August 18, 2023
Locked on Women’s Basketball: How do the Aces and the Liberty get from budding to full-fledged rivalry?
What are the ingredients of great rivalries?
On today’s Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast episode, host Jackie Powell is joined by the one and only Michelle Smith to discuss the history of WNBA rivalries and how that informs what we are experiencing and about to experience when it comes to the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty. What are the ingredients of great rivalries? Also, why after a promising start did the WNBA have a rivalry drought? How has WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert approached fixing that? And how close are the Liberty and Aces from not just being an enjoyable matchup or a budding rivalry, but a historic and full fledged WNBA rivalry?
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“I think there’s a distinction between history and rivalry. You might have a history with a team, but that doesn’t make it [a rivalry] necessarily. Rivalries are based in other things, as we talked about earlier — they’re based on moments of tension, they’re based on histories of close games, painful losses, being in another, you know, being in somebody else’s gym, and just having people and having fans build a rivalry.”
Jackie and Michelle discuss some of the league’s historic rivalries including the Houston Comets vs. the New York Liberty at the start of the league and a tense series between the Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks. They also discuss if and how the series between the Liberty and the Aces may emerge into a contemporary rivalry.
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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.