With the first half of the WNBA season officially in the books, I wanted to take a look back at what's been going on with the W. That in mind, I reached out to writer, podcaster, entrepreneur, A+ tweeter, soon to be producer at ESPN, and all-around awesome person Jasmine Brown to see what she thought about the first half of the season. And without further ado, here’s our Q&A:
Brian Fleurantin: Let’s start with the Washington Mystics. Even with Elena Delle Donne missing a few games here and there due to injury, they still find themselves near the top of the Eastern Conference and are set to go on another deep playoff run. What’s been the most impressive aspect of their season to you?
Jasmine Brown: The most impressive aspect is their unity and closeness. They have basically gelled together now since all of them came together in 2017. Since the addition of veterans Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver, it made the team so much better with their presence. Those two couples with the impressive play of Ariel Atkins has been amazing. The other impressive aspect is the bench. That is an important piece moving forward for the rest of the season.
BF: The big story coming in to the season was how all the stars on the Las Vegas Aces would fit next to each other. So far, it looks like it’s been a rousing success. What do you make of their season and do you think they’re the favorites to win the Championship?
JB: The Aces, barring a slow start, have come together nicely. They are buying into Bill Laimbeer’s system and it’s paying off. Liz Cambage is visibly happy there so all seems right with them. I think they make very good a strong argument as to why they are favorites to win the championship.
BF: Zooming out a bit and taking a look at the league as a whole, what’s one thing about this season that’s caught you by surprise?
JB: The biggest thing that has caught me by surprise is the fact that the Dream are last in the league. For a team that took the Mystics to a game 5 on their home court to barely winning over 5 games is very surprising. Angel McCoughtry has been our but she was out last season and they went far.
BF: New commissioner Cathy Engelbert is set to take over starting this All Star weekend, and she has a lot of issues to work on and address as we get closer to CBA negotiations this offseason. What do you think she should prioritize as she begins in her new role?
JB: First thing first is for her prioritize marketing. They need to market the league better in order for people to support and make the league more recognizable and more fun to watch. Second, even though hard, would be to focus on paying the players. It has been the talk for a long time and it’s time for something to be done.
BF: The W has gotten a lot more media and promotional coverage this season, but it still feels like more can be done to spread the word about the league and reach a greater audience. As someone who has been in this space creating interesting, engaging content around the league for a while now, what do you think can be done to make the league more popular?
JB: There needs to be people who are engaging themselves to fill these positions for social media accounts. There needs to be more younger, fresher faces that are funny, witty and are able to do some really great video content to spread the word out there.
BF: What’s one storyline we should pay close attention to as we head in to the second half of the season?
7. And to wrap up, where can the people find you online?
Many thanks to Jasmine for dropping in and taking the time to chat with us!