A little while ago, thinking I would put together an article on WNBA memes, I asked my small but fantastic group of Twitter followers to weigh in on what should be included. It pretty quickly became clear that a single article would not do. Instead, I’ll be breaking things up by players, teams, or events.
I’m kicking off my “Know Your Meme” series by running through some of the top storylines of the 2020 season. These memes you almost certainly know if you are *very online* but it is important to start with the basics. I’ll go through theses top storylines by highlighting some of my favorite tweets about them. Think of it as a WNBA version of Yes, Yes, No.
Have you heard about Alyssa Thomas’s two torn labrums?
Alyssa Thomas played the season with two torn labrums (that’s cartilage in your shoulder). She’s played without a single functioning labrum since 2017. It’s a painful condition and results in one of the worst looking free throw forms you’ll ever see. It is honestly impressive as hell that she can can play through it at all, let alone achieve her epic playoff performances this year. And she showed up afterward looking like she had just returned from the war.
The problem was that the announcers would never stop talking about it. If she shot free throws or powered to the rim, they would excitedly explain for another time how she was doing it despite having literally no shoulders at all. You could have a pretty fun night if you decided to drink every time you heard the word “labrum” during a Connecticut Sun game.
I almost feel ridiculous adding any more text to the discourse about labrums, so if I may briefly plug my own work, here are 20 other things to know about AT that are unrelated to her shoulders. Pass it on to any announcers you know.
WNBA Fans Demand Socks
The WNBA is terrible about merch. On a recent podcast, even the legend Seimone Augustus complained about it. And one of the most basic item fans covet is a pair of WNBA socks. That’s it. That’s the whole meme. We just really want the socks and the WNBA won’t let us buy them so we tweet about it all the time.
The Seattle Storm are Bored
Coming into the 2020 season, almost every outlet that writes on these things put the Seattle Storm as the favorites to win the championship. And when they started the season 12 and 1, it seemed like Cathy Englebert might just handover the rings early. In some of these decisive blowouts, fans caught the Storm looking positively bored on the sidelines, waiting for the game to be over already. Of course, things got a little more difficult for the Storm. They were beaten by the second-worst team in the league and ended up only second-best in the standings, before their definitive victory against the Aces in the Finals. But this image will always be tied to their 2020 season and live on as the perfect response to any dumb WNBA takes you see online.
Bill Laimbeer’s Hair
The Las Vegas Aces’ coach Bill Laimbeer, noted 80s villain, showed up looking the part this season as some sort of protest about not having a barber in the wubble. It became a whole thing once the Aces went on a winning streak, with Bill only cutting his hair when their streak was beaten by the Chicago Sky. And then it was mercifully over.
Diana Taurasi will F*ck you up
This one is pretty self-explanatory. An absolute icon, Dee could be seen on live TV telling the the refs “I’ll see you in the lobby later” after she disagreed with a foul call.
Candace Parker is #Unbothered
Candace Parker was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 (voted on by the media), but somehow did not make either the First or Second All-Defensive team (voted on by the coaches). The snub, as some have noted, was historic, as no WNBA or NBA DPOY has ever been left off both the All-Defensive teams before. Others have noted that this is just another data point in a pattern of disrespect towards a generational talent (and a case for the FBI). Candace, meanwhile, made clear that she was wholly unbothered by the situation. And that is why she is a queen.
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