Excelle Sports has learned that WNBA.com is adding numerous statistical and historical video features to the site for the 2016 season.
The news comes as a welcome, even overdue bit of value added to a site that has drawn the ire of the league’s fans and media alike in past years for missing even basic information or any look back at the vital players within the league’s past.
Sue Bird wrote this in The Players’ Tribune back in March: “The disparity between NBA data — even data across all male sports — and WNBA data is glaring. Data for the WNBA is relegated to basic information: points, rebounds, steals, assists, turnovers, blocks. While worthy of being noted, those are the most rudimentary numbers in our game.
“Data helps drive conversations, strategy, decision making. But data on its own isn’t terribly interesting. It needs context. It needs a storyteller. Data helps tell the story of a player, a team, an entire career.”
The WNBA apparently agreed.
The league will make advanced box scores available for all games shortly after the games end, with stats including player impact estimate (PIE), effective field goal percentage (eFG%), true shooting percentage (TS%), defensive rating (DefRtg) usage percentage (USG%), assist to turnover ratio (AST/TO) and others.
Those stats will also be sortable by player and team, not only for this year, but going back to 2014.
In addition, the league will have every box score in league history on the site—traditional stats only. And player/team stats in the more traditional realm will be searchable, dating back to 2007.
The league will also offer the ability to search for historical highlights by year, player, or moment.
The league has spoken often of a need to do this. There are miles to go before the league is at the level of the NBA, of course. But it is an important step forward, and one that allows the WNBA to keep traffic on their own website. More accessible and immediate data helps fans looking to engage and media in need of information to ask better questions and generate stories.