MINNEAPOLIS For 16 years, since before its inception, even, the WNBA has been inextricably linked with the Olympics.
The 1996 Olympics helped to give birth to the women's professional basketball league, which began play not even a year after a team that featured Sheryl Swoopes, Rebecca Lobo and Lisa Leslie won a gold medal in Atlanta. Now, four Olympics later, and the WNBA can still capitalize off the Olympics, perhaps more than it has since the league's beginning.
The 1996 Olympics were nicknamed the women's games, as the number of women competing had increased by 40 percent since four years earlier. This year's games continue that theme; there are more women competing for the United States than men for the first time ever. And though that's undoubtedly a good thing for the WNBA and women's athletics as a whole, the league is less concerned now about gender than about exposure.
WNBA games are rarely televised nationally, and many games fail to make the television airwaves in an...