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Randy



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 9:48 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
Thanks, pilight. Yeah, she's much more even-handed with the context of the whole conversation than that line makes it sound. She wasn't really saying they had to, or that it would be necessary, just that if they were going to genuinely fight their corner then they needed to be willing to risk things.

The interesting point she made was that if they were going to make a big leap, the investment would have to come from the NBA. And she's right. Hell, it could be initiated by the NBPA if they wanted to. If they said "we'll take 49% of basketball related income rather than 50%, because that 1% should go to those underpaid WNBA players", W salaries would skyrocket.


Or the NBA negotiates with ESPN to reduce the amount paid for NBA games by Xand start increasing the amount paid to the WNBA by X.

Another easy way to do it - NBATV suddenly starts paying the WNBA $xx+ million per year to televise WNBA games.

The first way is better as 50% comes out of the NBA players because it reduces basketball revenue.



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 10:09 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
The interesting point she made was that if they were going to make a big leap, the investment would have to come from the NBA. And she's right. Hell, it could be initiated by the NBPA if they wanted to. If they said "we'll take 49% of basketball related income rather than 50%, because that 1% should go to those underpaid WNBA players", W salaries would skyrocket.

Yeah. It's an import distinction that gets lost in the mix so often. People don't seem to recognize that the NBA actually owns the WNBA and has interests in keeping the league around beyond "making profit" for individual franchise owners or just as some social justice stunt. I went into it in some depth in another thread some time back, so I won't rehash, but suffice to say it isn't the individual franchise owners who are barely eeking out profits that the players are looking at to foot this bill, but the deep pockets of the people that own 50% of their league that gain long term benefits to their interests through the players' labor. What the monetary equivalent of that value is, is exactly what the players need to figure out and negotiate to their benefit.

Note that no one questions how much the NBA pours into the G-League, even though they lose significantly more money there than they do in the WNBA. It's just that lay people are able to understand the overlapping interests much more clearly in that case (and, of course, they are much more willing to think about it due to the lack of the inherent sexism issue).



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Randy



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 10:21 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The part I don't understand is what is meant by the NBA 50% ownership - what exactly does that mean? It is sort of easy to grasp that individual teams have a profit and loss statement - but is the NBA a silent partner for 50% of whatever those profits and losses are? Do the NBA teams get 50% of the revenue from the ATT deal, or ESPN for that matter? I doubt it, but don't know. What about the WNBA league office, the refs, stat keeper, etc - all the infrastructure required to run the league - who pays for that? Be helpful to know, but I doubt we ever will.



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 10:38 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
The part I don't understand is what is meant by the NBA 50% ownership - what exactly does that mean? It is sort of easy to grasp that individual teams have a profit and loss statement - but is the NBA a silent partner for 50% of whatever those profits and losses are? Do the NBA teams get 50% of the revenue from the ATT deal, or ESPN for that matter? I doubt it, but don't know. What about the WNBA league office, the refs, stat keeper, etc - all the infrastructure required to run the league - who pays for that? Be helpful to know, but I doubt we ever will.

It means that the NBA has a 50% say in the operational decisions of the league. Things like who buys into it, whether it expands, when the games are played, then rules the game will adopt, etc. And as all owners, they are then on the hook for operational expenses. Right now, these are supposedly running at a deficit of somewhere around $10 million a year, though Silver has played coy with any exact numbers. When people talk about the NBA "subsidizing" the league, that is what they are talking about...though that is stupid since what other ownern of a company is referred to as "subsidizing" their own company.

Significantly, it also means that the WNBA will always operate under the NBA umbrella, thus no other male basketball league could step in if they decided to attempt to create a foothold in the US and compete against the NBA.

But it's actually more than 50% if you think about it. The NBA as a whole owns 50% of the WNBA as a whole. But how this breaks down is a little bit convoluted.

The WNBA is 50% NBA (which is made up of the owners of the NBA franchises) and 50% WNBA (made up of the owners of the WNBA franchises). But some of the WNBA franchises are also owned by NBA franchise owners. When that is figured in, the de facto ownership by NBA interests actually rises to 70%.



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ClayK



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 10:45 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

As with any corporation, there are some divisions that either don't make as much money as other divisions, or actually lose money.

The investment, then, in those divisions is dependent on the anticipated return and whether that same investment in other divisions would make more sense for the corporation.

