Tag: WNBA

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

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

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.

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.

It’s Time for the WNBA Finals, You Gays!

It's Time for the WNBA Finals, You Gays!

Welcome to the WNBA Finals! We did it, folks. Tonight, the number two seeded Las Vegas Aces take on the number one seeded Seattle Storm in Game 1, airing on ESPN2.

The Storm got here by sweeping the Minnesota Lynx, while the Aces went five games with the Sun. The Sun’s defense nearly shut down Vegas’ offense, but the Sun struggled to make shots and ultimately, you can’t win a game if you don’t score points. So here we are.

Seattle is a well-oiled machine and, judging by how they looked in the semis, they’re going to be hard to beat, especially with Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart locked in together. But the Aces have MVP A’ja Wilson and vet Angel McCoughtry who has just as much playoff experience as Bird.

Instead of a standard matchup preview, because that’s not really my thing, I thought we’d recap some of the out players on each team and what to watch for from each of them.


Seattle Storm

The Storm have Sue Bird. The last time the Storm were in the Finals, in 2018, they won. That was when we had masked Sue, doing superhero shit. She’s been in the WNBA since 2003 and any season now could be her last. She’s been plagued by knee injuries the last two years, but when she’s on the court she brings a quiet confidence and steady leadership to her team. Speaking of Sue Bird, maybe you’ve heard of her girlfriend?

Breanna Stewart returned from an Achilles injury this season looking like no time at all had passed. Her on-court chemistry with Bird is key to the team’s offensive flow and she was in the MVP conversation this year. There’s not really anything Stewie can’t do, and I lack the ability to break down her game in words other than “yes” and “wow.”

Natasha Howard is a key part of the Storm’s defense and when she’s also making shots on the other end of the floor, adds a lot to their game (Howard faced allegations of domestic violence from her wife last year.)

The team will be without Sami Whitcomb off the bench, as she went back to Australia to await the birth of her first child.


Las Vegas Aces

There are two players (both queer) to keep an eye on for the Aces, who will be difference makers for their team if they can get going. The first is Angel McCoughtry. McCoughty is a veteran who is in her first year with Vegas after spending 12 years with the Atlanta Dream, where she took them to several WNBA Finals appearances. She has more playoff experience than the rest of her team combined. She didn’t get a ton of minutes during the regular season and she was out last year with a knee injury so perhaps people forgot about Angel. But she reminded everyone why she is one of the best of all time in the semis, where she came out in Game 4 and casually dropped 29 points. If Angel is hot, watch out.

The other player who is sometimes overlooked but should not be underestimated is Danielle Robinson. She was insulted after the Sun hardly guarded her at all in the first game and came back determined to show she was a threat. Robinson is quick and can be quietly lethal. Don’t sleep on her. And, just because, here she is being very very cute with her wife:


Fun Stuff from the W This Week

Turns out viewership was up 68 percent this season, proving that a) there is an audience for women’s sports and b) if you put it on TV, people will watch it. LIKE WE’VE BEEN SAYING.

Last week, the Aces’ Kayla McBride opened up to The Players’ Tribune about her struggles with mental health. It’s vulnerable and real and worth a read.

There was some good trash talking on WNBA Twitter this week now that players are out of the Wubble. Candace Parker, who was named Defensive Player of the Year (voted on by media) failed to make a first or second defensive team (voted on by coaches), the first time in WNBA history that’s happened. She let the world know how she felt about it:

Meanwhile, while watching the ~questionable~ officiating in the Aces-Sun series, players shared their own experience with the refs in the Wubble.

The Aces Liz Cambage may have sat out the 2020 season, but she granted us with a Finals Week gift anyway: she posed for Playboy and talked about being 6’8” and enjoying sex. “Me doing Playboy is me celebrating my sexuality like, ‘Yeah, I am a straight six-foot-eight woman who likes to have sex.’ I’m a human; it’s what we do. As a female athlete, I feel like I’m not allowed to be sexy and I’m not allowed to be that person. All society wants from me is to sit down, shut up, go to training and play my sport.”

Sunday Funday Is Protesting With the WNBA

Sunday Funday Is Protesting With the WNBA

Hi babes! How are you? I’M IN LOVE!!!!! Just a dumb dyke at the end of the world falling in love, planning a wedding for five years from now, making and sharing playlists… you know, gay shit. They’re perfect, femme4femme might be my new favorite thing, and now I want to share some other good news with you.


+ Okay, let’s begin with this:

+ The WNBA is playing their season (as safely as possible), and they’re on a mission of justice for Black people.

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+ The members of the NY Liberty and the Seattle Storm walked out during the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner”

+ Gucci launches its first non-binary line. Cute! I guess!

+ More states getting non-binary ID markers! Yes! Go Pennsylvania!

+ If you want something to watch that uses catholic aesthetic but not into catholicism, and is sort of queer, check out Warrior Nun on Netflix.

+ Listen, I hate to say it, but Folklore is good. Heather talked about it, and now they’re talking about it on Vulture. Just take it on a walk with you one day, you’re gonna like it, I think.

+ A queer history of Scooby Doo‘s Velma, who we all know is a lesbian and is now canon, I think?

+ All about “Word is Out”, a 1977 pioneering documentary about gay voices.

+ “Anything for the Gworls”–on the Black trans collective keeping us safe and together.

These days, DJ sets have had to move online, and FTG has adapted its model accordingly, partnering with DJs to redistribute funds from online streams. Party collectives online and off have long functioned as healing spaces for the trans and gender nonconforming Black community at large, and party music is a central part of Black LGBTQ cultural history. Contemporary dance and electronic music has its roots in New York’s 1970s disco tradition, Detroit’s 1980s techno, and Chicago’s 1980s house—musical subcultures built for and pioneered by queer communities of color. These musical lineages inform FTG’s sound. Saeed, who hails from the South Side of Chicago, focuses on playing contemporary Black diaspora dance, house, and electronic artists at FTG’s parties.

+ Nadine Taub, an early feminist leader, has passed away.

+ Rosario Dawson and Retta are podcasting together about women’s suffrage! 


That’s all they wrote this week pals. Share your good news with me, this week was light! I wanna know everything that made you happy! Please tell me!!! I love you so much and I hope the week coming up is fulfilling to you in every way possible. Let’s get this BREAD!!!!!

Ari

Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 309 articles for us.