Bernstein: Women’s Basketball Sucks

By Dan Bernstein

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team just set a record of some kind for their level of their sport.

Their sport is painful to watch for anyone with an iota of aesthetic judgment, yet too many people are expected to think otherwise because telling the truth is considered mean, and it deviates from the gender-equity guilt narrative.

I support fully their right to play, and support equally my right to not want to watch them do so, and to be allowed to state the obvious about how awful women’s basketball is. Everybody knows it, but too few can bring themselves to say it.

Don’t even bother with your indignant sputtering about fundamentals, teamwork and intangibles. We get all that from real basketball, just at much higher speed, with much more successful, explosive conclusions. It’s easier to see passes and half-court sets in a women’s game because it’s happening slower – it’s like saying you prefer watching a junior-high boy’s practice session because you can see how the game is “supposed to be played.”

When played by bad players, yes. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to look. If you claim to enjoy that more than something better, then you do not like basketball.

I really had no strong feelings about UConn coach Geno Auriemma, but now I see why so many people hate him.

“A bunch of women are threatening to break a men’s record, and everybody is all up in arms about it,” he said about whatever it was his team was doing. “All the miserable bastards that follow men’s basketball and don’t want us to break the record are all here because they’re pissed.”

Couple things, here. First, I didn’t even know the “men’s record” off the top of my head, nor do I care about it. Second, his team can no more “break” that mark than Wayne Gretzky’s 92 goals broke Roger Maris’s 1961 home run record, Sergei Bubka’s highest pole-vault eclipsed the best time run by Secretariat, or another Oscar nomination for Meryl Streep finally gives her the one she needs to tie Pete Rose’s seventeen All-Star appearances.

Those of us who enjoy the game played well are not miserable at all. In fact, any reasonable basketball fan would be made more miserable by bricked set-shots, mundane layups and rebounds that take forever to be grabbed.

The fact that Auriemma felt compelled to make such a comment proves he knows I’m right.

If networks want to continue to waste time and money pretending otherwise, they’re allowed. As long as David Stern is happy pouring away NBA dollars to subsidize the yearly millions of dollars of WNBA losses, he can. It’s all part of the big, expensive miscalculation that the good intentions of equal-rights support can convince people that the empress is clothed in the finest robes.

It’s over now, of course, this latest, occasional period of time that reminds us briefly of women’s basketball, and some of the bitter people involved in it.

So I’ll be watching Derrick Rose attack Washington tonight, and I’ll spend Christmas Day enjoying the Heat against the Lakers – LeBron James and Dwyane Wade against Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

Oh, the misery!

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    It’s obvious why their team is called the “Huskies”.

    • SArmstr0ng

      I don’t mind the slower (and less talented) pace of play in women’s college basketball. The fact is, if you’re interested in the teams (which admittedly, few are), the games can be really exciting if they’re closely contested.

      The fact is, of the 89 games UConn has won, only TWO of them were within single digits. There’s such a ridiculous gap between the top-tier women’s teams, and even the mid-tier teams…it just adds to the boredom. But earlier this year, when Baylor played UConn to a 1 point loss? THAT was fun to watch. At least, that’s my opinion.

  • Denver Smeghead

    No, nobody cares about this UConn record. Nobody cares about women’s basketball.

    But Bernsie, it’s really time you stop perpetuating this myth that your preferred basketball – NBA – is automatically the best. Nobody plays defense in the NBA, and, last I checked, that’s still a fundamental part of the game.

    At least they attempt to play defense in college ball. So if somebody prefers the college game to the NBA, is that harming you? Apparently, as this isn’t the first time you’ve harped about it. But, no, poor Bernstein just HAS to be right about everything; no other viewpoints are allowed.

    • Jay

      Wow you are a complete moron.

      • Denver Smeghead

        Why, thank you for the ‘illuminating’ commentary. Perhaps you’ll come back and defend your (bent over, grabbing your ankles) position?

    • johnny d

      Denver- no defense in the NBA? What game are you watching? the average college player could not even get a shot off in a half-court set during an NBA game. Great athleticism and skill overcome the defense, First and foremost, if you can’t defend you probably can’t play in the NBA unless you bring a unique skill to the table.

      • Denver Smeghead

        And to you, Chet.

