WNBA links: Upcoming collective bargaining and the impact of Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins, and Brittney Griner

Skylar Diggins and Brittney Griner are gaining noteriety for their fashion off the court in their own unique ways. - USA TODAY Sports

There was only one WNBA game last night, but a backlog of miscellaneous links from the last couple of weeks that we can catch up on.

Zack Ward has already recapped the only WNBA game from last night, but that leaves some time to use today's links as a way to catch up on a few things.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent (way too much) time in Las Vegas with a SB Nation contingent covering the NBA's summer league (where the Golden State Warriors have not lost a game since 2010). So while I wasn't writing much at Swish Appeal, I was still keeping tabs on the WNBA and saved some of the best links during that time - basically, SB Nation authors have the ability to save clippings and I've filled my account with way too many links to manage.

So as the second half of the WNBA season gets into full swing this weekend, a look back at some of those links we hadn't posted previously.

  • John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant summarized the labor issues confronting the WNBA this offseason, including the potential points of contention: roster size and salaries. Altavilla and others have discussed this previously and ultimately it comes down to the willingness of owners to spend more with the league's revenues still a constant concern. Read more >>>
  • Paulsen of Sports Media Watch reported that the overnight ratings for the 2013 WNBA All-Star Game were even with the league's last game in 2011. Read more >>>
  • Gregory Chalvaire of Page 31 put together a beautiful multimedia interview with Tulsa Shock center Liz Cambage, who discussed her path to the WNBA, her development as a player, and her thoughts on the impact of the league's rookies. Read more >>>
  • Michael Chan of the Wetaskiwin Times looked at how star rookies Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner compare to the Magic Johnson and Larry Bird rivalry in the NBA back in the 80's. Without offering opinion on that, something missing: with Cambage's game developing, is the more natural rivalry her and Griner? Read more >>>
  • Clarissa Simpson of BET.com looked briefly at Skylar Diggins' recent agreement to be Nike's spokesperson for their Air Force 1 line. In a semi-related piece from a few weeks ago, noted provocateur Jason Whitlock wrote a piece articulating why Jay-Z (of Roc Nation Sports, who represents Diggins) shouldn't be in the sports business at all. Regardless of what you think about his argument in the MLB/NBA/NFL context, I'd probably make the exact opposite argument for a WNBA player: Diggins aligning with major brands like Jay-Z's empire and Nike can only help bring more attention to the league. Next step: start knocking down shots! Read more >>>
  • DapperQ posted its (unranked) list of The 100 Most Stylish dapperQs and the WNBA had two representatives: Griner and Indiana Fever rookie Layshia Clarendon. Read more >>>
  • Bob Corwin of Full Court posted a Q&A with WNBA president Laurel Richie that also touches on the collective bargaining negotiations but his commentary on her responses were also as interesting as the responses themselves. Among them, was his observation about the league's response to Brittney Griner coming out: should the league have been quicker to make a statement of support? Read more >>>
  • Moving beyond a focus on the WNBA in particular, Daniel of The Future of SyncStrength wrote a great piece breaking down the Four Phases of Analytics: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive. It's a quick interesting read to look at the value of analytics, especially in basketball when there are so many unquantifiable factors at work as well. Read more >>>
  • Stacey May Fowles of The Walrus Blog wrote a great piece on the other side of sports: the fan experience, from the perspective of a female sports fan. A core theme from the piece is as follows: "This idea that women don’t really watch permeates sports...[The Score Blog’s Ellen Etchingham] offensive it is for female fans to have this heteronormative femininity constantly pushed on us by the media, as many use sports to actually escape that very thing." Read more >>>
  • We've already announced the launch of Beyond the Box for the WNBA, but Josh Sanchez of Fansided has a longer interview with an overview of the product and its benefits. As I've said, I've been using it for the NBA and WNBA and it's a pretty cool way to follow reactions to the game. As an example...I found a few noteworthy tweets from WNBA players after the George Zimmerman verdict was announced. But I found the one from Chicago Sky veteran Swin Cash to be a good summary of them. Read more >>>

Obviously there are more links floating around the web, so feel free to drop those in the comments or a fan shot or feel free to write up a fan post if you have a longer commentary on something that you'd like to share.

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