Sure, the NBA could double the WNBA's budget, but from a business perspective, that may not make much sense. An investment in China, say, could have a much larger long-term ROI and be a better business decision.

Hard to say without looking at the books but regardless, the NBA doesn't want to spend any more on the WNBA that it feels it absolutely has to. It's easy for us to say that 1% more should go to the WNBA ... but what about 1% more for equipment and programs in Africa?



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justintyme



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 11:10 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
As with any corporation, there are some divisions that either don't make as much money as other divisions, or actually lose money.

The investment, then, in those divisions is dependent on the anticipated return and whether that same investment in other divisions would make more sense for the corporation.

Sure, the NBA could double the WNBA's budget, but from a business perspective, that may not make much sense. An investment in China, say, could have a much larger long-term ROI and be a better business decision.

Hard to say without looking at the books but regardless, the NBA doesn't want to spend any more on the WNBA that it feels it absolutely has to. It's easy for us to say that 1% more should go to the WNBA ... but what about 1% more for equipment and programs in Africa?

It isn't for us to say. It's for the players to demand and for the NBA to accept/counter/refuse. And then the players to negotiate from there. The NBA knows what value the WNBA represents to them and how its continued existence fits into its long term strategies, and on the other side the players know their break points and the value of their labor.

And again, this isn't about profits/losses to the NBA. The amount of money we are talking about here is a literal drop in the bucket for them. So the best analogies would be ones about long term value based investments--preferably ones involving market share and continued monopolistic dominance--rather than ones about maximizing profits in the short or medium term.

But what should not be lost in this, and I feel often is when people discuss player pay in the context of teams making money, is that the sides of this CBA negotiation are not the franchises that are struggling to turn a profit and the players. Rather it's the NBA and the players. The money would not be coming out of the teams' coffers; they are asking the NBA to up their investment to make for more player friendly working conditions.



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pilight



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 11:24 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

As long as the W is under the NBA umbrella, it will never be more than it is now.



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ClayK



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 11:36 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
As long as the W is under the NBA umbrella, it will never be more than it is now.


An interesting point -- but if the WNBA were not under the NBA umbrella, would it exist at all? Without that $10 million does the WNBA survive? And without the NBA influence, are the TV contracts in place?

It certainly could be that the WNBA will never be more than it is now due to NBA influence, but it's also possible that a women's professional league could be a lot less prominent without the NBA.

Finally, though I think the odds are low, there is a possibility that the NBA will chip in another $10 million or so in the near future. Without those deep pockets to dip into, though, there would be no source for that potential investment.



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 11:39 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
As long as the W is under the NBA umbrella, it will never be more than it is now.


Stop with your conspiracy theories.



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Randy



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 11:42 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

If the NBA cut the WNBA loose, the structure would have to change completely to a league like the overseas leagues where there seem to be no salary caps, few long term contracts, and not much parity. It would have to be a league that appeals to rich egomaniac owners who want to buy a championship. I think that would probably be a much more interesting league to watch at least if your team had a wealthy owner. Fan interest would be much higher if they were reading about a bidding wars for players like Griner, Delle Donne, Parker. That and expansion to 30 cities is really what made the NBA successful.



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 1:16 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
As long as the W is under the NBA umbrella, it will never be more than it is now.

I disagree with this.

The NBA is a very public institution that has deep interests in seeing the league survive. As such, it has pressure points that can be used to maximize investment and opportunity for the league. The key is for the WNBA to recognize this and leverage it.

The NBA in turn is a monster in its own right that can leverage partners into favorable outcomes for the WNBA that the league might struggle to gain on its own. Part of the new commissioner's job should be working with Silver on the most effective places for them to do this.

Would you agree that perhaps the model franchise for the WNBA is the Minnesota Lynx? It's a NBA owned franchise. And the fact that it's a NBA owned franchise is no small reason why it had a chance to become what it is.

Forgive me here as I go into story mode, for a lot of this you, being who you are, will know and will probably know better than me. But the Lynx struggled for many, many years. They've always had a nice loyal fan base, but it was pretty small. Minnesota is not a huge market, and getting people indoors in the summer is a big ask. And the Lynx were...not good. They had some decent years; they had Katie Smith who was a Hall of Fame talent, but the team treaded water and was very much on the periphery of sports culture here. There was very little media attention, very little awareness outside of that fan base, and the general public opinion of the team (and women's sports in general) was one of apathy at best, bordering on derision at worst.

