Here’s something I hadn’t noticed before. The 2006 season of the WNBA features the seventh All-star game (eight, if you include the 2004 exhibition of Team USA vs the best of what was left of the WNBA). So far, the West has dominated with a 6-0 record. And you want to know the really amazing thing? With but one exception
, this has all been done on Eastern Conference home courts.
Yup. That’s right. There has only been ONE All-star contest hosted by a Western Conference team…the second contest in Phoenix in 2000. Here’s the rundown:
- 1999 — New York
- 2000 — Phoenix
- 2001 — Orlando
- 2002 — Washington
- 2003 — New York
- 2004 — New York (Radio City; Team USA vs WNBA)
- 2005 — Connecticut
- 2006 — New York
Now, I don’t want to seem like a whiner, but it does seem that not only is there a distinct East bias, but a very definite New York bias as well. Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t seem quite right. Yeah, NY is close to WNBA HQ, and MSG tends to have a really good crowd, but you’d think that the league would try to share the wealth a little.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if one of the reasons the West wins is to compensate for being in the "enemy’s" territory?
Seriously, though. Armed with this data, I think it’s incumbent on the league to start moving the All-Star game around a bit. Let the fans in other parts of the country bask in the unrestrained talent the WNBA has to offer. While I’ll be the first to admit that the late-arriving L.A. crowd always makes the arena look bad on TV, the same doesn’t hold true for the eager (and punctual) fans in Seattle, or Houston, or even Indiana if the league wants to stay on the Atlantic side.
C’mon WNBA…show the rest of the league some love.