Every summer, basketball fans from across the country use summer league as their excuse to make a Vegas trip. Summer league gives hoops junkies the chance to watch the brightest stars of tomorrow play in their first professional environment. It’s fun, it’s hopeful ... and it’s bad basketball. It is no secret writers who are forced to cover the last games of summer league often want to gauge their eyes out from horrific play. Well, there is a professional basketball team in Vegas ready to remedy your thirst for entertaining basketball.
The Las Vegas Aces will have two home games over the course of summer league, so there will be time to go and enjoy the highest level of basketball you could possibly see. Those who call themselves ‘basketball lifers” need to take a trip to the arena and I’m sure they will come out blown away. The game, the passion, the skill level on display is something that should be respected by all, but once again the WNBA is an afterthought to what is essentially a two-week period of fringe NBA players.
Now, what is even more frustrating is that locals who were quick to throw on their Golden Knights hats and bumper stickers have not shown that same amount of support to the Aces. Summer after summer I see numerous Las Vegas locals sporting outdated jerseys and filling arenas to watch 10 guys they will never hear from again, yet those same people are noticeably absent from Aces games? What could possibly be the difference? News flash Las Vegas: the NBA did not bring a team to Vegas, the WNBA did. Yet when I ask my friends if they want to see an Aces game I get no response. However, when it comes to asking if they want to go to summer league my phone is getting blown up. Again, what’s the difference? Now I’m not trying to rag on my friends, they are good people but they highlight the problem.
It is not the misogynistic male sports fan who thinks WNBA players are lesser because they can’t dunk or something stupid like that, those people are idiots outright and we know not take their opinion seriously. It is the basketball fans that come across an A’ja Wilson tweet stating she deserves more money and retweet it but still have yet to watch an WNBA game. Or, the fan who just loves basketball but has yet to give the WNBA a chance. The fans who’d tune into an NBA TV summer league but won’t turn on their local station to watch Candace Parker take on A’ja Wilson. The lack of consistency between the way we treat men’s sports and women’s need to be eradicated. That change starts with taking action and a two-week period of all 30 NBA teams playing in the same building is the perfect time to make that change.
This summer league, I challenge anyone who has never been to a WNBA game to go and watch one. Summer league is a chance for those who love basketball to unite in one setting and just simply enjoy the game we love; but now thanks to the Aces we can unite as a basketball community and help grow a beautiful league that is being missed by so many. To the Las Vegas community and to those visiting out of town: go to an Aces game because if you love basketball I promise you will love the WNBA.