The WNBA vs. the NBA – Who’s Got More Game?

The WNBA gave birth to professional women’s basketball in the mid 90’s. I watched a few televised games, and thought they were pretty good. Fast forwarding to today, I haven’t watched or gone to any basketball games for a while besides my son’s. Recently,  I had the opportunity to go to a WNBA New York Liberty game, and I rediscovered pro ball. It was my first WNBA game ever, but it was in a very a familiar place, Madison Square Garden which is host to the NBA’s New York Knicks, and I’ve been to a number of their games.

The WNBA offers plenty of fast breaks thanks to speedy point guards, which provides exhilaration. The women also take tumbles and get injured, which causes gasps and gets attention.

The NBA has a collection of slam dunking mighty giants. They offer more exciting layups, and impressive stats, but is that enough? It is for many, and not just for the men.

The WNBA has players who can shoot more consistently. You don’t have to hold your breath as much during free throws. Based on the game I saw, I think more 3-pointer attempts ended with a swoosh, and there seemed to be MORE teamwork and NO showboating. I feel like they played because they love the sport a little more than the paycheck. This is how the coaches train the kids to play, with passion. So should younger players find the WNBA more realistic and inspiring?

One good comparison is the crowd. The WNBA attracts more families and females. There was constant kid-friendly entertainment throughout the game. Actually, there were only talented kids and families filling the void during the breaks in the action. The NBA attracts more males, so sexy, hip shaking, boyshorts cladded cheerleaders and professional performances bridge the gaps. They do have some family oriented fun, but not as much as the WNBA. The NBA also has more celebrity sightings. Another point to consider is NBA tickets will leave your wallet A LOT lighter than WNBA seats. Ticket prices can be up to five times more, which is NOT so family friendly.

Here’s something for photographers to think about. My bag was checked at security. I had a 50/1.8 lens mounted on a Canon EOS 7D, AND an EF 70-200/2.8 lens in my bag. For those not familiar with Canon lenses, the latter is a nine-inch long, WHITE lens, so it’s hard to miss. No one questioned me, and I didn’t even have a press pass. I also saw a number of other DSLR cameras in the stands. I heard you can’t get in The Garden with this gear, but they are probably referring to the NBA games. I have a feeling they were either laxer at the WNBA game or I just got lucky. I have NO objections to that.

We were blessed to have seats on the floor, so I was able to capture the action closer than others. I meant to walk up a bit higher to see the difference that distance and point of view make, but I got caught up in the game and unfortunately forgot. These shots were all taken with the 70-200/2.8 lens. The pros under the net mostly had this focal length as well, and some had a second camera with a 24-70/2.8 lens mounted on it. If you’re fortunate enough to be on or close to the floor with a 200 mm focal length, you can get some amazing shots, even across the court!

Even if you don’t have a DSLR I think you can take some good pictures. The lighting is so much better than at a school’s court (if you have kids who play), which is what I’m used to. I had my aperture wide open at f/2.8, and bumped up the ISO to 3200 (I might’ve only needed 2500) to freeze the action, which you can’t do on a point and shoot. If you’re using a compact camera, set the ISO to the highest setting, i.e. 800 or 1600, and if you can manually adjust your aperture, set it to the lowest number (3.5, 4.0, etc.) to try to get blur-free action photos. By the way, the higher the ISO, the more grain/noise you’ll notice.

There were a number of men amongst the crowds, many with families, some as part of a group or couple, and a few were alone. I found that FANtastic! The WNBA season is May – September, so it doesn’t clash with the NBA season (October – April), and it keeps die-hard basketball fans entertained year-round. In my opinion, they compliment rather than compete with each other. There is a different atmosphere between the WNBA and NBA games, but variety is the spice of life, so they say. Both bring something different to the table, yet provide the energy sports fans and photographers seek.

So, what’s your opinion? Overall, between the WNBA and the NBA, who’s got more game?

5 Responses to “The WNBA vs. the NBA – Who’s Got More Game?”

  1. nba is better

    • shutterbuggeek Says:

      Hey Bob, NBA is better in what way? Athletes showboating? Entertainment? Performance? For male audience?

  2. Nba is better wnba I fell asleep .

  3. Nba is better in term of athletes reaching new levels of physicality

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