- All 12 teams begin quest for WNBA crown on opening weekend -
- Tip-Off Weekend puts MVPs in the spotlight as Candace Parker Sky debuts against
Elena Delle Donne and Mystics and Breanna Stewart’s Storm Aces and A ' yes Wilson hosts - NEW YORK April 13, 2021 game schedule - The WNBA today released its 2021
regular season, with the league culminating in season 25 on Friday, May 14, with a weekend of action with all 12 teams has reached. The league will be releasing its full television schedule in the coming weeks. Count It Following the launch of the WNBA’s 25th anniversary campaign,
, and the new reveal of the league’s Wilson basketball and Nike uniform, attention will now turn to the league’s brightest stars,bringing professional women’s basketball back to the arena with an opening weekend highlighted by star-studded matchups. Counting This means that the WNBA is not done “counting” successes as there are many more to come as WNBA players continue to exceed and resist expectations.
“As we begin this historic season with teams returning to their home markets, we celebrate the impact the WNBA has had on generations of young and diverse athletes, as well as on sport and society, since 1997,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “Together with our fans and partners, we look forward tohow the outstanding athletes of the WNBA will continue to deliver the best women’s basketball in the world while also driving change and striving for justice and equality; and impacting future generations. In-game and beyond, we’ll continue to say Count It to celebrate the impact the WNBA has had on not just the game but the culture at large. “
The 2021 season officially kicks off on Friday, May 14th, as Sabrina Ionescu, the # 1 draft pick in 2020, and the New York Liberty their first full season at the Barclays Center with the Indiana Fever and Kelsey Mitchell, The WNBAs begin last season’s sixth top scorer (7pm ET). Other games that evening include DeWanna Bonner and Jonquel Jones for the Connecticut Sun,who attend the Atlanta Dream with newly acquired Odyssey Sims, Tianna Hawkins and Cheyenne Parker at the Dream’s debut in their new home, Gateway Center Arena @ College Park (7:30 pm ET), and the Minnesota Lynx with the Back-to-back rookie winners Napheesa Collier and Crystal Dangerfield welcoming the Phoenix Mercury (9:00 p.m. ET). In the nightcap, the Los Angeles Sparks, led by Nneka Ogwumike, will host 2020 season top scorer Arike Ogunbowale and the Dallas Wings (10:30 p.m. ET) who are currently # 1, 2, 5 in the first round and have 7 picks of the upcoming April 15 WNBA draft presented by State Farm®.
The action continues the next day when the focus is on two games with four league MVPs.In the first match, two-time MVP Candace Parker will make her debut with the Chicago Sky in Washington against former MVP Elena Delle Donne and the Mystics (1:00 p.m. ET). The limelight then shifts to Seattle for a rematch of the 2020 WNBA Finals as MVP Breanna Stewart, reigning MVP of the WNBA Finals, eleven-time All-Star Pick Sue Bird and defending champion Storm receive their championship rings before taking the Hosting Las Vegas Aces, led by 2020 regular season MVP A’ja Wilson and newly acquired all-star Chelsea Gray with 6'8 ”center Liz Cambage (3pm ET).
The WNBA ends its opening weekend on Sunday May 16 with two more games. The action begins when Diana Taurasi, the league leader,and the Phoenix Mercury visit the Connecticut Sun (12:00 PM ET), ending with the New York Liberty game at Indiana Fever (2:00 PM ET).
- After an off-season of unprecedented player movement, some of the most anticipated action will feature stars on the pitch against their former teams:
- Candace Parker and Heaven will host their former team, the Sparks, for a weekend series on Friday May 28th (May 20th) 7:00 p.m. ET) and Sunday, May 30 (6:00 p.m. ET). The following Saturday, June 5th, Parker will face the Sparks for the first time as a member of the visiting team when Chicago visits LA (3 p.m. ET).
- Natasha Howard of New York, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year 2019 and two-time champion for her three seasons in Seattle, will meet her former team for the first time,when the storm visits the Barclays Center on Wednesday August 18 (7 pm ET) and Friday August 20 (7 pm ET). Howard will return to Seattle for the first time on the Liberty on Thursday, September 2 (10pm ET).
- Las Vegas and Chelsea Gray, a three-time All-Star during her tenure with the Sparks, will welcome their former team on Friday, May 21st (10:30 PM ET) and on Wednesday, June 30th in Los Angeles for Attending consecutive games (10:30 pm) and Friday July 2nd (10:30 pm)
Kayla McBride, a three-time All-Star with Las Vegas, will join her for the first time as a member of Lynx on Friday, June 25th The Aces will face off in Minnesota (8 p.m. ET) and return to Las Vegas on Friday, July 9 (10:30 p.m. ET).
Due to the ongoing pandemic and the Olympic break, each team will play 32 games in the regular season 2021 instead of the originally planned 36 games - 16 at home and 16 on the road. Each team plays three games per game against 10 opponents and two games - one home and one away - against a team from the other conference. The regular season, which currently ends on Sunday September 19 and is followed by a traditional playoff and final format, includes a break from July 15 to August 11, and the schedule also includes steps to reduce the number of Travel that teams undertake, including the use of a “series” model where in some cases a team is asked to play twice in a market, with those games scheduled in sequence.
Information regarding fan participation during the 2021 WNBA season is provided by individual teams in conjunction with league and federal, state and local government health and safety protocols. Additionally, the WNBA recognizes that the pandemic may require postponing or canceling some games and has built flexibility into the schedule where possible and is ready to adjust as needed.