Here’s something that sort of sneaked up on all of us: The WNBA draft. It happened yesterday. I don’t really claim to follow the WNBA (actually, I think it would be way more watchable if they played against high school boys teams) (I’d watch that), but I do consider myself a sort of draft savant. Seriously, I love drafts. Before this message gets posted, it’ll be saved as a draft. I keep the window open in my room so I get a draft. I’m registered for the US Armed Forces draft. When I race people, I run slightly behind them so the wind doesn’t affect me.
But really, I didn’t do a mock draft for the WNBA for two reasons:
1) I didn’t know it was happening
2) After Maya Moore, people don’t know these players
The second reason is the one that I’ll spend most of this post covering. Here’s why: the gap in ability between the elite players in the WNBA and the field is astronomically huge. Maya Moore is elite. The rest of the draft will be a part of the field. She is just that much better and qualitatively different from the other players in the draft.
Now consider this: The last three first overall picks (Tina Charles in 2010, Angel McCoughtry in 2009, Candace Parker in 2008) have also been voted Rookie of the Year. Even a WNBA hater like me can recognize a majority of these top picks as important players in league history. Top draft picks Parker, Diana Taurasi (2004), Sue Bird (2002), and Chamique Holdsclaw (1999) have turned into faces that even I (and a majority of common sports fans) recognize. But the difference between Maya Moore and whomever went second (turns out it was Elizabeth Cambage) is most likely going to be unbearable. At this point, I’d say the odds are better that Moore’s chances of winning the MVP are probably better than the fields odds to win Rookie of the Year.
I don’t want to use the WNBA draft to make any sort of statement about the league because I don’t know enough about WNBA to actually do that, but in the story of the WNBA draft, Maya Moore was clearly the standout player that will immediately become one of the most important women’s basketball players in the universe. Which is one of the only benefits I can see to her becoming a professional. Because I’m fairly sure her going from college to the pros will result in a drop in her television time and overall exposure.
Congratulations to the rest of the players who got drafted, it’s hard to be a professional athlete no matter what league you play in. Even if you’re not household-name good. And in this draft Maya Moore is the only one who is. We knew that 3 years ago. We knew she’d be taken first in this draft 3 years ago.
Did you watch the WNBA draft?
If you answered no to that, leave a comment telling me when you realized you had missed it.