WNBA Stars Launch 3x3 League With Highest Average Salary In Women's Pro League Sports

WNBA Stars Launch 3x3 League With Highest Average Salary In Women's Pro League Sports

It’s no secret that women’s basketball is having a serious moment. Now, several WNBA players are launching a women’s 3-on-3 league to try to bring something new to fans—and to take care of players.

It’s called Unrivaled, and it will have teams of three players go head-to-head. There’s already a lot of buzz surrounding Unrivaled, as well as some big names signing on.

But what is Unrivaled and how is it different from WNBA basketball? Here’s the deal.

What is Unrivaled basketball?

Unrivaled basketball is a women’s 3-on-3 league. It will run for eight weeks, with 30 players divided into six teams, according to a press release from the league.

The teams will play two games a week on a court that’s about two-thirds the size of a WNBA court. But a big part of the league that’s getting buzz is that it will be owned by the players. Athletes will have equity in the league, as well as access to “historic contract opportunities offering the highest average salary in women's professional sports league history,” the press release says.

How is 3-on-3 different than WNBA basketball?

The exact rules of the 3-on-3 league haven’t been announced yet. However, it’s likely to be similar to the Olympic 3-on-3 game. That game is played on half of a standard basketball court and features two teams of three players, per Teams attack and defend the same hoop, and the winner is the team that has the highest score after 10 minutes or the first team to reach 21 points.

Unrivaled will kick off in Miami and take place over eight weeks of the WNBA offseason.

Which celebrities have invested in Unrivaled?

There are a lot of big names tied to this league. Early investors include:

  • Alex Morgan

  • Megan Rapinoe

  • Steve Nash

  • Michelle Wie West

  • Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman

  • Ashton Kutcher, according to CNBC.

What are the Unrivaled salaries?

WNBA salaries aren’t the best, but players are working to raise them. Rookie salaries, which are now $76,000 a year, were “even worse before,” New York Liberty star and Unrivaled co-founder Breanna Stewart previously told Women’s Health at the Team USA Media Summit. “We’ll continue to fight for it to be bigger and better each time, but it’s a process,” she said.

Salaries for all players in the Unrivaled league will be at least six figures, Breanna and her Unrivaled co-founder Napheesa Collier, told The Associated Press.

“It’s really important to us,” Napheesa said. “Compensation is a huge part of Unrivaled as a league and a business. All the players in this first year will have equity in the league. For players to have a piece of the pie essentially to grow their generational wealth is something we’re really excited about.”

Many players spend their offseason playing overseas to try to supplement their WNBA incomes, Breanna said—this will offer a different option for them.

Who will be playing in the Unrivaled league?

Unrivaled hasn’t announced yet who will be playing in the league, but there is a lot of interest. Breanna told WH that the league is “in a great place.”

“Funding is closed and now we’re working on continuing to sign players because we want to have this thing going for this offseason,” she said. “We want everyone to have the option. We like options.”

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