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Hoops Happening: Dallas is becoming the new WNBA ‘it’ crowd

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The Wings put on a rock star performance Tuesday night in Dallas before an electric crowd! Here’s a head count of the number of nobodies in WNBA arenas over the last 24 hours. Plus, Candace Parker is both prolific and a flirt, and Maya Moore finally gets her due. This is today in women’s basketball for Wednesday July 11, 2018!

Skylar Diggins-Smith
Dallas Wings/WNBA

Phoenix has the X-Factor to power them to wins at home, while Seattle counts on their Storm Crazies to cheer them to KeyArena wins. The Lynx rely on the feline ferocity of their fans in Minny, while the spark LA sometimes needs comes from their Tinsel Town crowd.

But a new WNBA “it” crowd is on the rise — in Dallas, in this era of Liz Cambage Does the W: Part 2. To reward their fans for showing up and showing out last night, the Wings did the exact same thing, to the tune of a 101-72 blowout over the Phoenix Mercury.

But if we let the women-hating men tell it, the world would believe these teams are competing in empty arenas every night, glancing towards the rafters with doleful expressions.

That ain’t it.

But if it makes the willfully ignorant feel better about themselves to perpetuate lies (“Nobody watches the WNBA”), let ‘em have it ... because we can always do this:

No. of nobodies in WNBA arena seats so far this week

TUESDAY JULY 10

  • 4,034 nobodies — College Park Center (Dallas), Wings vs. Mercury
  • 9,686 nobodies — KeyArena (Seattle), Storm vs. Sparks
  • 7,696 nobodies — Wintrust Arena (Chicago), Sky vs. Aces

WEDNESDAY JULY 11

  • 7,413 nobodies — Mohegan Sun Arena (Connecticut), Sun vs. Liberty
  • 11,354 nobodies — Capital One Arena (DC), Mystics vs. Dream
  • 10,006 nobodies — Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis), Fever vs. Lynx

That’s 50,189 nobodies at WNBA games between 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday July 10 and 12 noon EST on Wednesday July 11. This, despite the three games on Wednesday being brunch-time basketball affairs and the Storm-Sparks game on Tuesday being a matinee matchup — on weekdays, in the middle of the work week!


Candace Parker is a prolific flirt

Dallas’ blowout of Phoenix was an upset, for sure, considering that the Wings have struggled to win at home this season (including at-home against Phoenix in a prior meeting). Dallas winning on Tuesday staved off a series sweep.

And the Sparks’ victory over the Storm was an upset too — one that stopped their three-game losing skid and prevented Seattle from getting their sixth-straight win. In a hard defensive battle in which players looked prize-fighter tired by the end, Candace Parker — WNBA champ (2016), former league MVP and former Rookie of the Year — powered her team to victory with a prolific performance that had her flirting with a triple-double.

She also added something new to the annals of WNBA history because — why not?

WNBA/NBA

Maya Moore graces the cover of SLAM Magazine

The accolades SLAM attributes to Moore in this tweet are proof enough that Moore, and many other WNBA players with comparable resumes, should have been on this cover long ago.

Swish Appeal’s Christine M. Hopkins said it best:

So, how did the person who wrote this tweet miss SO MUCH OBVIOUS?

It’s not that Maya Moore did something extra special to get the cover; she’s been doing extra special things for a really long time — above and beyond the countless male players who’ve landed on this cover before accomplishing anything at all.

Yes, “MAYA MOORE / RECOGNIZE.”

Duh.

SLAM would be right to re-frame this with an “Our bad” statement. It is their bad that they’ve been sleeping on greatness for two decades — only now stepping up to cash in on a new-look buzz surrounding the league.

There’s room on the bandwagon for everyone, but the ticket price is honesty and transparency.

Of course, this is a GREAT thing, overall, that will hopefully begin to quiet the uproar from haters seeking to erase these women from basketball conversations.

A proposal for SLAM Magazine: Only WNBA players on the cover during WNBA season?


WNBA bobblehead wish list


WNBA All-Star voting is live!

Need help making these tough decisions?

Here are some ideas to consider:

Speak now, by July 12, or forever hold your peace.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE PLAYERS.


Next up in the WNBA ...

On Thursday, the Wings take on the Sparks at Staples Center in LA in WNBA matinee action.

And big FRIDAY THE 13TH matchups are on the schedule too!

Stay tuned for previews.


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