February 8, 2023

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Report: Private Air Travel May Decide Breanna Stewart WNBA Free Agency Sweepstakes

In accordance to a report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Breanna Stewart is making personal air travel for WNBA groups a big stage of her totally free company meetings and could engage in a part in exactly where she chooses to indicator.

Shelburne added that, because of to problems about Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner’s security, there is an assumption that the 7-time All-Star will journey on chartered flights, in its place of the WNBA’s standard business travel.

If Griner had been to fly privately the league would have to deal with whether her teammates on the Mercury would fly privately with her. That would increase the dilemma of fairness for the other groups in the league, which are barred from flying privately.

Stewart took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to convey her thoughts on the topic.

Gamers from all around the league — from President of the Women’s National Basketball Gamers Affiliation (WNBPA) Nneka Ogwumike to New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu, to Minnesota Lynx forward and Treasurer of the WNPBA Natalie Achonwa — all supplied their aid for the plan.

In purchase to change the league’s present-day journey format, the WNBA crew governors would have to keep a board of governors vote, per Shelburne.

So, how does that impression her likelihood of becoming a member of the Lynx? It’s really hard to say, but her selection pretty properly could shed a lot more light on the organization’s incoming ownership team.

Picture by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

President of Basketball Functions and Head Coach Cheryl Reeve explained to Canis Hoopus again in November that she required to communicate with Lynx minority house owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez in order to comprehend their eyesight for the WNBA.

“Those have been fantastic conversations. They are aggressive people,” Reeve stated, noting Lore’s qualifications as an elite monitor athlete and Rodriguez’s storied MLB job. “I required, more than just about anything, to carry them nearer to this, share with them what our desires are, as our wish to be the gold normal in the WNBA in terms of a no cost agent location. ‘What are cost-free brokers on the lookout for?’ That type of point. And so we had some seriously productive conversations all around that.”

Reeve also communicated obviously that Lore and Rodriguez want be aggressive not only in strengthening the workforce on the flooring, but also as it pertains to shifting the WNBA forward as a league.

“That’s what I believe is seriously meaningful. When I talked with [Marc], Alex and Glen (Taylor) about the league, the place we are when we discuss about the prime ownership in the WNBA … and (confirmed) that we are a element of the group that is quite interested in the league using these next actions from an affordable standpoint, from an investment decision standpoint,” Reeve stated.

“I’m very inspired by that and our potential to stay as a gold typical in the league. Which is going to be mainly because your ownership enables you to do that. And so I’m very confident that we have a sturdy ownership team that will see this league take that following move.”


It really should be observed that three of the four corporations Stewart took meetings with — the Lynx, Liberty and Washington Mystics — are all owned by groups that also very own a brother franchise in the NBA. Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai and his spouse Clara have the Liberty, even though Ted Leonsis is the majority associate of Monumental Sporting activities, which owns the two the Mystics and Washington Wizards. Leonsis co-owns the Mystics with Sheila Johnson, the co-founder of Guess and CEO of Salamander Resorts and Resorts.

Needless to say, Tsai, Leonsis, Taylor and Lore are no strangers to the economics involved in expert teams’ constitution vacation. The Liberty were being even fined $500,000 for chartering flights (paid out for by Tsai) to two road video games in the 2021 season and on an “unsanctioned” excursion to Napa, California, in accordance to ESPN. Tsai also publicly referred to as for chartered flights and reportedly worked to test to discover a answer, but a WNBA spokesperson explained to ESPN last yr that the Liberty hardly ever produced an official proposal to the league’s board of governors.

Keep in brain that Reeve — who first received her start out in the W as an Assistant Mentor with the Charlotte Sting in 2001 — has a prosperity of WNBA practical experience not only as the biggest coach in league background, but also on the organization facet of the league. She is very perfectly-highly regarded as a driver of change league-vast, both on and off the ground. And Reeve is not the only executive at Mayo Clinic Square with sizeable WNBA experience, either.

Lynx President of Enterprise Operations Carley Knox has almost two many years of enterprise encounter in the WNBA. Knox “serves as the primary liaison amongst the group and the WNBA on league-huge company and advertising initiatives,” for each the Lynx.

Presented that Stewart selected franchises with three of the wealthiest ownership teams in the league, it will be interesting to see how her determination unfolds at the rear of the scenes in the W’s business arena.

The league can not manage to spend for chartered flights for all of its teams on its possess, normally it would have performed so by now. As a result, if the W cannot obtain a sponsor to deal with the charges (partially or in complete), they may possibly have to be incurred by the particular person franchises if that is the circumstance, it’d be a key aggressive gain for corporations like the Lynx, Liberty, Mystics, Indiana Fever, Las Vegas Aces, Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks, all of whom are backed by folks or groups that very own other pro sporting activities franchises.

But at the finish of the day, if Stewart’s cost-free agency choice catalyzes the ratification of private air travel, it’d be a massive earn for the overall WNBA, irrespective of which team symptoms the 2018 WNBA MVP.