Rumors swirled over the weekend that the WNBA will seek to revive the 2Ball Competition at this summer’s All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas.
If this dreamy concept comes to pass, here are a dozen duos we’d love to see:
Allie Quigley (Chicago Sky) and Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets)
Sue Bird (Seattle Storm) and Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics)
Grandma Sue and Uncle Drew, rocking their Kyries and draining shots? Yes, please.
Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun), and James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm) and Kevin Durant (TBD)
The smooth, Seattle-drafted scoring savants would be unstoppable.
Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
If Durant gets to partner with his WNBA doppelgänger, why not the same for Westbrook?
Liz Cambage (Dallas Wings?) and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia Sixers)
Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics) and Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
The purest shooting pair. Too bad Brad can’t recruit EDD to the Wiz.
Alysha Clark (Seattle Storm) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
DeWanna Bonner (Phoenix Mercury) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks) and D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn Nets)
A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces) and Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons)
A’ja’s dream comes true ...
2Ball is no joke ...
Many consider the actual 2Ball Competition a “joke,” an ill-fated and overly idealistic NBA All-Star Weekend experiment during the 1998, 2000 and 2001 seasons. 2Ball was problematic, but not due to the on-court product.
Replacing the sagging Slam Dunk Contest, 2Ball was an ideological project.
With the NBA concerned about a post-Jordan generation seen as overpaid, spoiled, selfish and unsound, a competition featuring players from then-new WNBA was an effort to sanitize the sport. The supposedly more passionate, more pure and more fundamental WNBA stars were imagined as serving a moralizing purpose, proving that basketball players were positive role models that should appeal to middle America. 2Ball, in short, was not about gender equality.
Nonetheless, for all the ways in which it has been dismissed and disdained, 2Ball had empowering effects.
The competition did feature NBA and WNBA competing together, as equals. While not producing the excitement desired from All-Star Weekend events, the organization of 2Ball implicitly legitimated WNBA stars.
This imagery was not insignificant. Especially for young girls watching across America, imagining that they one day could take the 2Ball crown with the likes of Allen Iverson.
Athletes are athletes. Basketball is basketball. 2Ball is back?!?!