Alongside of having fun we wanted to be victorious today and we accomplished that. Good job.” Washington Times

WNBA 

The WNBA celebrated its 15 years by naming its all-15-year team, and the usual names made the cut: Leslie, T-Spoon, Staley, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes among them. The idea of a pro women's league was considered a reach back in 1997, and the WNBA has fought to scrape up enough sponsors and crowds and TV revenue ever since. And yet, there are visible signs of progress today: The TV contract with ESPN runs four more years, a handful of franchises are owned independent of the NBA, and Moore endorses the Jordan Brand of Nike, which is usually reserved for A-list male sports stars. NBA.com

WNBA 
July 11, 2011 Updates

The Los Angeles Sparks have dismissed Jennifer Gillom as coach and replaced her with Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, the father of Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant who previously coached the WNBA team. General manager Penny Toler announced the move Sunday night, saying it was necessary to take the team in a different direction. "Joe's familiarity with the Sparks organization puts us in the best possible position to compete going forward, and should make for a seamless transition," Toler said in a statement released by the team. "We respect Jennifer's commitment to the Sparks and understand she has faced adversity with player injuries during her tenure. That being said, with a short season and playing in the competitive Western Conference, winning games early in the year is critical and the Sparks' goal remains to contend for a WNBA championship." ESPN.com

July 5, 2011 Updates
May 27, 2011 Updates

Former WNBA player Margo Dydek has died after suffering a heart attack a week ago and being placed in a medically induced coma. Cathy Roberts, the operations manager for the Northside Wizards in the Queensland Basketball League, where Dydek was head coach, told The Associated Press that Dydek, 37, died early Friday. SI.com

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