Los Angeles, Calif. – Fear not, basketball fans: you have another hyped game to look forward to this week. Granted, it’s not a playoff game or even a finals game, but it is one of the most anticipated match ups in WNBA history, as the 12-0 Minnesota Lynx take on the 11-0 Los Angeles Sparks Tuesday.
During the course of its 20-season history, the league had never seen a team start the season with more than 10 straight victories, but 2016 has witnessed both the Lynx and Sparks break the record. And the similarities don’t end there.
The previous records were both held by Los Angeles and Minnesota. In 2001 and 2003, the Sparks started the season 9-0, and the Lynx bettered that mark in 2012 when they recorded 10 straight.
There is no denying the fact that the WNBA has endured an arduous start to its existence. Teams have folded and teams have moved. Sponsor names now dominate jerseys, as 10 of 12 teams have them splashed across the front, with team names on a shoulder patch. However, it speaks volumes when the first commercial after the NBA Championship game last night was Cavaliers star Lebron James promoting the WNBA.
“It’s an unbelievable game and you guys continue to push the envelope and break barriers,” James says in the ad.
The league can only be helped from a great marketing strategy like that.
Players, executives, and fans alike have complained that the league is invisible, not garnering the same level of respect as the men’s circuit. Yet, there is no denying the level of talent that has matriculated in to the league recently. From Lynx All-Star Maya Moore to this year’s No. 1 draft pick Breanna Stewart, the level of play in the league may be the best ever.
Need more proof? Tuesday’s meeting in Los Angeles will mark the first time in professional sports history that two teams having ten or more victories with no losses or ties will meet. This has never occurred in the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL.
All eyes should be firmly planted on Tinseltown come Tuesday. In a city known for theatrics, the most coveted ticket will be a weekday matinee. When all is said and done, only one team’s streak will remain intact. But the hype doesn’t stop there, with a rematch scheduled just three days later, in Minnesota.