Yet through all of this, what the team had in its favor was an extraordinarily committed owner in Glen Taylor. An owner that did not consider his ownership of the Lynx as secondary to his ownership of the Timberwolves. He invested heavily in the team, as much as was allowed under the CBA, and took the losses in stride. It undoubtedly helped that he could roll those losses into writeoffs for his profits on the Timberwolves side, and could mitigate costs by sharing administrative facilities. All this investment and perseverance meant that the team was in position to capitalize when a few things broke their way. Yes, the team got extraordinarily lucky but luck and some shrewd basketball decisions and incredible on-court play and the success that resulted were only the catalyst. The reason the Lynx are what they are today is because the team was ready for it. Taylor had invested, committed fully to the team, and believed it would eventually come.

And--this is the part those out of the market don't really get to experience, and why I asked for the indulgence of over-explaining that which is likely already well known--everything about the Lynx different. That loyal fanbase? It's no longer small. Sure, it's not to the level of the Vikings/Twins/Wild/Timberwolves, but it's more than respectable. The WNBA is not a "niche sport" in Minnesota. More and more I'll hear the phrase "the Big 5" thrown around when discussing professional sports teams in Minnesota, rather than the "Big 4". And it isn't the Loons they are including (Minnesota United, the MLS team). The Lynx are covered prominently in the paper, and get solid media coverage from the local TV and radio stations. And just about everyone knows who they are. Even non sports fans. They are no longer on the periphery. And the opinions? Apathy has given way to support, and what little derision someone might still be willing to express in public quickly is drowned out by people coming to the team's defense. It's actually become cool to be a fan of the Lynx/WNBA. You walk into a sports bar when a game is on and it's normal to find TVs already showing it.

There is still a ways to go. As I said, it is far from the level of the "Big 4", and the media coverage as nice as it is, could still be better. But really, if there were 12 teams all accepted/followed/covered in their respective markets as well as the Lynx are and that were done nationally as well, there would be little talk about struggles in the WNBA. And people would also not be questioning it as an investment opportunity.

So perhaps the problem isn't that it is under the NBA umbrella, it's that the NBA hasn't been as committed to the WNBA as they could be. What if the NBA were as committed to the WNBA as Glen Taylor is to the Lynx. What if they invested to that extent? That, to me, seems like the best case scenario for long term success for the league.



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Randy



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 3:56 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:


So perhaps the problem isn't that it is under the NBA umbrella, it's that the NBA hasn't been as committed to the WNBA as they could be. What if the NBA were as committed to the WNBA as Glen Taylor is to the Lynx. What if they invested to that extent? That, to me, seems like the best case scenario for long term success for the league.


The problem is that many, if not most, of the WNBA owners may be less committed than Mr. Taylor, or just don't have the money to invest, or the time horizon. For all but a few of the NBA owners the WNBA represents an operating cost to them, but not an obvious benefit. (True it is a small cost - probably less than one of the bad contracts they hand out like party favors, but it is still a cost.) How many of those owners are supportive of the WNBA? Not all 30. The Dream are saying that the Hawks stopped the the Dream from coming back to State Farm arena.* We don't the whole story - but that not a sign of a supportive NBA team. So I think the point is that expecting much more support from NBA teams is unrealistic.

*"At the sole discretion of the management of State Farm Arena and the Atlanta Hawks, we will not be returning to State Farm Arena in 2020."

http://boards.rebkell.net/viewtopic.php?t=96994


BTW - comparing the WNBA to g-league is not apt. The g-league is a farm system to provide the NBA with player training. That's a benefit to teams which apparently they all now think is worth the cost.



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justintyme



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PostPosted: 09/13/19 4:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
justintyme wrote:


So perhaps the problem isn't that it is under the NBA umbrella, it's that the NBA hasn't been as committed to the WNBA as they could be. What if the NBA were as committed to the WNBA as Glen Taylor is to the Lynx. What if they invested to that extent? That, to me, seems like the best case scenario for long term success for the league.


