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A 12-Year-Old's perspective on the WNBA

If you aren't initially familiar with the name Haley Paulson, she's the phenomenal young fan who struck up a bond with Elena Delle Donne last year while attending her hometown Minnesota Lynx's game. That relationship has continued to grow, as well as her undeniable passion for the WNBA. The 12-year-old loves the league so much, that she writes her thoughts and perspective on the league.

Photo by Greg Paulson

By Haley Paulson

Although some of the Lynx players are getting older, Coach Reeve said that players like Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus are still in their prime.  Both Lindsay and Seimone have played overseas, which means they never have an off season.

This year, unfortunately, both were hurt for much of the season.  If Lindsay and Seimone could take time off and get in their best playing shape, like 36 year-old Tamika Catchings, then Coach Reeve is right, Lindsay and Seimone are in their prime.  If they can't take time off, I think they can get injured again because of all the wear and tear on their bodies.

Diana Taurasi was paid not to play in the WNBA by her Russian team.  Reports stated that Diana earned $1.5 million not to play, which is 15 times the amount she can earn in the WNBA.

That's more than the entire Lynx roster made this past season.  Of course, that's a great decision for her.  For every .10¢ Diana would have earned in the WNBA, she earned a $1.50 with her Russian team to not even play.

I imagine Diana worked on her game.  Maybe Diana has trained to become stronger, quicker, and more skilled.  I know for a fact that Diana avoided injury and will go to Russia healthier.  But the tail is wagging the dog.

I can't imagine my favorite player Elena Delle Donne sitting out a season because she agreed to only play overseas.  I would miss seeing my idol play.  That is my worst nightmare, but it very well could happen.  We can't let this happen.

Ideally, Lindsay and Seimone should be paid NOT to play overseas.  I think Glen Taylor should invest more in his hall of fame players.  These players helped the Lynx win their third title in five years.  This may be the best team of all time.  Glen Taylor could definitely afford it.  It would be a great investment because more people will come to watch them play if they can play to the best of their ability.

But here's the catch.  Each WNBA team only permits each team to spend $50,000 on all of their players to not play overseas.  Now hold on.  Let's do some math here.  Diana Taurasi, one person, is paid 1.5 million by her Russian team not to play.

The entire Lynx team, all 12 players, can be paid $50,000 by the Lynx to share or $4,166 per player to not play overseas.  Are you kidding me!  Even if the Lynx split $50,000 among Lindsay and Seimone, they can't stay home for that. I mean who would.

Would the NBA tolerate some of its greatest players being paid not to play in the NBA?  Heck no.  Imagine Steph Curry sitting out this upcoming season to save himself to play overseas.  Or Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, James Harden, or Russell Westbrook.  That would never happen.  The NBA would not allow it.  The NBA would pay more to keep them playing here.  And only here.

I do not know if the WNBA has enough money.  But the WNBA needs to find a way.  And it's time that the WNBA is promoted and covered the same as women's tennis and women's golf.  Serena is reported to have made 11.6 million for playing tennis, not including endorsements.  The top female golfers can make nearly a million a year.

All of us, especially the WNBA owners, have to do more for these outstanding athletes.