Stone spent nearly three decades accruing numerous accolades and building up some of the most successful franchises in recent NBA history. All of that, though, she hopes pales in comparison to the message her story sends. “You have to know your values in life,” Stone says. “You have to make sure you’re true to those. That’s how I think you achieve what’s important to you in life. You can find a way to make it happen. I went and got married in Canada, I was going to have a son no matter what. Those things are important. I want people to know it’s worked for me, and it may not work for everybody, but if you value who you are and try to work along those lines, I tend to think things will work out for you.”
How newsworthy is it in 2021 if a current professional athlete comes out during his or her career? Kate Scott: I think it depends on the league now. We’ve seen the WNBA and NWSL continue to lead the way when it comes to the inclusion and celebration and thus, normalization of their LGBTQ+ athletes. Meanwhile, it’s been 40 years since MLB had an openly gay active player. I just finished reading “Singled Out,” the Andrew Maraniss-written book on former Dodgers and A’s outfielder Glenn Burke, and that absolutely blew my mind. Forty years! Then I realized the NFL and most of the other professional men’s leagues in the U.S. have never had an openly gay active athlete, so hey, 40 years ain’t so bad! What I’m trying to get at is it would be a massive deal if an active NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL player were to come out and I truly hope someone or a group of players band together soon to do just that.
Jeff Metcalfe: Rick Welts will be honored by Phoenix #Mercury at Friday’s game for his role in launching the #WNBA 25 years ago when he was in the NBA office and then working for Phoenix Suns … he is recently retired as Golden State Warriors president/CEO
The Las Vegas Aces are off to a stellar 6-3 start to their season and Thursday night’s 94-82 victory over the New York Liberty took head coach Bill Laimbeer to second place in career wins (288), passing former Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm head coach Brian Agler. Laimbeer was a four-time All Star and two-time champion during his days in the NBA. Since retiring in 1993, he’s seen similar success in the realm of coaching, leading the WNBA’s Detroit Shock to three championships during his 2002-2009 reign.
The WNBA’s 25th season is off to a roaring start. After the league’s “Wubble” season last year, WNBA viewership is up 74% on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 through the first five games of the 2021 season — an average of 357,000 viewers per game. Opening weekend saw a 325% increase in Canadian viewership — and that’s without a Canada-based team.
Today, Amazon and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced a multi-year agreement giving Prime Video exclusive global streaming rights to 16 WNBA games per season, as well as the Commissioner’s Cup Game on Sunday, August 12.