June 21, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: On rebuilding, fandom, the Minnesota Lynx and the Seattle Storm 

Alex and Em talk about teams rebuilding, fandom and teams expectations

It’s time for another Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast episode. The Next’s Em Adler joins Alex Simon of Bay Area News Group to discuss Em’s recent story about rebuilding and how fans can approach a season for teams like the Minnesota Lynx or the Seattle Storm where the goals have changed. What happens when your team’s expectations and reality don’t match up?

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Em talks about teams rebuilding this season:

“So this actually gets into the other thing about the fan experience of tanking. But not necessarily in the way of, we’re just going to be in the baseball sense, the baseball sense tanking is almost never fun. You can never have interesting assets in baseball while you’re also tanking just because of how that value works when it comes to basketball. This is what made the process itself. So, so unique in its own experience. This makes the Oklahoma City Thunders almost tank, not really kind of a tank over the past three seasons. This is what makes the Seattle Storm this year. So interesting is it’s the one benefit is less stress.

The other benefit is you get to see a bunch of people go out into court and they’re going to play their hearts out because these are people who you know you’re not trying to compete; you’re signing people who aren’t going to get over the hump, you’re signing people who hopefully are probably on the younger side, probably unproven, probably just talents that you haven’t seen before, you’re giving them a second chance and a new light.

And there’s a lot of potential on the court. And that’s the thing that when you’re looking at a tank job, that’s what you’re really rooting for. That was the thing about the process.”

Em talks about teams that are not realizing where they are at:

“Yes, as far as the Sparks are concerned, that it’s super interesting because when you have a player of Nneka’s caliber, as it turns out that she has been, you could see in the moments, but also there’s a special place in the basketball underworld for the coaching of Derek Fisher given what we’re seeing in Nneka Ogwumike right now, which is not quite the level of her 2016 MVP, which was, the most efficient player in professional basketball history, but in her career, It’s second to that, which is pretty impressive for someone of her age.”

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Written by The Next

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