The world of professional sports is known for its intense rivalries, high-pressure moments, and captivating drama. However, what happens off the court, field, or rink is just as interesting to many fans. One question that often comes up when it comes to the WNBA is whether or not its players date one another. While some may assume that this is just gossip, it turns out that there’s actually quite a bit of truth to the rumors. In this article, we’ll be delving into the world of romantic relationships within the WNBA, taking a closer look at why players tend to gravitate towards each other and what impact these connections have on the league as a whole.
It’s no secret that the WNBA is a relatively small league, with only 12 teams and around 144 players in total. With such a close-knit community, it’s perhaps not surprising that romantic relationships between teammates often occur.
In fact, some of the league’s most famous couples have become household names among WNBA fans. For example, Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe, who play for the Seattle Storm and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, respectively, have been together since 2016. Their relationship has been highly publicized, with many media outlets referring to them as one of sports’ most powerful couples.
Another couple that has garnered attention over the years is Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson. The two players, who were both drafted in 2013, became engaged in 2014 and tied the knot in 2015. However, their marriage was short-lived, and the couple divorced in 2016 amid a highly publicized legal battle.
But these high-profile couples are far from the only ones in the WNBA. The league is home to many other players who have found love on and off the court, and their stories are just as meaningful.
Reasons for Relationships:
So, why do WNBA players tend to date one another more frequently than athletes in other leagues? There are a few factors to consider.
Firstly, the WNBA is a league that values teamwork and camaraderie. With fewer players on each team than in other professional sports, players often spend more time together and become closer as a result. This closeness can sometimes lead to romantic relationships.
Additionally, many players in the WNBA are openly LGBTQ. While LGBTQ athletes exist in all sports, the WNBA has a particularly high percentage of out players. According to a 2019 report by Outsports, around 30 percent of players in the league identify as LGBTQ. This creates an environment that is more accepting of LGBTQ relationships and allows these athletes to connect with one another in a unique way.
Effects on the League:
While it’s clear that many WNBA players have found love within the league, what impact do these relationships have on the league as a whole?
On the positive side, relationships between players can foster a sense of unity and support within teams. Many players have spoken about how being in a relationship with a teammate has allowed them to become even closer and more supportive of one another during games and practices.
However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. For one, relationships that don’t work out can create tension within teams and may even lead to one or both players being traded. Additionally, players who are in relationships with one another may sometimes be accused of favoring their partner over other players during games or practices.
Ultimately, whether or not WNBA players date each other is largely up to them and the league has made no rules against it. While these relationships may come with their own set of challenges, they can also be incredibly rewarding and positive. As the league continues to grow and evolve, it’s certainly possible that more couples will emerge and that this aspect of the WNBA will become even more widely accepted.
Has there ever been a NBA and WNBA couple?
To date, there has been only one known NBA and WNBA couple in the history of professional basketball. This groundbreaking couple is Becky Hammon and her husband, Brent Barry. Hammon is a well-known retired WNBA player, while Barry retired as an NBA player.
The story of this couple started at a charity basketball game in 2001, when Hammon and Barry first met. They immediately hit it off and started dating soon after. Both had outstanding careers in their respective leagues and were well-respected for their skills on the court.
Hammon, who played for the New York Liberty and the San Antonio Stars, was a six-time WNBA All-Star and the 2007 All-Star Game MVP. She ranks fourth in WNBA history in career points and assists. On the other hand, Barry played in the NBA for 14 seasons and won two championships, one with the San Antonio Spurs and one with the Golden State Warriors.
The couple got married in 2014 after dating for 13 years. This marriage holds a significant place in the history of basketball, as they are the only couple to have both played in the NBA and WNBA. They are also the first married couple to have both won an NBA championship.
Since retiring from playing basketball, Hammon has made a name for herself as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. She became the first woman ever to act as the head coach of an NBA Summer League team in 2015. She is considered to be one of the most promising prospects for NBA coaching positions in the future.
Barry, on the other hand, has moved on to work as a sports commentator for various networks. He has worked on NBA TV and TNT as a studio analyst, providing expert commentary on games.
The only known NBA and WNBA couple in history is Becky Hammon and Brent Barry. Their love of basketball and successful playing careers helped to pave the way for future generations of female athletes and coaches. Their marriage will always hold a special place in the history of basketball, and their contributions to the sport will never be forgotten.
Are any WNBA players married to NBA players?
Yes, there have been a handful of WNBA players who have chosen to tie the knot with NBA players over the years. One of the most notable examples is Candace Parker, who is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s basketball. Parker made history in 2008 when she became the first WNBA player to win both the league’s Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award in the same season, while playing for the Los Angeles Sparks.
Off the court, Parker is married to former Duke standout and NBA player, Shelden Williams. The couple got married in 2008 and have since had two children together. Williams had a brief NBA career, playing for six different teams over the course of 6 seasons, before transitioning to a successful career playing overseas in Europe.
Another famous couple is Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe. Sue Bird is a veteran WNBA player who has spent her entire career with the Seattle Storm, winning multiple championships and earning numerous individual accolades over the years. In 2018, Bird made headlines when she publicly came out as gay and announced that she was in a relationship with Megan Rapinoe, a professional soccer player who has won two World Cup championships with the US women’s national team.
While Rapinoe isn’t an NBA player, she is still one of the most well-known and successful athletes in the world, and her relationship with Bird has helped to further spotlight the talents and accomplishments of women’s sports. Other WNBA-NBA couples include Skylar Diggins-Smith and Daniel Smith, as well as Swin Cash and Steve Canal. while there may not be a ton of WNBA-NBA couples out there, those who have found love across the professional sports divide have proven that love knows no bounds, and that basketball is still a shared passion among them.
What is the oldest age to join WNBA?
The WNBA has certain requirements for players wishing to join the league. One of those requirements is age. The league requires that players be at least 22 years old by the end of the year of the draft. This is different from some other professional sports leagues, such as the NFL and NBA, which allow players to enter the draft at just 19 years old.
However, there is another option for players who fall short of the age requirement. The WNBA allows players to enter the draft if they have already graduated from a four-year college or university or if they are due to graduate within the three months following the draft.
It’s worth noting that the WNBA has had players who were older than the age requirement when they entered the league. For example, in 2016, the Connecticut Sun drafted Rachel Banham when she was 23 years old, even though she had just graduated from college. This was due to a medical redshirt that allowed her to play a fifth year of eligibility.
Additionally, veterans who played in the WNBA for at least three seasons and then took a break from the league can return at any age. For example, in 2018, the Minnesota Lynx signed veteran guard Lindsay Whalen when she was 35 years old after she took a year off to become a coach at her alma mater, the University of Minnesota.
The WNBA requires players to be at least 22 years old by the end of the year of the draft, or to have graduated from a four-year college or university within three months of the draft. There have been exceptions made for players who fall outside these requirements due to medical redshirts or extended careers, allowing them to continue playing in the league well beyond their mid-twenties.