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Archive for August 8, 2018

Aug. 8, 2018 — A black mark for the WNBA

Yesterday, on the front of the basketball/hockey arena in your nation’s capital, an 8-by-11 sheet of paper was duct-taped to one of the front doors that were laminated with images of one of the main tenants of the building.

Overshadowed by images of members of the Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitals were the words printed on the four-day-old sign, “Tonight’s WNBA game has been cancelled.”

Last weekend, the Las Vegas Aces were scheduled to play the Washington Mystics, but travel delays resulted in a 26-hour ordeal that saw the Aces arrive in town only about four hours before the start of the game — right about the time when the team would begin pregame preparations.

The Aces players decided not to play the game, and yesterday, the league announced that the game would go into the books as a 2-0 forfeit in favor of Washington.

The episode brings up a question of equality, though. The WNBA’s players are not transported from game to game on charter or private jets, but are at the mercy of commercial schedules, which have been in rare form in recent days.

But the episode also points up something else when it comes to the Aces franchise. As much as Las Vegas has been pointed up as a great entertainment destination, it is stupefying that nobody in the Las Vegas community stepped in to help when the Aces’ travel situation became known. Not the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, not billionares Sheldon Adelson or Steve Wynn, or any entertainers.

Yes, it may be a logistical challenge getting 11 players and a coaching staff plus equipment into many private jets, but the WNBA players are used to flying coach, so they aren’t bringing very much with them.

I think it’s time for the WNBA to get an upgrade, don’t you?