February 21, 2024 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Jess Smith talks WNBA Golden State, Steph Curry vs. Sabrina Ionescu

'We're building community, we're building a moment that can bring people together'

For Jess Smith, the path to the presidency for WNBA Golden State has been a fascinating one. With history in MLB, NHL and more, she took a chance and joined Angel City FC of the NWSL, helping to create a startup that has become a model franchise for the league. Now, at a critical moment for the WNBA, she is ready to build anew. Hear about the timeline for big announcements, but more importantly —the intention behind all of it.

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

The Next and The Equalizer are teaming up

The Next is partnering with The Equalizer to bring more women’s sports stories to your inbox. Subscribe to The Next now and receive 50% off your subscription to The Equalizer for 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer.

To kick off the podcast, Smith shared her vision for WNBA Golden State with Howard:

“The top line pieces that I’m going to be looking to bring in to the WNBA are building a product that is for the product, right? We aren’t replicating models of other sports and men’s sports that have been done for years. Yes, of course, sport itself is what it is. But we’re building community, we’re building a moment that can bring people together behind a brand that propels these incredible athletes into a sphere that is big crowds, big media, etc. So for us, it’s really about doing a lot of listening. What does it mean to the region? What does it mean to the world? I think in women’s sports right now, and rightfully so, there’s still a lack of trust in the entities that are putting things together. And it’s our job to make sure that we are earning that trust in society.”

Jess Smith

The league announced last October that Golden State has been awarded a WNBA team that will begin playing games in 2025, meaning there will be 13 teams for that season.

“I think the fun thing about expanding the WNBA right now is the talent is there, and then some. There’s not necessarily a mindset of picking talent and not having enough talent around to compete. But there is a mindset, of course, of making sure that we can be immediately competitive. And that’s good for everybody,” Smith said.

Subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball and much more!

Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine

Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

Written by The Next

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.