WNBA 2020: We Came, We Watched Basketball, and Oh How We Thirsted

Queers! We made it to the end of the WNBA season. The players have been released from their Wubble and a new champion has been crowned. Some players had already traveled overseas to begin their seasons there before the celebratory champagne had even been popped.

In what turned about to be a relatively anticlimactic series, the Seattle Storm swept the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA Finals, winning the franchise’s fourth championship. Seattle is a good team no matter what, but they were also basically the only team that was at full strength during this unprecedented season in which many of the league’s top players opted out because of the pandemic. I’m so excited to see what will happen next season when all the teams are firing on all cylinders.

One of the nicest things about Seattle winning is that their ownership group is an example of what sports franchises can be at their very best. As Lindsay Gibbs noted at Power Plays, there are two all-women ownership groups in the WNBA: the Atlanta Dream, which includes Kelly Loeffler, the pro-Trump Senator whose name the players vowed not to speak all season, and the Storm, who are owned by former Olympic rower Ginny Gilder, and former Microsoft executives Dawn Trudeau and Lisa Brummel (Gilder also wrote a memoir called Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX about being an Olympian and a Title IX trailblazer).

“The three [women] didn’t just form a partnership; they invented what they call “The Storm Way” — a mission statement at the unique intersection of business, sports, and social justice,” Gibbs wrote for ThinkProgress in 2017. “While they all believe that taking over the team was a good financial investment, and are partly in this to make money, they also own the Storm because they believe in empowering women and in equal rights for everyone, no matter their gender, race, or sexuality. They say that’s a core tenant of who they are.”

Here they are pictured with Gilder’s wife, Lynn Slaughter, Brummel’s wife, Celeste Keaton, and Storm CEO and general manager Alisha Valavanis.

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We love it when people who do good things are rewarded with good things! And now that we came, we watched basketball, and we thirsted, here are some more people we are very, very happy for:

Breanna Stewart is 26 years old, can we talk about this resume?

Sami Whitcomb won a championship while back home in Australia awaiting the birth of her first child. “For me, as much as I wish I didn’t have to choose, I’m also very happy that I’m able to make a sacrifice for [my wife] because she’s made such a huge one for me during this whole pregnancy,” Whitcomb told ESPN. “Doing this alone was an incredible sacrifice on her end, so for me there really wasn’t a choice at the end of the day. I’m grateful that I was able to do this for as long as I could in the bubble but that I now have the opportunity to say, ‘You guys come first and I’m going to do this for you guys.'” Plus, she still got to announce the starters for Game 3.

And special shoutout to the Storm Moms, who are their daughters’ biggest cheerleaders and our favorite source of entertainment.

[HED] What else?

In non-championship news, Los Angeles Sparks player Chelsea Gray had a birthday and her wife wished her a happy one on Instagram.

Brittney Sykes is playing overseas and if you didn’t think her jersey said “orgasm” on first glance, you and I are not the same.

And Natisha Hiedeman and Courtney Williams gave us SOME TEA. Happy Friday!

Now, if you’ll let me be earnest for a second, thank you all so much for following along with me this season! I knew there was an untapped audience for queer WNBA content and I wanted this to be a place existing fans could come talk about the game but would also be accessible for people who were new to the league. To every single person who told me you watched the game because of this column, just know that you made my entire season! Thank you for cheering with me and thirsting with me and I hope to see you back here for more next season.

Britni is a freelance writer whose work sits at the intersection of sports, gender, & queerness. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, The Atlantic, Vox, and many more.

Britni has written 11 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. justice was served. though, no disparagement to the Aces players, it’s a rough loss.

    but hey, while the Storm had all their roster in the Wubble, like everybody else they were without key players throughout the season, as you can see by the Aces finishing 1st in the league.

    thanks so much for the coverage and the forum. really dug the discourse on these threads.

  2. started watching WNBA because of this column and it was probably the most fun I’ve had in quarantine, so thank you! as a new fan, I’m psyched to hopefully see a season with more teams at full strength next year.

  3. Thank you so much for this column! Ive been meaning to get into the WNBA for years but didn’t really know where to start. This series has given me not only a wealth of helpful information but also *exactly* the kind of content that gets me invested in a sport (read: queers, obviously).

    Loved this and Im pumped for next season!

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