The WNBA overhauled an embarrassing All-Star trophy

Jewell Loyd lifted the much more exciting MVP All-Star trophy. Photo: AP

The WNBA decided to put minimal effort into one of the most prestigious individual awards of the season. During last season’s All-Star Game, the league was embarrassed by an MVP trophy that the winner – Kelsey Plum – could hang onto and call his “little cup of tea.” Jewell Loyd was named MVP of the 2023 event and received a trophy that looked like it took two hands to lift it.

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A league whose rapidly growing popularity was disgraced by its office on the national stage. Buying the right MVP all star game trophy is the simplest of responsibilities. It doesn’t have to be the most flashy thing in the world. However, it shouldn’t get into the pan either.

Trophies shouldn’t be a newsworthy topic. Inanimate objects shouldn’t be an all-star weekend story. The player holding that trophy should be the subject of discussion overall as well as the other greats from the weekend.

Loyd set a WNBA All Star Game record with 31 points for Tim Stewart in a 143-127 win over Tim Wilson. The WNBA’s leading scorer also made a record 10 3-pointers. The 3-point shot also became Sabrina Ionescu’s best friend last weekend. In the final round he put in an all-time best 3-point Contest performance, hitting 20 of 22 shooting.

The WNBA is currently experiencing a surge in the popularity of women’s basketball. Last season’s playoffs were the most watched since 2007. Ahead of the WNBA season, the NCAA Women’s National Championship Game had 9.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched women’s college basketball game of all time.

Making jokes about how few people see the WNBA now is misogynistic, and couldn’t be further from the truth either. Women have always played basketball well and with style, but recent attempts to gain mainstream media coverage of the sport have resulted in stars becoming household names.

That growth has been going on for a few years now, and was one of the many reasons why last season’s MVP trophy was a shame. For any organization to be successful, an honest investment must be made in it, both financially and perceptually.

MVP all star game winners outperform the best players in the league. A feat that must be rewarded with something that has an actual basis attached to it. Thankfully the league corrected that mistake this year by giving Loyd a chunk of Aggro Crag.

Next up on the WNBA’s list are charter flights and a new national television contract.

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