We've got next

National | It's official: The WNBA has got next.

Issue: "No man's land," May 10, 2003

It's official: The WNBA has got next. NBA commissioner David Stern, still considered an ardent supporter of the WNBA, threatened to cancel the fledgling women's league's draft and season if the ownership and the players' association couldn't settle on a collective bargaining agreement by late April. Now that the league and players have settled their squabble over free agency and league minimum salaries, the WNBA can get on with its season.

But that's not to say the WNBA is out of the woods. The league is bleeding red ink and was kept afloat only by a $12 million infusion from NBA league owners. More than a handful of NBA owners want the WNBA scrapped. Mr. Stern even says that some owners have begun referring to the women's league as "Stern's Folly."

For now, the league plays on. Veterans will make at least $42,000 while rookies will earn no less than $30,000. That's a far cry from the NBA, where the average salary is $4.5 million. But in a league where the attendance fell to just 9,000 a game, it suddenly seems fair.

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