I used to get all defensive when writers got bored with their lives and decided to attack the WNBA for not being...whatever. These days, it's all just noise. That's not to say the WNBA doesn't have issues and has a long way to go before it meets its potential, but rushing the process is a good way to end up like My Space.
In this fun little read, someone called Ethan Sherwood Strauss on something called Hoopspeak makes a pretty good point about the over-hype that can go on within the WNBA community:
A 5% improvement over "irrelevant" does not necessarily equal "relevant."
He's absolutely right.
The WNBA isn't doing "great" and it's not particularly relevant outside a fairly small (but dedicated) group of supporters.
But then he goes off the rails:
The WNBA needs to make a leap, not a hop...I believe that a WNBA, marketed as an annual (tournament) event, would gain purchase in our culture.
There's some other mess in there about the WNBA being a "dragging impact on NBA TV rights value" which is total nonsense as evidenced by the actual evidence of dramatic increases NBA revenue (and TV rights fees).
Here's a wild idea, just let the WNBA alone. The league is close to breaking even and not "dragging" anyone. If you don't like it, don't watch. It's really that simple.
It's very true that the WNBA doesn't have a broad appeal. It was also true of the NBA in 1961 when that nine-team league was 15-years-old and had a TOTAL attendance of 174,559. (In 2010 WNBA drew 1.6 million.)
To suggest the WNBA is somehow hurting the NBA is pure gobbledygook. The cost of an entire 11-player WNBA roster is 95% less than what Vince Carter made last season. So how about we just let these athletes have their league and let their fans have their fun.
Maybe the WNBA will someday have 30 teams and giant TV deals and huge player salaries. Or maybe it will never get big like that. In the mean time, who cares. Just enjoy it or ignore it at your pleasure.