Thursday, June 17, 2010

I like the WNBA. You don't. So what?

I like women's basketball. You don't. That doesn't make you bad and me great. That means we have different tastes. Certainly no one finds it strange if I like bananas and you prefer apples.

Why do I bring this up? Read Jeff Pearlman's piece, "Why the WNBA Isn't -- and Never Will Be -- a Popular League." It's a tired piece of writing, singing a familiar refrain. Diana isn't Kobe. Candace isn't LeBron. Ratings are bad. Conversation at the water cooler is nil.

Like the last word of the story reads, "Yawn."

I'm not here to praise the merits of the league. It has some pluses and some problems, lots of them, that should be addressed.  Just the same, though, women's basketball faithful tend to get extremely defensive and downright hostile when folks poke fun at their sport. Here's the crux, though. Nobody is looking for the WNBA to be the NBA. It's not, can't be, will never be, shouldn't even try to be. That doesn't make the WNBA bad or frankly, inferior. It makes it a different product appealing to a different audience. The audience isn't as big, but why should it be? Diana isn't Kobe, but guess what? Kobe isn't Diana, either. Nothing wrong with that.

I'll take the spaghetti and you take the ravioli and we'll both be happy. Why can't it work that way?

Instead too many folks who aren't fans feel the need to put down the people who are. The simple fact is it's OK to like the NBA and the WNBA. It's OK to like the NBA and not the WNBA. And yes, it's OK to like the WNBA and not the NBA.

The WNBA won't be the NBA, but that's OK. I like it. You don't. That's OK, too.

1 comment:

  1. You cannot please everybody. I like both the NBA and the WNBA. After the NBA season, here comes WNBA. I love basketball. I see more WNBA games than NBA games because tickets are very cheap. Yeah, WNBA is not a very popular women's sport in the USA, but they have fans. These ladies have talent, too. Check them out once in a while. One thing NBA does not do is shake hands after the game is over. WNBA should stay this way. It shows sportsmanship. I'm a basketball fan, not golf or tennis.