Every year one of the biggest days on the NBA schedule is Christmas Day, so why doesn’t the WNBA have something similar during their season?
When it comes to the NBA, there is usually one day that all teams hope to see that they are playing on when the schedule is released: Christmas Day. Since the earliest days of the league, playing on Christmas has been seen as a clear sign that you are one of the elite teams in the NBA. Usually it is the day you see the biggest stars, the best rivalries and most of the time, the matchups do not disappoint.
In addition, the tradition of Christmas Day games has become a way for the NBA to promote their product and have everyone celebrate basketball on the same day. Like the Super Bowl for the NFL or the Winter Classic for the NHL, it gives the NBA a chance to be the focal point of the entire sports world, something that is harder to do with a best of seven series during the playoffs.
So of course this begs the question: Why doesn’t the WNBA have something similar?
You would think given how much success the NBA has had with the idea, it could easily translate to the WNBA and help raise the profile of the entire league. And with the WNBA season typically running from the middle of May until sometime in October, there is a perfect day for the league to use:
The Fourth of July.
Think about it. With just 12 teams in the WNBA, you could feasibly have the entire league play games on July 4. You could have the hottest rookies meet for the first time, rematches of WNBA Finals and, most importantly, help cultivate some of those rivalries that make sports so much fun.
Games could air on ESPN with maybe a game on ABC. Then as the league hopefully grows and expands, you can schedule just the biggest and best to play on July 4, showing everyone why the WNBA is the best place in the world to see women’s basketball.
Hell, if the league was feeling particularly ambitious, it could try to schedule a couple games that could be played outdoors. It would be amazingly old school and that way you could turn the game into a major event like the Winter Classic. Then you finish it off with fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July and help to create a whole new group of WNBA fans.
Literally, the possibilities are endless.
Now, some will say that the WNBA All-Star game serves the same purpose and that since it usually falls in July, it may be seen as overkill be some. But let me ask you this: when was the last time you actually gave a crap about an All-Star game, no matter which league, men of women, you may be watching?
Yeah. That’s what I thought.
While WNBA president Lisa Borders has shown a real willingness to think “outside the box” when it comes to promoting the league, it hasn’t always worked out that well. The WNBA Draft was a perfect example of that.
But sometimes, it’s okay to borrow an idea that has been shown to work, especially one as blindingly good as playing on Christmas Day like the NBA does.
Fireworks, barbeque and the WNBA. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.
Think about it.