The WNBA is expanding its schedule to a record 40 games this season amid improving ratings. The league's all-time leading scorer still has some thoughts.
During the Phoenix Mercury's media day on Wednesday, Diana Taurasi suggested the WNBA's goal should still be to play when other major basketball leagues play.
“The goal, eventually, is to play in the winter and have basketball during basketball season. That's what I've always said since Day 1. With scheduling and different things, it's been difficult, but I think we're heading towards that, and I think that's a really good thing for our league.
Traditionally, the WNBA plays its regular season between May and September, with a postseason ending in October. Meanwhile, nearly every other basketball league, including the NBA, NCAA and most other women's leagues, plays from the late fall to the spring.
That difference in scheduling causes the WNBA to occupy a fairly empty portion of the sports calendar, which has its pros and cons. The pros are mostly that the league has little competition for the attention of basketball fans for its entire season. Its players are able to earn more money by playing overseas during the "offseason."
Taurasi has played for an array of Russian and Turkish leagues during her career, most recently with UMMC Ekaterinburg in 2017.
On the other hand, though, it's hard to act like the preeminent basketball league when you're the one playing during the summer, and that's what the WNBA should want to be. Taurasi clearly thinks the league should make the change, but there might be a few who disagree.