The WNBA’s 20th season just started last week, and I wish I could say that everyone is respecting the women’s game and more people are watching. This isn’t the case however, many people are stuck in the dark ages and they refuse to relent on the sexist comments. When you wade through the crowds of the disrespectful basketball “fans,” you will find a devoted bunch of basketball junkies who love to watch the women’s game because it brings a different skill set to the table. One person who understands this is Draymond Green.
Via an interview with Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:
Toward the end of camp, Kerr met with Green. “You have to relax,” the rookie coach told him. “If you relax it will happen.” Green does not unwind easily. He is a terrible sleeper who can’t nap for more than 20 minutes—“I feel like I’m missing something”—and can’t caffeinate because he fears he will grow too hyper. He lacks the patience to cook with his girlfriend or sit at the park with their eight-year-old daughter. He chills out by watching basketball—specifically women’s basketball. “In the NBA there’s always a guy who is only around because he can jump,” Green says. “He doesn’t have a clue about the fundamentals. I learn more from the WNBA. They know how to dribble, how to pivot, how to use the shot fake.”
Green makes a great point. We have all seen those players who are only around because of their athleticism, and when it comes to fundamentals, they get owned on the court. Those are the players that rarely last that long in the league, because athleticism fades with age.
The WNBA is a more grounded game, where only a hallow few are dunking, and even those who are dunking, aren’t doing any 360 between-the-leg dunks. These women are practicing ball fakes, pick and roll moves, post moves, and more when they started playing. They had to figure out ways to get around their defender without depending on their athleticism. So, just like NBA fans watch Tim Duncan and the Spurs to watch fundamentals, a lot of basketball heads will watch the WNBA for the same reason. Green is not the only NBA player who watches the WNBA either. John Wall, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James all watch the WNBA and commend those players that are playing at elite levels.
Point guards should watch a player like Diana Taurasi, shooting guards should watch Maya Moore, forwards should watch Breanna Stewart, and bigs should watch Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner. Taurasi has tremendous court vision and a very crafty offensive game. Moore knows how to find her spot, knock shots down from all over the floor, and score in a multitude of ways. Stewart and Delle Donne can stretch the floor while also hurting teams from the post, and Griner can lock down the paint while also owning it on the offensive end. They are some of the cream of the crop in their respective positions, and players of any gender and age can learn a lot from the way they play. If you don’t want to believe me, take it from Draymond Green – the star power forward for the reigning NBA Champions – that you can learn from the women’s game.