Nate has our formal catch-all Finals preview as well as a number of posts over the last week that you can read below:
The 2013 Finals is a rematch of the 2011 Finals between the Minnesota Lynx and Atlanta Dream. Both teams have become WNBA powers in recent years, at least within their conferences, as the Lynx have won three consecutive Western Conference titles, and have won the 2011 championship, while the Dream is now in its third Finals Appearance in the last four seasons.
Should the Lynx win the Finals, this would be their second championship overall and also in the last three years. Should the Dream win the Finals, this would be its first title. Also, it would mean that the Dream would also win its first ever Finals game, because in the 2010 and 2011 Finals, the team was swept three games to zero.
As Nate mentioned in one of the aforementioned articles previewing the Finals, Maya Moore is from the Atlanta area and will play against her "hometown team" of sorts. There are no Dream players from Minneapolis though the Mystics do have one... Oh wait, I'm not supposed to talk about the Mystics, they're no longer in this thing!
NFL Football is going on at the same time
Also, the timing of the game isn't ideal as it's on Sunday with the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans playing on Sunday Night Football at the same time. Given that Nate is one of several Bay Area folks on this site, feel free to chat about that game as well on this thread. We have had some football discussion going on in the comments so don't hesitate.
The Finals is going on without a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
The WNBA CBA which was agreed upon in 2008 expired on September 30, 2013 without a new agreement in place by both parties meaning both the union and the league. However, as you have noticed, the Finals is still going on, meaning that the owners didn't lock out the players effective on October 1. However, it should also be noted that the league still had playoff games go on without a CBA in place so this is not unprecedented.
Obviously, one potential area of contention will be roster size which is currently at 11 and most of us hate that. It is expected that the Players Union will request that there are more players per team. Even though it may seem like a no-brainer that the owners will accept that request, you never know. My personal guess is that there will be a CBA hammered out over the winter and that things will go as normal next summer.
I do not expect to see any real impasse in CBA negotiations to the point where there is a work stoppage of some sort. But hypothetically, if there is a real impasse in negotiations, etc., then I would expect that the 2014 season is cancelled outright. Locking out the players for a regular season that's only four months long and cancelling games like five games at a time, etc. just doesn't seem to make sense to me. Really, a 25 game regular season when 34 is the current length? Just not happening.
Also 2014 is the year of the FIBA World Championship for Women (it is NOT called the World Cup of Basketball like on the men's side). I don't think that the owners would want to cancel a season on a year of a major international tournament like this, but at the same time, this isn't the Olympics which get even more attention.
In the end, I do hope that both sides make a CBA that is fair, but also a CBA that has the fans' interests in mind like having a legitimate All-Star Game and All-Star Weekend.
And some tunes.
The league wants us to promote Selena Gomez who has the theme song for the Playoffs with "Like a Champion."
Walk like a cham-pion, Talk like a cham-pion,
Rum pa pa pam pa, rum pa pa pam pa... (uh-maybe not.)
That song just doesn't pump me up for a game. And also when I listened to the whole tune, there were some elements of this classic Selena song, "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom." Selena Gomez is named after the late Selena if you didn't know. In fact, Gomez actually sang with Selena, posthumously for "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom." That's pretty cool. But still. I don't like this league's choice of pump up songs...
Even Icona Pop's "I LOVE IT!" and some other songs they made have more of a feel to get folks ready for a sports game. But this song called "Heart of a Champion" by Nelly does! He's a better alternative for a song with "Champion" in it, at least before the Finals are over because we can't play "We are the Champions" just yet.
That is all I have today. Enjoy the Finals and NFL football.