The Two WNBA Superteams

It’s been a turbulent offseason in the WNBA, with multiple star players changing teams. The two clear winners were the New York Liberty and the Las Vegas Aces.

Image from Sports Illustrated

Superteams have been a phenomenon in the NBA for a few years now, as blue-chip talents head to big markets to compete for championships. Think about LeBron’s Heat and KD’s Warriors. Superteams have now reached the WNBA in full.

The Las Vegas Aces beat the Connecticut Sun in the Finals this past season behind A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum. It was a hard-fought series and a great season in Vegas. One couldn’t imagine they could get any better, but they did. The Aces added two-time MVP Candace Parker, who is one of the best WNBA players of all time. Going into her 16th season, she will add yet another dimension to the Aces.

Image from CBS Sports

Meanwhile, the New York Liberty made two even bigger moves this offseason. First, they acquired star forward Jonquel Jones from Connecticut. Jones wanted to move on from the Sun, and she landed with her preferred team in New York. She’s a transcendent talent in the right situation, and she could return to MVP form on the Liberty. New York wasn’t done, though. They signed Breanna Stewart, who previously played for the Seattle Storm. Both Stewart and Jones are in their primes. They’ll join fourth-year point guard Sabrina Ionescu, who has three triple-doubles to her name (tied for most ever). This big three of Stewart, Jones, and Ionescu have the potential to be the best in WNBA history.

Image from Sportsnet

So, what does this mean for the WNBA? First of all, it offers an exciting (potential) Finals matchup that would probably break records in terms of viewership. NYC and Vegas are huge markets that will attract more fans than ever to these two franchises. There are other competitive teams, but none seem to stand a chance against these two powerhouses. The Aces have +135 odds to win the title, while the Liberty stand at +150. The next two teams are the Mystics (+1200) and the Mercury (+2500). There is no question that these two teams are the deepest, most talented squads in the WNBA.

However, is this necessarily a good thing for the league? The big names and talent are less spread out, potentially leaving smaller markets in the dust. This is a phenomenon in every sports league, as stars gravitate towards big, hot cities, while perennial bottom-feeders are, well, bottom-feeders. So is the superteam phenomenon something that will help or hurt the league? Only time will tell, and it will be interesting to see the growth of the WNBA this season.

In terms of player rights, this move is definitely a win. Stewart is a proponent of charter flights for the WNBA, something that is prohibited currently. This is a rule that Liberty owner, Joseph Tsai, has broken. In New York, Stewart and other players will certainly be able to fight for better accommodations for WNBA players and all female athletes worldwide.


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