Despite WNBA All-Star Weekend shortfalls, Sky believe the event has strength to stand alone

The players’ general perspective on the league’s 18th annual All-Star Game was positive, with many saying it was the best in WNBA history. Sky CEO/president Adam Fox said the organization is open and interested in hosting again.

SHARE Despite WNBA All-Star Weekend shortfalls, Sky believe the event has strength to stand alone
The Sky’s Candace Parker waves as she is introduced for the WNBA All-Star Game at Wintrust Arena on July 10, 2022.

The Sky’s Candace Parker waves as she is introduced for the WNBA All-Star Game at Wintrust Arena on July 10, 2022.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

WNBA All-Star weekend in Chicago had some glaring issues, beginning with the league’s planning of fan events. Only two were open to the general public: Sunday’s game and “WNBA Live,” an outdoor event with interactive experiences for fans.

Asked why there wasn’t more open to fans — specifically a concert by Chance the Rapper that was closed to the general public — WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert cited concerns about security and potential gun violence. But a Chicago Police Department spokesperson confirmed to the Sun-Times that limiting outdoor events wasn’t at the advisement of CPD, as Engelbert originally claimed.

Multiple conversations were had between Chicago police and security personnel, but at no time was a suggestion made to scale down or cancel any outdoor activities, the spokesperson said.

Players’ feedback on the All-Star game was generally positive, with many saying it was the best in WNBA history. Sky CEO/president Adam Fox said the team is interested in hosting again.

But the way fan events were handled had some suggesting a different approach — namely that future All-Star weekends should happen in conjunction with the NBA’s Summer League.

Lakers star LeBron James shared his support for that concept, but the Sky don’t agree.

“Why do we have to come to [the NBA]?” general manager/coach James Wade said. “That’s a lazy synopsis. I love that the guys want to support us. It needs to continue. But they can come to Chicago or wherever we go. We do not need to be paired with Summer League.”

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