The WNBA kicked off the 26th season start on Friday, May 6, 2022, with eight teams seeing competition.
Shakira Austin's Instagram
This season will look a bit different as teams are recognizing Brittney Griner’s absence as she is still detained in Russia after an incident back in February where she was found with cannabis oil in her possession at a Moscow airport. Teams around the league are honoring the Phoenix Mercury guard with a “BG 42” decal placed on all 12 courts.
Here are some of the biggest storylines out of the first week of play:
Two are undefeated as of May 11 — the Washington Mystics are 3-0 followed by the Atlanta Dream who are 2-0. The Los Angeles Sparks and the Las Vegas Aces each are 2-1.
Los Angeles Sparks' Instagram
The current point leader on the season early is Jewell Lloyd from the Seattle Storm. The shooting guard racked up 26 points in their loss against Phoenix.
Former Baylor standouts NaLyssa Smith, the second overall pick in the 2022 draft, and Queen Egbo, the tenth pick, are some of the only rookies to earn a starting spot so far on the season with the Indiana Fever, who have the youngest and most notable reserve core. Players such as Lexie Hull and Destanni Henderson round out their first-year players.
Shakira Austin of the Mystics is one of the biggest stand-outs from the first few games. The third overall pick in the draft, Austin put up her first career double-double against Las Vegas with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Las Vegas Aces are currently 2-1 under newly hired head coach Becky Hammon. Most know Hammon as one of the coaches for the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA. Now at the Aces, this is Hammon’s first season as head coach of a professional team.
Some notable teams have also fallen in their first few games including the Chicago Sky, who were the 2021 WNBA Champions. The Sky bounced back in their second game of the season, and are currently 1-1. Phoenix also lost its first game but won their second, and the Minnesota Lynx are 0-3.
WNBA Top Shot's Instagram
Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, two of the most electric players in the league both for their play, their style, their energy, and their age, are proving Father Time wrong by both putting up nine and 11 points in their first game, respectively.
As the first week wraps up, there are some exciting games fans can look forward to for the rest of the season. Phoenix versus Seattle on May 14 will be one of those, with Bird and Taurasi squaring off against each other for the 17th season in a row.