The problem is that many, if not most, of the WNBA owners may be less committed than Mr. Taylor, or just don't have the money to invest, or the time horizon. For all but a few of the NBA owners the WNBA represents an operating cost to them, but not an obvious benefit. (True it is a small cost - probably less than one of the bad contracts they hand out like party favors, but it is still a cost.) How many of those owners are supportive of the WNBA? Not all 30. The Dream are saying that the Hawks stopped the the Dream from coming back to State Farm arena.* We don't the whole story - but that not a sign of a supportive NBA team. So I think the point is that expecting much more support from NBA teams is unrealistic.

*"At the sole discretion of the management of State Farm Arena and the Atlanta Hawks, we will not be returning to State Farm Arena in 2020."

http://boards.rebkell.net/viewtopic.php?t=96994


BTW - comparing the WNBA to g-league is not apt. The g-league is a farm system to provide the NBA with player training. That's a benefit to teams which apparently they all now think is worth the cost.

This is exactly my point. You are willing to see the obvious value to NBA owners of the G-league because it is obvious. But there is similar value in the WNBA, it just isn't as obvious. Instead of being about a player pipeline it becomes about economic issues like market share and maintaining monopolistic control. The NBA has a significant interest in the WNBA's continued existence under their umbrella. Sports economists have written numerous articles on this subject.

And yes, all 30 are likely not supportive of the league. But that's not what it takes. They don't need unanimous support. Obviously the more asked for the less likely it will get approval. But for the most part many of these issues would be able to be addressed at a level of additional funding that would not be even blinked at by most of the NBA owners if Silver sold them on it.

As for the WNBA owners, that is why the focus is on the NBA where the deep pockets actually are.



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PostPosted: 09/14/19 1:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The Dev Youtube thread has an interview with Nneka about the CBA negotiations. I've summarized the little bit of info I've gleaned from watching it there. Nneka says she is confident that they will work it out "by October."

http://boards.rebkell.net/viewtopic.php?p=1591058#1591



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PostPosted: 10/23/19 4:04 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Nneka Ogwumike on WNBA misconceptions and salary transparency

Quote:
"I know that some of what I'm doing is for the next generation," she said. "And that's OK."

In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN at the espnW Women + Sports Summit, Ogwumike discusses CBA negotiations, setting examples for other women's sports leagues (namely hockey), when she hopes WNBA players won't have to play in second leagues overseas and why she hopes to level the playing field when it comes to offseason resources.


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PostPosted: 10/25/19 7:34 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

So Oct. 31 is getting close. It does not sound like much is going to happen with the new CBA from reading the interview above.



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PostPosted: 10/25/19 11:19 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
So Oct. 31 is getting close. It does not sound like much is going to happen with the new CBA from reading the interview above.


Brexit also has an October 31 deadline. You see how that's been going... Wink



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PostPosted: 10/25/19 11:54 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
Randy wrote:
So Oct. 31 is getting close. It does not sound like much is going to happen with the new CBA from reading the interview above.


Brexit also has an October 31 deadline. You see how that's been going... Wink

My money's on both of them going past that date.



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PUmatty



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PostPosted: 10/25/19 12:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
root_thing wrote:
Randy wrote:
So Oct. 31 is getting close. It does not sound like much is going to happen with the new CBA from reading the interview above.


Brexit also has an October 31 deadline. You see how that's been going... Wink

My money's on both of them going past that date.


I agree. Going past the date, but also getting things wrapped up well before the draft.


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PostPosted: 10/25/19 2:12 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PUmatty wrote:
Richyyy wrote:
root_thing wrote:
Randy wrote:
So Oct. 31 is getting close. It does not sound like much is going to happen with the new CBA from reading the interview above.


Brexit also has an October 31 deadline. You see how that's been going... Wink

My money's on both of them going past that date.


I agree. Going past the date, but also getting things wrapped up well before the draft.

Brexit has led to some crazy shit, but I'm hoping it doesn't end up in anything that requires a draft Wink.



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PUmatty



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PostPosted: 10/25/19 2:16 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
PUmatty wrote:
Richyyy wrote:
root_thing wrote:
Randy wrote:
So Oct. 31 is getting close. It does not sound like much is going to happen with the new CBA from reading the interview above.


Brexit also has an October 31 deadline. You see how that's been going... Wink

My money's on both of them going past that date.


I agree. Going past the date, but also getting things wrapped up well before the draft.

