So I know we're all focused on the NBA Playoffs, but before long the Warriors will be back-to-back champs and the NBA season will be finished. And at that point, we'll all need something fun to do. Luckily, there's a new basketball team in town: the WNBA's Dallas Wings.
Thursday night was the WNBA draft, and I went to the draft party at UT Arlington's College Park Center, which is the new home of the Wings. First confession: I do not love having to drive out to Arlington, even though the arena is plenty nice. I would've much preferred SMU's Moody Arena as the home of the Wings, but I guess not everything can be perfect. Speaking of which, everything else about the Wings is perfect.
The first event on the schedule tonight was the unveiling of the new team's new uniforms. Check out this majesty:
That's Wings stars Skylar Diggins and Odyssey Sims modeling the new threads. I love them! The neon and blue look great together, and I really dig the Wings typeface and logo. I know, I know, some of you are asking, "but where are the home whites?" Well, here's the thing. The WNBA is in some ways more fun than the NBA, and in this 20th year of the WNBA's season, they have eliminated white jerseys. Each team has a lighter colored uniform and a darker colored uniform. So every game will be color-on-color (which is amazeballs), but never will we have to suffer through the two teams playing each other in overly similar colors.
Needless to say, I am a big fan of these uniforms, and I nerded out over them quite a lot.
So yeah, I think these are really quality uniforms, and I think they will really pop on the court. And even though the WNBA utilizes jersey sponsors, these Verizon logos are really unobtrusive, especially garish double corporate logos featured on the old Tulsa Shock jerseys. (Also, perhaps a preview of what is forthcoming as the NBA moves towards sponsorships on uniforms.)
Earlier I talked about the two stars of this team, Diggins and Sims. Fun note: these women have something in common (other than both playing for Dallas). They both lost in the 2011 NCAA tournament to my Aggies, who beat Sims's Baylor squad in the Elite Eight and Diggins's Notre Dame team in the championship game. The following year, Sims beat Diggins in the championship game. So there's some history between the team's two stars. Sims was also born and raised in Irving and has said several times how excited she is to be playing for her home team.
Oh yeah, and there was a draft tonight. UConn superstar Breanna Stewart went first overall to the Seattle Storm (yes that's something else the WNBA has right that the NBA has very very wrong--Seattle has a basketball team). Dallas was slotted to pick 6th, but traded up one spot to grab 6-foot Michigan State forward Aerial Powers. I don't know much about Powers, but I've seen several people calling her the female Draymond Green. If this turns out to be even half true, this was a great pick. Later on in the draft, Dallas picked up 6'7" Oregon State center Ruth Hamblin and 5'4" Seton Hall guard Shakena Richardson. I have no idea how much these rookies will contribute to a fairly loaded Dallas team, but I do know one thing--Powers seems like she knows how to have fun.
I could go on and on, but I'll leave you with this. Enjoy the NBA Playoffs. Hope that the Mavericks can pull off the upset against the juggernaut that is KD and Russ. Be enthralled by Golden State's march towards more history. But when it's all over, know that there is more basketball in store.
I know women's sports may not be as popular, but this team is going to be good. They will be fun to watch. They have a deep roster with one of the best players in the WNBA and a great coach and will likely compete for a title. Now that Dallas has a hometown WNBA team, I ask that you give the Wings a chance. I am hyped.
The home opener (which is actually Dallas's 4th game of the season) is at 7:30 p.m. on May 21 against San Antonio. So get to Arlington and bring all of your San Antonio hate.
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Manager's note: The WNBA season will begin at the end of May and Mavs Moneyball plans to cover the Dallas Wings this season. Please note that this will not affect our current Mavericks coverage in any way.