Get Smarter About the WNBA in 2 Minutes

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WNBA crash course for the 2022 season.
WNBA crash course for the 2022 season. / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
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Hoop fans waited seven months to hear it, and last week, the day finally arrived. The WNBA is back, and its 2022 campaign has every chance to be the greatest ever.

But before you dive headfirst into the new season, let's set the stage for the W's current campaign by taking stock of the league's story so far, its overall structure, and what happened in 2021.

How many teams are there in the WNBA in 2022?

The 2022 WNBA season will feature 12 teams, a number that’s remained consistent since 2010.

The league launched with eight teams in 1997 and has included as many as 16 teams between 2000 and 2002.

How many games does each WNBA team play in a regular season?

One of the key changes this year in the W is a schedule expansion that will see each team play 36 games.

The previous standard since 2003 had been 34 games, with last season (32 games) and the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign (22 games) being the only exceptions.

Who won the 2021 WNBA championship?

Despite a 16-16 regular season, the Chicago Sky — featuring hometown legend Candace Parker, no less — outlasted a stacked Phoenix Mercury team in four games to win the 2021 WNBA Finals. That capped an impressive 8-2 postseason run that saw the Sky go undefeated at home.

This year, Chicago will host the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game on July 10.

Who won WNBA MVP and the league’s other top awards in 2021?

WNBA MVP: Connecticut Sun PF/C Jonquel Jones
WNBA Finals MVP: Chicago Sky SG/SF Kahleah Copper
Defensive Player of the Year: Minnesota Lynx C Sylvia Fowles
Rookie of the Year: New York Liberty SF Michaela Onyenwere
Sixth Woman of the Year: Las Vegas Aces PG Kelsey Plum
Most Improved Player: Connecticut Sun PF Brionna Jones

Scoring champion: Washington Mystics C Tina Charles (23.4 points per game)
All-WNBA First Team: Phoenix Mercury PG Skylar Diggins-Smith, Seattle Storm PG/SG Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm PF Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Brittney Griner

Are there plans for any WNBA expansion teams?

It’s virtually certain that the league is going to expand beyond its 12 teams.

While cities like Toronto have been increasingly bandied about as expansion targets, keep an eye on an effort based in Oakland that includes four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard — particularly now that the NBA’s Warriors have moved across the Bay to San Francisco and the MLB’s A’s can’t seem to escape relocation rumors amid a stadium squabble in Alameda County.

Be honest: Is the WNBA logo based on a particular player?

Loose talk here and there might suggest that the W’s logo is a silhouette of the legendary Sue Bird. There is no legitimate evidence of this being settled fact. Rather, the WNBA publicly maintains that the logo is meant to represent every player who has participated in the league and helped it grow over the years.

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