Our mission at Last Night’s Game is to not only bring you the latest and greatest in sports news but also to expand your horizons. We learned a lot researching today’s five things to know about the WNBA and we hope you do to.
The Last Night’s Game Team
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Five things to know about the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association)
- This year is the 20th season for the WNBA, whose season is May - August. The original eight teams were NBA owned and only located in cities where there was an NBA team. After 2002 the NBA allowed the sale to groups in cities that did not have an NBA team – for a total of 12 teams.
- Players, who make an average salary of $76,500 for the five-month season, must be 22 years old to be drafted, as opposed to 19 in the NBA.
- Many players also play overseas in the off-season to supplement their income. WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner earn over $1 million in salary to play in Russia.
- The WNBA is in financial turmoil. Ticket sales in 2015 were at an all-time low; although sellouts are at an all time high at 33 games – up 25 from the season before. Their six-year television deal with ESPN that runs through 2022 is worth $12 million. While that might seem like a lot, for comparison sake the NBA television deal with Disney (ABC, ESPN) and Turner (TNT) is $25 billion for nine years.
- There is no all-star game this year due to the Olympics. Former Olympian and all-star, Lisa Leslie, was the first WNBA player to dunk the ball during a game.
NBA (National Basketball Association)
- Going where no team has gone before. The NBA approved a trial period (starting in 2017-18 season) for advertisements on team jerseys. No professional sport (NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL) in the U.S. allows for advertising on jerseys until now. The Philadelphia 76ers are the first team to unveil their new look, partnering with StubHub for a reported three years, $15 million deal. Teams can sell to just about anyone except for companies dealing with gambling, alcohol or politics.
- Champs challenged. The defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors lost game one against Oklahoma City Thunder. The two teams will play again tonight at 9 pm (EST) on TNT.
- Total domination. Kyrie Irving and his Cleveland Cavaliers dominated the Toronto Raptors last night, winning by 31 points and taking the first game of the series. Cavs are undefeated in this post season.
NFL (National Football League)
- Sticker shock. Atlanta Falcons announced that they will have the cheapest concession prices of any sports team for next season. We’re talking $2 for a bottomless soda and the same price for bottled water and popcorn. More importantly, beer and cheeseburgers will be $5. The team’s attendance numbers were down last year but they say the cheap concessions have nothing to do with an attempt to increase ticket sales. Either way we love a cheap beer. #winning
- The fan votes are in and UFC women’s fighter Paige Van Zant will stick around for another spray tan. The Dancing with the Stars finale featuring Van Zant, Ginger Zee - Good Morning America's Meteorologist and Nyle DiMarco - a deaf and devastatingly handsome actor/model, will take place on Monday. Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown advanced to the semi-finals but was eliminated before making it to the final round.
- $1 billion (said in a Dr. Evil voice) - That’s the alleged value of LeBron James’ lifetime deal with Nike, signed earlier this year. James is the first person to sign a lifetime deal with the company. That's a lot of $5 beers.
- The NBA draft lottery took place yesterday. This lottery is to determine which team will receive the first pick in the NBA draft (June 23). The worse your team in the previous season, the more chances you have to ‘win’ the first pick. The 76ers took home the right to the first pick followed by Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Chomping at the bit to see where your team landed? Click here.