Saturday, July 02, 2011

Not So Wise

It’s an unfortunate fact that the WNBA is often ignored by sportswriters. It’s also an unfortunate fact that when some of them do “mention” the league, it’s often not very flattering.

Even so, the BCs were pretty surprised that in the last couple of days at least two sportswriters, including the Washington Post’s own Mike "I am Tiger Woods" Wise, are casting blame on the WNBA for the NBA lockout. (Here and here.) That’s right – according to these two writers, if the NBA hadn’t supported the women’s league and other "bad business ventures" (Mike's words), well then, all would be right in the world of men’s professional basketball.


The WNBA’s salary cap per team this season is $852,000. That’s the maximum total combined salary for all 11 players on one team. (WNBA salaries are so small by pro sports standards that most players play overseas during the winter to earn their living.) The NBA’s salary cap this past season per team was $58 MILLION. The minimum a team was allowed to pay out in salaries was $43.5 MILLION. The average salary for one single NBA player this past year was a reported $6 MILLION. Kobe Bryant’s 2010-11 NBA salary was a reported $24.8 MILLION. Not to mention (but we will) that WNBA players fly coach, not plush private charters.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that only 6 of the 30 NBA owners also own WNBA teams.

But hey, when it comes to bashing women’s sports, why let the facts get in the way?

Now that two different sports writers have assigned blame to the WNBA for the NBA lockout, the BCs’ inside-the-beltway radar is giving off warning signals loud and clear. You don’t live in a political town like Washington as long as we have without learning to recognize “talking points” when you hear them. We can only guess that Mike’s been played by the NBA players union. Perhaps they told him these labor problems are the fault of the WNBA and he regurgitated that line without so much as a moment of reflection. (Makes us wonder if Mike's back spending too much time with "the fraternity for arrested development" instead of doing a little independent research.)

In any event, whoever came up with this notion (Mike, or the players union, or somebody else), it’s ludicrous . . . and it’s ugly. If highly paid, wealthy-beyond-imagination, and often badly behaved, spoiled male athletes want a raise, let them make the case on the merits why they deserve one. But leave the underpaid, overworked female athletes the hell out of it.

* * * * * *

FYI . . . Tomorrow (Sunday), the modestly-paid-not-locked-out Mystics take on the equally modestly-paid-not-locked-out 2010 WNBA Champion Seattle Storm at 4 PM at the Phone Booth. The game is also being shown locally on Comcast SportsNet.


At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How typical in this day and age. Everyone is ready to point fingers in all directions except towards themselves where it truly belongs. If the millionaires are having a pissing contest with the billionaires they only have themselves to blame.

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Tabatha said...

Thank you for calling it like it is!

At 6:09 PM, Blogger dcsportsfan said...

Thank you for this well written post. Though Ted will probably be unable to say much on the issue right now because of the situation, I am sure he will also agree.

The WNBA has a very good opportunity to showcase itself in the face of this NBA lockout, and hopefully we can put that to good use with yet another home victory against the Storm.

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so disappointed by the NBA as well as the NFL. Do these over paid players really think that we feel sorry for them. The NFL Players want the owners to pay their health insurance after they retire. And these sports writers just keep making sure that the owners are blamed for the lockout. Player make 100 times more than me, and I will have to pay my own insurance. god help us all.

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and the owners pay these players a gazillion dollars. They all want to win and be "king on the block. It's ridiculous. They only have themselves to blame.

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing that these "sportswriters" can't do a little research before they go casting blame on the WNBA for the NBA lockout.

Great post!

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, players do NOT want a raise as you's the owners who want to cut players' salaries, big it's not a matter about players wanting a raise..they just don't want such a drastic cut.

Get your facts straight.

Still, blaming the WNBA (or, for that matter, the D-League, NBATV etc.) for the lockout is ridiculous. But it's also ridiculous complaining about the disparity between the NBA and WNBA salary caps..the salary cap is based on leagues' revenues so, since the NBA revenues are far higher than the WNBA's, obviously the NBA has a far higher salary cap. That's common sense.

At 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hear, hear!

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bigger issue, that the NBA continues to ignore, is the "thug" culture around the NBA. I know several people who refuse to go to NBA games with their kids because of the players who are oddly proud of their "I'm not a role model" status. They're a lot happier going to WNBA games where they don't have to explain why they're cheering for someone who jokes about a gun allegation during a time out.

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Chris Rock has stated, and I paraphrase, the players may be rich but the people who pay them are really really rich....and it's the owners who have continued to pay the millions in salaries..even to players who haven't done a thing in the league. Now they lock out the players to punish them for the owners' spending.

And I try not to condemn entire groups of people for the stupid actions of a few. Not all NBA players act like the ones we have had here in DC. I find drunk fans at certain sporting events to be more threatening than any players.

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read that Mike Wise column and couldn't believe it when he threw the WNBA in as a scapegoat for high spending NBA owners. Really.. thank you Basketcases for presenting facts. I hope you e-mailed them directly to Mr. Wise.

He needs to hear from all of us.


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