On Friday, May 14, the historic 25th WNBA season will tip off with a four-game slate that features new stars and old rivalries, and will hopefully set the tone for an entertaining summer of basketball. Because, at its core, that's what the game is really all about: fun.
With that in mind, we wanted to take a break from the usual season preview content -- ranking players, making award predictions, discussing offseason moves, etc. -- and have a little fun of our own. So we decided to answer some more lighthearted questions about the season ahead.
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Which rookie are you most interested to watch?
- Jack Maloney: Awak Kuier, Dallas Wings
This one really isn't close for me. If anyone from this class is going to be a superstar, it's most likely Kuier, who went No. 2 overall to the Wings. She has such a unique skill set for a big and it's going to be fascinating to see how she adapts to the WNBA. Plus, the chance to actually watch her regularly without combing through YouTube links will be a nice bonus.
- Jasmyn Wimbish: Kysre Gondrezick, Indiana Fever
I'm interested to see just what Gondrezick brings to the table given how surprised everyone was when the Fever took her No. 4 overall. She established herself as a pure scorer at West Virginia, putting up nearly 20 points a game, and I'm curious to see if she can transfer her scoring abilities to the WNBA.
Who's the most entertaining player in the league?
- Maloney: Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun
There are plenty of things to be excited about heading into this season, but one of the biggest is Jonquel Jones' return. After sitting out of the bubble last summer, she should quickly re-establish herself as one of the best bigs and most entertaining players in the league. She can play inside or outside on the offensive end, blending the strength to battle on the block with the athleticism to come off screens and knock down 3s. And on the defensive end she's an elite rim protector who led the league in blocks in 2019.
- Wimbish: Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm
It's probably a cop out to choose the reigning Finals MVP and a perennial league MVP candidate, but am I wrong? Everything about Stewart's game is effortless, and the fact that she returned from a torn Achilles tendon without missing a beat was truly ridiculous. She's the best player in the league, and in my eyes the most entertaining to watch, too.
Who will win the scoring title?
- Maloney/Wimbish: Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas Wings
Ogunbowale won the scoring title with relative ease last season, beating out A'ja Wilson by more than two points per game. It's also worth noting that she did so while averaging 19.1 shots. Only two players in WNBA history -- Tina Charles in 2016 and Diana Taurasi in 2006 -- have ever averaged more shot attempts. With her scoring ability and the amount of touches she's going to get on a rebuilding Wings team, Ogunbowale seems like the obvious choice to repeat as scoring champ.
Which team has the best new jersey?
- Maloney: New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks
I'm going to cheat a little bit and give two responses to this. Overall, the Liberty have the best set of jerseys. I love that they used the same general design for all three options, rather than a random mishmash of styles. Plus they have a great color scheme and everything just looks really sharp and clean. However, the best single uniform belongs to the Sparks. Their purple kit with the palm tree growing out of the "L" in Los Angeles is terrific.
- Wimbish: Indiana Fever "Stranger Things" jersey
We will be seeing the Indiana Fever "Stranger Things" themed jersey at various festivals ... whenever those are safe to attend again. I'm actually surprised no team in Indiana went with this idea first given the popularity of the Netflix nostalgia show set in the '80s, but the Fever executed it perfectly. I'm excited to see what these jerseys look like in a game, and if they roll out a special themed court to go along with them.
Who's the most underrated player?
- Maloney: Cheyenne Parker, Atlanta Dream
Playing on a Sky team with a number of big names and plenty of frontcourt depth, Parker was usually overlooked. That shouldn't be the case moving forward, especially after a career season in 2020 and a big offseason move to the Dream. Parker finishes extremely well around the basket -- 68.2 percent within five feet last season -- showed off an improved 3-point shot, rebounds and works hard on the defensive end. She's just a really solid frontcourt presence who will make your team better.
- Wimbish: Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago Sky
I'm going to go with a current Sky player who has been selected to All-Star Games and All-WNBA teams, but still doesn't feel like she gets enough recognition. Vandersloot is without a doubt the best point guard in the league, and has led the WNBA in assist percentage for the last four seasons. But she still doesn't get enough attention when it comes to the MVP race. She's the focal point of this Sky team, and perhaps Candace Parker's arrival will finally bring the attention she deserves.