Real Basketball Fans Watch Hoops All Year Round, And There’s Plenty To Be Stoked About With The Dallas Wings This Year — Including The Arrival Of Arike!

On May 16, in a trade heard around the WNBA, the Dallas Wings shipped the league’s leading scorer Liz Cambage to the Las Vegas Aces.

In exchange, the Wings received the Dallas-sprung former UConn standout point guard Moriah Jefferson, center Isabelle Harrison and Vegas’ first- and second-round draft picks in 2020. In the immediate aftermath of that deal, the Wings also made another move, trading its third-round 2020 draft pick to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for former University of Texas star center Imani McGee-Stafford.

Still, make no mistake: Cambage’s loss is a massive one. She’s a game-changing talent, which explains why WNBA general managers have voted the Aces as the favorites to with the league title this season. Considering Cambage’s demands to play elsewhere this year and her long-standing willingness to sit out entire WNBA seasons if she’s not emotionally committed to playing, the Wings’ hands were unfortunately tied as far as their future with her was concerned.

To say the Wings have “been through it” this past offseason is an understatement. Beyond the Cambage trade, these last few months have been a whirlwind: The organization hired a new head coach in Brian Agler; it lost its team’s beating heart when Karima Christmas-Kelly signed with the Minnesota Lynx as a free agent; and the status of franchise centerpiece Skylar Diggins-Smith‘s on-court play this year is currently unknown as she slowly works herself back into playing shape after giving birth to a healthy baby boy a few months back.

So, yeah, a lot is up in the air. And things haven’t necessarily gotten off to the greatest of starts this year as the team lost 76-72 in its season-opening away game lost to the Atlanta Dream last Friday. But, because real basketball fans watch the sport year-round, there’s still plenty to get hyped up about as the Wings ease into their 2019 season and do their best to move on past the roller coaster that ended up being the Cambage era.

That in mind, here are five reasons why you should be stoked for this coming season.

  1. It’s a new era! Given all the above-listed changes surrounding the team, the Dallas Wings are basically a fresh product. And there’s a lot of intrigue surrounding the group that the team is fielding. One of the youngest rosters in the league, the Wings are expected to play a run-and-gun style of offense and to employ a suffocating defense on the other end of the court. It should make the team a fun-to-watch bunch.
  2. Until proven otherwise, the Wings are still the best pro team in North Texas. Props to the Dallas Stars’ stellar post-season run this year and also to the Cowboys for earning a W in the NFL playoffs, but until either of those teams makes back-to-back postseason appearances, they simply do not compare to the Wings, which is the only pro sports franchise in Dallas to make back-to-back playoff appearances in 2017 and 2018. Can they make it three in a row? It’ll be a tough road, for sure. But there’s some new talent in town that might make such a feat possible.
  3. The Wings have Arike! Yes, that Arike. With the No. 5 pick in this year’s WNBA Draft, the Wings selected Arike Ogunbowale, the Notre Dame star who led her team to the 2018 national championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player of that year’s NCAA tournament. A known commodity with a flair for the dramatic, the guard was among the league’s top-scoring rookies through three preseason games, and was even the team’s second-leading scorer in her WNBA regular season debut. Every bit the sneakerhead that the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic is, she’s expected to be a Rookie of the Year candidate just like Luka too, according to the preseason WNBA general manager poll.
  4. The new coach knows what he’s doing. Facts. Brian Agler is the all-time winningest coach in U.S. women’s professional basketball history. He’s coached two separate teams to WNBA championships and has racked up 315 regular season wins throughout his career. There simply aren’t many coaches out there better equipped to deal with the roster turnover and young talent that the Wings are working with this season.
  5.  Wings games are still the best ticket in town. Since moving from Tulsa, the Wings have called the College Park Center at the University of Texas at Arlington home, and the 7,000-seat CPC has become a top-notch intimate venue for the team and its fans alike. It’s a great, family-friendly environment — and an affordable trip for groups, too, as tickets to see the team play in Arlington start at just $11 a head. Can’t make it out to see the team in person? Well, you should change that! But, even if you can’t, it’s OK: Most every game will also be broadcast this year through various channels. See? You don’t have any excuses to follow this franchise, folks.
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