Some early validation for Michael Alter’s optimism


Tonight, the Sky go up against the Seattle Storm on ESPN2. It’s one of three nationally broadcast games for Chicago’s WNBA team this season, under a new league-wide TV deal that excited Sky owner Michael Alter when we discussed it in April.

Alter’s pre-season optimism for the team and the business centered on rookie Elena Delle Donne. With a third of the regular season in the can, she’s made good. The second over-all draft pick is leading her draft class in scoring (19.5 points per game) and percentage from the free-throw line (an outrageous .947 — Kevin Durant led the NBA’s last regular season with .905 from the charity line).

I started following the Sky to write a profile of Alter, which ran in the most recent issue of Grid. But I’m hooked on women’s basketball now. In North Carolina, where I grew up, team-oriented college ball was king. I’ve never quite gotten used to the flow of NBA games, which often pivot on obscene levels of individual talent. WNBA games still have world-class talent, but the focus on strategy and teamwork is closer to the basketball I was raised on.

Tonight’s game airs at 7 pm on ESPN2. The Sky, who’ve yet to finish a season over .500, are defending a .700 record.

Read the full profile of Sky owner Michael Alter on Grid.

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