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2022 WNBA Fantasy Preview  Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated

Mon, May 02, 2022 12:00 AM PT


































2021 WNBA season

The 2021 WNBA season was the 25th season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Seattle Storm were the defending champions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams played a 32-game season (rather than the 36 games agreed to in the original 2020 season schedule) that included mini two-game series to reduce travel. The regular season ran from May 14 to September 19, with a break from July 12 to August 11 for the Olympic Games.This season also marked the launch of the WNBA Commissioner's Cup, which had been intended to start in the 2020 season but was delayed due to COVID-19. The first home game and first away game for each team against each of its conference opponents doubled as Cup games; all such games were played before the league took its Olympic break. The Cup final, officially called the Commissioner's Cup Championship Game, featured the conference leaders in the Cup standings and was held on August 12, three days before the rest of the league resumed play, at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. A prize pool of $500,000 was provided for the Cup, with players on the winning team guaranteed a minimum bonus of $30,000 and those of the losing team guaranteed $10,000, and the championship game MVP receiving an extra $5,000. The Seattle Storm defeated the Connecticut Sun 79-57 to win the inaugural cup. Breanna Stewart was named MVP of the game. The season had 100 games broadcast on national networks, including 25 across ABC and ESPN networks, 40 on CBS networks, and 35 on NBA TV. The remainder of games were broadcast on local networks and the WNBA's League Pass service; several games were also streamed on Twitter, Amazon Prime, and Oculus.This season saw Wilson take over as the league's ball supplier.

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2022 WNBA All-Star Game

The 2022 WNBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game that was played on July 10, 2022 at Wintrust Arena. The Chicago Sky hosted the game and related events for the first time.The league also debuted a new, two-day fan event called "WNBA Live," which included interactive events as well as the All-Star teams' practice. This year also brought back the Three-Point Contest and Skills Competition, for the first time since 2019.A'ja Wilson, of the Las Vegas Aces was the overall leader in fan votes with 88,407, with Breanna Stewart, of the Seattle Storm, finishing in 2nd with 79,520 votes.Allie Quigley won the MTN Dew 3-Point Shootout for a WNBA and NBA record 4th time. Sabrina Ionescu and her high school partner and NC State commit, Zoe Brooks, won the Skills Challenge.Team Wilson defeated Team Stewart 132–112. Kelsey Plum of the Las Vegas Aces scored 30 points to tie Maya Moore for the All-Star Game record for points. She was named the MVP of the game. This was A'ja Wilson's second time winning as team captain – moving herself to 2–0.

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2022 WNBA season

The 2022 WNBA season is the 26th season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Chicago Sky are the defending champions. Planned changes to the league's schedule included an increase to 36 regular season games for each team, which is the most games scheduled in a single WNBA season. A 36-game season was originally scheduled for the 2020 WNBA season, but the plan was scrapped.The WNBA's second Commissioner's Cup will transpire during the regular season.This WNBA season also marks the return of an all-series playoffs, which was last used in 2015. The two rounds of single-elimination games, with byes into the second round for the third and fourth seeds and into the semifinals for the top two seeds, were eliminated in favor of a first round consisting of best-of-three series and involving all eight playoff teams. The first-round format also differs from that used in 2015. In the pre-2016 format, best-of-three series were played in a 1–1–1 format, with the higher seed hosting the first game as well as a potential third game. In the new format, first-round series use a 2–1 format, with the higher seed hosting the first two games. Also, the playoffs are not reseeded after the first round. The semifinals and finals remain best-of-five.

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Brittney Griner

Brittney Yevette Griner ( GRY-nər; born October 18, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), who is currently imprisoned in Russia. She played college basketball for the Baylor Lady Bears in Waco, Texas. She is the only NCAA basketball player to both score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. In 2012, the three-time All-American was named the AP Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Griner is one of 11 women to receive an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA championship, a FIBA World Cup gold medal and a WNBA championship. In 2009, Griner was named the nation's No. 1 high school women's basketball player by Rivals.com. She was selected to the 2009 Phoenix Mercury All-American basketball team. In 2012, she received the Best Female Athlete ESPY Award. In 2013, Griner signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

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Las Vegas Aces

The Las Vegas Aces are an American professional basketball team based in Las Vegas metropolitan area. The Aces compete in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference. The team plays their home games at Michelob Ultra Arena in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The team was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah, as the Utah Starzz before the league's inaugural 1997 season. It then moved to San Antonio, Texas before the 2003 season and became the San Antonio Silver Stars, later shortened to the San Antonio Stars in 2014. The team relocated to Las Vegas before the 2018 season. The Aces are owned by Mark Davis. They are one of three WNBA franchises not to share a market with an existing NBA team, the others being the Seattle Storm (were founded in 2000, when Seattle was also home to the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics), and the Connecticut Sun. As the Stars, the team qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in seven of their fifteen years in San Antonio. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as all-star point guard Becky Hammon, solid power-forward Sophia Young, former first-overall draft pick Ann Wauters, seven-foot-two-inch center Margo Dydek, two-time Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby, and 2020 league MVP A'ja Wilson.

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Lisa Leslie

Lisa Deshaun Leslie (born July 7, 1972) is an American former professional basketball player. She is currently the head coach for Triplets in the BIG3 professional basketball league, as well as a studio analyst for Orlando Magic broadcasts on Fox Sports Florida. Leslie played in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medal winner. The number-seven pick in the 1997 inaugural WNBA draft, she followed her career at the University of Southern California with eight WNBA All-Star selections and two WNBA championships over the course of 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks, before retiring in 2009. Leslie was the first player to dunk in a WNBA game. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. All throughout her WNBA career, Leslie also played for USA Basketball in international competition, winning four Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) and two FIBA World Championships (1998, 2002). In 2015, Leslie was inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Upon becoming coach of the Triplets in 2019, she led the team to the BIG3 Championship that year.

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WNBA Commissioner's Cup

The WNBA Commissioner's Cup, known for sponsorship reasons as the WNBA Commissioner's Cup Presented By Coinbase, is an in-season competition of the Women's National Basketball Association that begins at the start of the regular season and continues throughout the first half of the season. The final is played between the top teams from the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. A total of 60 regular-season contests involving all 12 teams count toward the Cup standings.The Commissioner's Cup was originally scheduled to begin in the 2020 WNBA season, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cup was first awarded in the 2021 season. In October 2021, the WNBA announced that Coinbase had acquired the naming rights to the Cup starting with the 2022 tournament.

Wikipedia


Women's National Basketball Association

The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States. It is currently composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 22, 1996, as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association (NBA), and league play started in 1997. The regular season is played from May to September, with the All Star game being played midway through the season in July (except in Olympic years) and the WNBA Finals at the end of September until the beginning of October. Five WNBA teams have direct NBA counterparts and normally play in the same arena: Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, and Phoenix Mercury. The Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Las Vegas Aces, Seattle Storm, and Washington Mystics do not share an arena with a direct NBA counterpart, although four of the seven (the Dream, the Sky, the Wings, and the Mystics) share a market with an NBA counterpart, two (Mystics and Dream) play in NBA G League arenas, while the Storm shared an arena and market with an NBA team, the SuperSonics, at the time of its founding. The Dream, Sky, Sun, Wings, Aces, Sparks, and Storm are all independently owned. The Aces are owned by an owner who also owns an NFL team (Mark Davis of the Raiders, who have the same market).

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