Brexit has led to some crazy shit, but I'm hoping it doesn't end up in anything that requires a draft Wink.


Wow. I was definitely half reading what I was responding too.

I do think that Nneka could probably help out other there ...


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PostPosted: 10/31/19 12:32 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The First WNBA President’s Advice To League, WNBPA In CBA Negotiations

https://www.forbes.com/sites/howardmegdal/2019/10/31/the-first-wnba-presidents-advice-to-league-wnbpa-in-cba-negotiations/#625d72c6415f

Quote:
About those salaries: including European off-season worked was baked into the initial model. Ackerman wonders now, though, about the utility of that going forward.

“One reason we did it in summer was because, and we made nonexclusive contracts, was because we thought it was good that the players had an opportunity to play the rest of the year, and an income opportunity the rest of the year,” Ackerman said. “We thought that was a plus. And frankly that's worked. I mean, now you sort of see that its gotten, it's a raggedness, and they do all that over a period of years. You get tired and it's hard.”



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PostPosted: 11/02/19 5:43 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
The First WNBA President’s Advice To League, WNBPA In CBA Negotiations

https://www.forbes.com/sites/howardmegdal/2019/10/31/the-first-wnba-presidents-advice-to-league-wnbpa-in-cba-negotiations/#625d72c6415f

Quote:
About those salaries: including European off-season worked was baked into the initial model. Ackerman wonders now, though, about the utility of that going forward.

“One reason we did it in summer was because, and we made nonexclusive contracts, was because we thought it was good that the players had an opportunity to play the rest of the year, and an income opportunity the rest of the year,” Ackerman said. “We thought that was a plus. And frankly that's worked. I mean, now you sort of see that its gotten, it's a raggedness, and they do all that over a period of years. You get tired and it's hard.”


Interesting article. I do hope that they work something out. Good luck on getting the owners or the NBA to invest more. I just don’t see it happening due to WNBA owners not making a profit. Reeve did have a valid point in her tweet but I don’t think she realizes that the average salary of an NBA G-League player is less than a first year WNBA player. Also like WNBA players, those guys play overseas in the off season to make extra money too.

Having the WNBA in the winter would be devastating to the league in my opinion. The league would have to compete with the NBA, college basketball, and the NFL for part of the winter. Travel would be even worse due to weather.


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PostPosted: 11/02/19 5:44 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
The First WNBA President’s Advice To League, WNBPA In CBA Negotiations

https://www.forbes.com/sites/howardmegdal/2019/10/31/the-first-wnba-presidents-advice-to-league-wnbpa-in-cba-negotiations/#625d72c6415f

Quote:
About those salaries: including European off-season worked was baked into the initial model. Ackerman wonders now, though, about the utility of that going forward.

“One reason we did it in summer was because, and we made nonexclusive contracts, was because we thought it was good that the players had an opportunity to play the rest of the year, and an income opportunity the rest of the year,” Ackerman said. “We thought that was a plus. And frankly that's worked. I mean, now you sort of see that its gotten, it's a raggedness, and they do all that over a period of years. You get tired and it's hard.”


Interesting article. I do hope that they work something out. Good luck on getting the owners or the NBA to invest more. I just don’t see it happening due to WNBA owners not making a profit. Reeve did have a valid point in her tweet but I don’t think she realizes that the average salary of an NBA G-League player is less than a first year WNBA player. Also like WNBA players, those guys play overseas in the off season to make extra money too.

Having the WNBA in the winter would be devastating to the league in my opinion. The league would have to compete with the NBA, college basketball, and the NFL for part of the winter. Travel would be even worse due to weather.


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PostPosted: 11/02/19 7:32 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Unless salaries went up a lot, it would be hard to sign the best players (and even a lot of lesser players) for a winter schedule. Probably they would be able to sign players that never go overseas anyway (EDD, SDS, etc) or players too old for overseas play (Bird, Taurasi). Stars in their prime would follow the money overseas.

I have a hard time seeing exactly what the WNBA would get by "investing" more in player salaries. I suppose paying the players more would make them happier, but I don't see how it draws more fans, produces more revenue, or improves the quality of play. Even if somehow the play got better it probably wouldn't translate to more revenue and fans. The level of play is (as claimed) better than ever, but TV ratings languish, and overall attendance number are stagnant at best and declining at worst.



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