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How and what to watch for WNBA Opening Night

There are four games on the docket to open up the 25th anniversary of the league.

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi drives around Minnesota Lynx guard Bridget Carleton during the second half at the FELD entertainment complex.  Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The WNBA has now been with us for 25 seasons, and eight of the league’s 12 teams are in action on Friday night to begin the silver anniversary season for professional women’s basketball in America.

The season kicks off with the New York Liberty and Sabrina Ionescu christening their new home of Barclays Center in Brooklyn vs. the Indiana Fever. Ionescu was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft played just 2.5 games last season before hurting her ankle, but should be a force for years in the W.

That will be followed by the Courtney Williams Bowl, as the former Connecticut Sun guard now takes on her old team with the Atlanta Dream. The Sun are led by the ageless DeWanna Bonner and Jonquel Jones, and made a surprise run to the semifinals last season.

The two nightcap games have the Phoenix Mercury of Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner facing the Minnesota Lynx and 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield. The Mercury certainly have the talent to compete for the championship, but will need to figure out how to make all the pieces work together for a roster that has won championships at all levels of basketball.

And in the last game to tip-off, the Dallas Wings will have Arike Ogunbowale join 2021 No. 1 and No. 2 overall draft picks Charli Collier and Awak Kuier. They’ll face the Los Angeles Sparks, who lost both leading scorers in Candace Parker and Chelsea Gray during the offseason, and saw legend Seimone Augustus retire yesterday to join the coaching staff.

Here is the complete TV schedule for tonight’s action for Opening Night, May 14th:

Indiana Fever vs. New York Liberty 7:00 p.m., NBATV, ESPN3
Connecticut Sun vs. Atlanta Dream 7:30 p.m., Twitter
Phoenix Mercury vs. Minnesota Lynx 9:00 p.m., CBS Sports Network, CBS Sports App
Dallas Wings vs. Los Angeles Sparks 10:30 p.m., Facebook via the WNBA page

All games are also available with a WNBA League Pass subscription, which is $9.99 for one team or $16.99 for the entire league. League Pass is livestream only, but comes with a free seven-day trial so you can watch all of tonight’s action as well as the rest of this week just for signing up.

League Pass is available on all iOS, Android, Apple TV, and Chromecast devices. It also has livestreaming on your PC, and all games all season long are available for replay and DVR’ing.