Why Is The WNBA So Boring?
The WNBA was originally envisioned as an alternative to the men’s game. Meant to attract a larger and more diverse audience, the founding of the WNBA was set with high hopes and tens of millions of dollars in initial investment.
However, for the most part, that original vision and investment has largely failed to materialize, with revenue numbers for the WNBA continuing to decline year-over-year. And while there has been some success in the WNBA, the majority of at-home viewers simply continue to disregard and avoid WNBA games and news.
Below, we are going to look into and discuss just why the WNBA is so boring and what changes the league can enact to help attract new fans and interest in the league.
A Quick History on The WNBA
The WNBA was founded on April 22, 1996, by the Board of Governors for the NBA. Currently, the WNBA is composed of twelve teams, with the regular season being played from the months of May through September, with the WNBA All Star game being held midway through the season.
Of the twelve WNBA teams, five share a direct NBA counterpart and typically play in the same arena. The five teams include the Indiana Fever, the Los Angeles Sparks, the Minnesota Lynx, the New York Liberty, and the Phoenix Mercury.
From the remaining seven teams, the Atlanta Dream, the Chicago Sky, the Connecticut Sun, the Dallas Wings, the Las Vegas Aces, the Seattle Storm, and the Washington Mystics, none of those teams share an arena with a direct NBA counterpart.
However, four of the seven do share a market with an NBA counterpart and the Washington Mystics and the Atlanta Dream do play in an NBA G League arena.
The initial purpose of the WNBA was meant to attract and bring additional viewership to the women’s sport. In addition, by creating an exclusive women’s basketball league, the NBA Board of Governors hoped to attract female viewership to both the NBA and the WNBA.
However, digging deeper, and looking at the WNBA’s initial motto of, “We Got Next”, the purpose of the WNBA was meant to elevate the women’s sport of basketball past an afterthought and into the spotlight as a competitive, qualified, and equally entertaining league.
How Much Do WNBA Players Get Paid?
We’ve previously reported that the average NBA player’s salary per season currently sits at $7.5 million. Comparatively, the average WNBA player for the 2021-22 season earned a tad over $120,000, or just 1.6% of what their NBA counterparts earn per season.
And while some WNBA players are better compensated than the average, the overall total compensation is a fraction of their similar counterpart in the NBA.
For the 2021-22 WNBA season, the average pay across all players was $120,648.
Again, while not a terrible annual salary, it is far less than the average pay in the NBA and is, in some cases, the total pay of an elite NBA player for just one game.
Differences Between The NBA vs. The WNBA
While the general rules and regulations between the NBA and the WNBA remain the same, with the overall goal and purpose of the sport being to score more baskets then the opposing team, there are a few general differences between the two leagues which should be mentioned.
- Size of the basketball – perhaps the biggest difference between the NBA and the WNBA is the size of the basketball. Currently, the WNBA utilizes a size 6 basketball, measuring at a circumference of 72.5 centimeters. The NBA, however, utilizes a size 7 basketball, which measures with a circumference of 75 centimeters.
- Number of teams – another major difference between the two leagues is the number of teams per league. Currently, the NBA has 30 teams, whereas the WNBA only has twelve total teams. This limited number of teams makes for a less competitive and diverse league.
- Length of Quarters – whereas the NBA consists of four 12-minute quarters, the WNBA is consists of just four 10-minute quarters. This means that the women players play 8-total minutes less than their male counterparts.
Why Is The WNBA Seen As Boring?
While, perhaps, calling the WNBA is not exactly the nicest term, few can deny that the WNBA simply does not have the energy and enthusiasm of the NBA. And while the league and its players and officials have attempted to encourage and entice fans to show-up and tune-in, these efforts have not produced the results hoped for.
Below, we are going to review some of the top reasons why the WNBA is seen as boring.
- No dunking – perhaps the most obvious reason, the female game and league simply lacks the explosiveness and dunking of the men’s game. And while the women’s league is played in a purer fashion to how the game was envisioned, fans and spectators are looking for explosive dunks to keep them interested.
- Lack of brand awareness – the WNBA, similarly, has done a poor job in branding and marketing their league, team’s, and players. Few can name the best WNBA player currently playing and even fewer can name the 12 WNBA teams. Due to this lack of emotional attachment to the team or a player, fans simply are not excited for the games.
- No discernible differences – further, the WNBA, as compared to the NBA, has little discernible differences between the two leagues. As such, the motivation to watch a WNBA game can be a bit lacking and may not incentivize new fans and followers.
- Lack of star power – as a supplemental point to the second one, the WNBA simply lacks the star power that the NBA has. From famous NBA players past and present, many kids and adults across the world can name their favorite NBA player. The WNBA, unfortunately, does not have this luxury and can come across as bland and rather uninspiring.