WNBADownload App

WNBA Copies Tennis: Alternate Surfaces, Hot Russian Girls (satire)

PARIS - JUNE 01:  Laura Robson of Great Britain awaits a  serve during the Girl's Singles First Round match against Karina Pimkina of Russia on day nine of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2009 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Shoeless Joe Jackson www.dbbsports.comContributor IJune 2, 2009

This week in New York, David Stern sat down with the WNBA braintrust, and devised a new way to increase fan interest. Their solution, according to one unnamed source, was to "Follow the model of Women’s tennis." 

From that, the quick solution was alternative surfaces.
 
For the last quarter century, the WTA has held its four majors on three alternative surfaces: hard court (Australian and US Opens), clay (French), and grass (Wimbledon). And "they have seen their sport flourish," said the WNBA source.  "So, we figured, what do we have to lose? Certainly not viewers."
 
At first, this reporter was skeptical.  Playing basketball on grass and clay and, perhaps, even outdoors?  Wouldn’t that make a mockery of the sport?  

Then, I realized, the sport is a shell of former basketball glory, so, maybe it’s a perfect fit.  
 
But David Stern, the wizard who’d made the NBA into a worldwide brand, then went one step further.  "In addition to the surface change, we also have decided on a hot quota. Each team will have to have at least one Russian, and at least three other girls that are objectively hot.  That should help ratings."
 
A shameless TnA ploy? A sexist business model?  A demeaning stance?  "Yes" to all three.  

Then again, Baywatch was the world’s No. 1 show for a decade, so the track record of success is there.
 
In the end, this reporter only has one litmus test.  Right now, Shoeless Joe does not watch the WNBA, even if given free tickets and unlimited bar tab.  

However, put these ladies on clay or on grass, add some attractive players, and, even with a decrease in quality of play, I’m suddenly more intrigued.

I still won’t go. But, at least then, ignoring the league would be more enjoyable.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices