WNBA All-Star weekend 2023 proved to be an absolute sensation, drawing in a staggering number of viewers and smashing records with nearly 955,000 spectators tuning in. As an avid fan who was glued to the screen, I was fully engrossed in every aspect surrounding the game and all the intriguing stories that unfolded. With that in mind, let’s dive into my three biggest takeaways from this year’s WNBA All-Star game.
Kelsey Plum: The Voice of Change
One standout personality during the weekend was none other than Kelsey Plum, who not only showcased her exceptional skills but also made her mark as a passionate activist for the league. Plum wasted no time in voicing her concerns, calling out the WNBA commissioner for the lack of complimentary tickets available to WNBA players supporting their teammates throughout the weekend. Seizing the ample press coverage and the buzz surrounding the All-Star event, she fearlessly expressed her opinions on the various areas where the WNBA needs improvement. When asked about expansion plans, Plum emphasized the importance of addressing critical issues like charter flights, salaries, and benefits, stating, “Expansion is important, I get it, but let’s not forget about charter flights and player compensation.”
ALL WNBA players should get a ticket to the all star game/skills challenge, I’m sick of my people being treated second class. The league gotta be better, there is no excuse. @CathyEngelbert I’m sure we can fix this before the weekend….— Kelsey Plum (@Kelseyplum10) July 13, 2023
Brittney Griner: Back and Better Than Ever
The return of Brittney Griner to the All-Star game was met with overwhelming appreciation from fans, especially the elated Team Stewie. After missing out on last year’s game due to unforeseen circumstances, Griner was back on the court, and her presence made a significant impact. All-Star captain Breanna Stewart wasted no time in picking Griner as her first overall draft choice, acknowledging her ability to deliver electrifying dunks. And boy, did she deliver! Griner threw down three emphatic slams against Team Wilson, leading Team Stewart to secure her first-ever All-Star title. Known for her ability to put on a show during her college days, everyone was hyped to witness Griner’s return to the spotlight. In fact, Griner even joked about having a pep talk with her knees, saying, “I gave my knees a call and had a little chat with them.”
Jewell Loyd: Record-Breaking Performer
Jewell Loyd emerged as an undeniable force during the All-Star game, breaking records and leaving her mark on the court. Her exceptional performance, scoring an impressive 31 points, not only earned her the coveted All-Star Game MVP award but also shattered the previous records held by Maya Moore and Kelsey Plum, who scored 30 points in 2015 and 2022, respectively.
Loyd’s sharpshooting from beyond the arc was on full display, as she drained a record-breaking 10 three-pointers. This game held a special significance for Loyd, as she dedicated it as an anniversary gift to her parents and as a heartfelt tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. Reflecting on her connection with Bryant, Loyd shared, “It’s a special moment because the last time I saw Kobe was here… His spirit continues to guide me, and I strive to embody his words of ‘Be epic, create forever.'”
In summary, the 2023 WNBA All-Star weekend exceeded all expectations and left an indelible mark on fans worldwide. Kelsey Plum’s outspoken advocacy, Brittney Griner’s triumphant return, and Jewell Loyd’s record-breaking performance showcased the immense talent within the WNBA. I’m thrilled to witness these incredible narratives shaping the future of women’s basketball, both on and off the court. The WNBA continues to evolve and inspire, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this extraordinary league.