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Expecting Great? The WNBA Moving Forward

So what if Lisa Leslie was thrown to the ground?

Yeah, I said it.

Not quite the introduction your were looking for, huh? Well, neither was the coverage the WNBA has received as of late for its version of the "Brawl at the Palace". Despite the irony of the location of the WNBA's first throwdown, everyone has seemed to approach this situation as if it is a huge black eye on the league in its entirety. From all of the WNBA analysts to the sport beat writers that cover basketball as whole, all look upon this situation as marring the game.

Now yes, it is totally agreeable that disagreements, fights, and brawls occur in professional sports. It happens all the time. And yes, it is definitely unacceptable behavior for professional athletes, the game, and the many youngsters that idolize them to partake in such a manner. It should not be condoned, and is totally unacceptable.

After all, the WNBA's motto is "Expect Great."

On the other hand, treating this situation as the end of the WNBA entity is part of the annoyance and the exaggeration that turns fans off from the brand as a whole. Many do not buy into the "pure athleticism" mantra that the WNBA portrays. Yes, we know its women's basketball. And yes, this nation isn't exactly enthralled with that; but give us a reason to watch.

I mean after all, the WNBA's motto is "Expect Great", right?

They began what was a very innovative (and cool) idea with the Outdoor Classic at Arthur Ashe Stadium last week. Although, despite it's originality, the idea will take take time to become a novelty and signature of the WNBA.

The WNBA needs to be great now.

There is a reason why we love the NFL. It's violent. It's rough. It's "In your face and we don't like you." It's show me what you got mixed with a little dance-and-prance in your face taunting. The NBA is no different. The signature style of the game mixed with physicality and flair makes it unique. MLB provides that stage for drama, and its ability to create several climaxes for each game. It's a script that can't be written.

There is a reason we love these leagues. It's entertaining. It's the Yankees and the Red Sox. The Lakers and the Celtics. The Patriots and the Colts. It's Terrel Owens. It's Ozzie Guillen. It's Ron Artest. It's must see action.

Although a very good foundation for a league, there is more to it than just "athleticism" and "the right way to play the game."

I'm not supporting the actions of the Los Angeles Sparks and Detroit Shock at the Palace, nor am I condoning it. However, the WNBA now may have a rivalry between two big basketball cities in their league- and this may be exactly what the WNBA needed to spark some interest in their product.

We do "Expect Great." And it only took classless behavior to get there. Go figure.

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