Some basic building block info to help everyone understand and cover the WNBA.
Here at High Post Hoops, we prioritize not only the coverage of women’s basketball through the work itself, but in finding ways to amplify that coverage across the sports media industry.
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Accordingly, we are thrilled to present to you, the reader, our updated WNBA salary database, current as of today, August 15, 2018.
This undertaking is not easy. Unfortunately, unlike most other leagues, men and women alike, this is not readily available information. The result is that coverage that requires such salary information—evaluating trade rumors, writing big-picture offseason plan stories, even evaluating salary claims by individual players, teams and the league itself—is impossible without it.
That’s why we’ve made this document publicly available for all to see. I remember how significant it was when the Major League Soccer Players Association started releasing annual salary info. It’s worth noting, incidentally, that not only did this increase media coverage of MLS from a general manager’s view, but the resulting public knowledge of how much players made led to a substantial increase in the minimum salary in the very next collective bargaining agreement.
Back when we first completed the database, I wrote this:
Essentially, any reporting on a particular player signing or trade, analysis of potential moves or even how a draft target will fit into a roster long-term becomes guesswork without knowledge of a team’s salary cap, who is signed for how many years and whether such a move is even possible.
Think for a moment how you consume news about MLB, NBA, NFL. Always, it is within the framework of how a player fits. Always, it is with the understanding of when a job will become available—Isaiah Thomas, for instance, going to the Cleveland Cavaliers immediately lives within the rubric of understanding LeBron James is a free agent next season.
So without detailed salary information, this kind of writing and analysis simply isn’t possible on the WNBA. Without the information, rumors cannot be easily confirmed or batted down, stories about upcoming free agents cannot even exist if no one knows free agency is approaching.
I’d simply point out, a year later: consider how much of the LeBron James work we consumed over the last season was driven by which teams could offer him what contracts. Extrapolate that out to all the NBA free agency media frenzy.
Now think about how much it matters that we know Tina Charles is about to be a free agent, which rookies are coming off rookie scale and are going to get paid—you name it. Free agency is affected, who teams are targeting in the draft is affected—this is a necessary view to increase coverage of the league.
I am immensely thankful to those around the league who get this, and have participated in helping us put together this database. And I am excited to see it utilized both at the traditional outlets that cover the WNBA, and for all the newcomers who can take this info into many new, vital directions.
Again, you can access it here. I’ll continue to work hard to update it, and anyone who wants to reach out with additional info can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy story hunting!