NBA Stars Curry, Kyrie, Thomas Show The Love, Respect For WNBA Players, Game 
Monday, May 1, 2017 at 01:39PM in Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, NBA, Stphen Curry, WNBA, WNBA, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

May 1, 2017: The NBA playoffs are in full swing, but NBA players also have something else on their minds: the start of the WNBA season on May 13.

A new multi-media campaign includes such players as Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, DeAndre Jordan, DeMar DeRozan Karl-Anthony Towns and Paul George not only proclaiming their respect for the WNBA and also calling out WNBA stars by name.

The effort, which is anchored by a 30-second spot "Tribute", also includes Internet and social media, all under the WNBA umbrella marketing theme, Watch Me Work.

Interspersed with scenes of WNBA players in action, we get close-up shots of NBA  guys paying tribute to the women and their league.

"I love the WNBA," says the Boston Celtics Thomas. Adds Paul George of the Indy Pacers, "They are huge talents." Offers two-time MVP Curry of the Golden State Warriors, "I learn a little bit from them." And DeRozen of the Toronto Raptors says, "They make then game extremely exciting to watch."

"Why do I watch them work?” says the Warriors Thompson. The Raptors Lowry answers, "Sick handles." And the New Orleans Pelicans Davis adds, "Mad skills."

Some of the NBAers name some their favorite WNBA stars.

KD3: Candace Parker. Jordan: Elena Delle Donne (who was traded during the off-season from Chicago to Washington). Irving: Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi. Towns: Maya Moore.

Butler sums up, "You have a fan in me because you are the best at what you do."

The WNBA Tip-Off 2017 presented by Verizon is May 13.

ESPN begins its 16-game regular-season schedule that day (5 PM ET) when the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks with 2016 WNBA Finals MVP Candace Parker and reigning league MVP Nneka Ogwumike host the Seattle Storm and 2016 Rookie of the Year Breanna Stewart.

All ESPN telecasts will also be streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. NBA TV will televise more than 40 games during the regular season.

The WNBA will also live-stream 20 regular-season games per year on Twitter in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The alliance begins with the Dallas Wings at Phoenix Mercury game on May 14.

New players this season include NCAA women’s all-time leading scorer Kelsey Plum (University of Washington), who was selected No. 1 overall by the San Antonio Stars at the WNBA Draft 2017 presented by State Farm.

This year’s first round also featured three players from 2017 NCAA champion South Carolina, led by center Alaina Coates, who was chosen with the No. 2 pick by the Chicago Sky.

The Dallas Wings selected Kentucky forward/center Evelyn Akhator with the third pick and South Carolina guard Allisha Gray with the fourth pick.

The Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 will take place Saturday, July 22 in KeyArena, home of the Seattle Storm. It will be nationally televised by ABC.
The regular season ends Sept. 3. The WNBA Playoffs 2017 presented by Verizon begin Sept. 6.

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