        At least the discussion is mostly not entirely pointless. :)

      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        Smeg, sorry you got so much static.
        For what it’s worth, I thought you were correct.

        In any event, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

      • Denver Smeghead

        “This guy admits he has no clue what the hell he’s talking about, ”

        I never said any such thing, but feel free to continue to put words in my mouth because you cannot defend your own argument.

      • Denver Smeghead

        “What game are you watching?”

        Well, for one, I’m not watching basketball at all; it hasn’t interested me for more than a decade.

        But when the local team runs the “free food when the team does X” promotion, and the X is if the Nuggets score 110 points or more, then no, there is no defense.

        The Bulls scored 121 in regulation last night. They shot 64.5% from the field. That is the defense that so many are so willing to defend? That is a joke.

        But then, why bother to defend it anyways? People love offense. Soccer and hockey supposedly suck because nobody scores. The NFL has intentionally castrated defenses. MLB gave the thumbs up to PEDs for a long time because fans wanted home runs.

        You should be rejoicing over the lack of defense in the NBA.

      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        even the NHL strives for more oh-fence
        that @sshat Gary Bettman brought in the shoot-out to break ties

      • IzzyBone

        This guy admits he has no clue what the hell he’s talking about, so why is he even here. Teams in college don’t put up big numbers because they suck, not because they’re facing the 80’s Pistons every night.

    • bigtime sucker

      not to mention, something that rarely get’s mentioned, floor spacing in the NBA is much better because the three point line is further out. college players aren’t going to intentionally stand at the nba 3 point line because what good would that do, but giving the players more room to roam and drive hurts defenses. in college every is in a much tighter bubble and defenders have less room to cover so it looks as if they are playing harder better defense, but stretch it out 3 feet like in the nba and that’s three more feet a defender has to close out on a shooter. that either creates an over pursuit which allows for easier drives or easier open shots. so take everything into account before slamming a league. There are a handful of teams that don’t concentrate on D, the rest would put on a clinic in college floor settings.

    • IzzyBone

      You’re confusing bad offense with good defense. A team like the Celtics would hold any college team below 50 points, I fully believe that. College games are low scoring and slower because they have to be.

      The NBA is just like the NCAA in that there are good defensive teams and bad defensive teams. It’s just that bad defensive teams get exploited more in the NBA than in college due to the offensive talent levels.

      • Denver Smeghead

        “It’s just that bad defensive teams get exploited more in the NBA”

        Which is why teams often both score over 100 points in a game. Phoenix Suns? #1 in both offense and lack of defense. Imagine that.

        Do you know what the offensive disparity is in the NFL from best to worse offensive team? 18.8 points. Do you know what it is in the NBA? 17.1

        You know what that tells me? Even bad teams find it easy to score points. Why? Because there’s no defense.

        And so what on how an NBA team would do against a college team? Boise St. wouldn’t score on the Bears. If the Celtics gave up 30 to a college team it would be pathetic.

  • dfcam

    Unwatchable, Can’t do it!

  • John Malvik

    Women’s basketball record? Who cares. Your comments are dead on, Dan. I love basketball and watching a good game- college or pro, and can’t stand to watch a women’s game. It is national headlines when a woman dunks a basketball. A friend of mine started officiating basketball and was assigned to a junior high boys game for his first job. Three 8th grade players dunked in warm ups.

    • Sports Fan, doesn't matter the gender

      I think it takes a lot more talent and skill to consistently hit 3 pointers than it does to dunk when most of their heads are 2 ft from the rim as it is. I think my grandma could dunk if that were the case. There are far more women’s players dunking in high school than there ever was, you just don’t know about them.

  • Denver Smeghead

    So, from the post-game, Lovie brought up the pre-season, and he did it in his usual, benefit of hindsight mocking manner.

    You know what, Lovie? A comment like that is why people hate you. Your team blew in the pre-season, and rubbing it in everybody’s faces now is only going to get people miffed. Do you really need to be an arrogant jagoff because you’ve gotten more luck this year than most teams get in a decade? What’s the phrase about pride before the fall?

    Three North Division titles? Yes. Three failures to even reach the playoffs after playing in the Super Bowl? Yes.

    I still want Lovie gone; I want Jerry gone too. It’s more than likely that, no matter the outcome of this season, the Bears are still more likely to miss the playoffs the next three years again than continue this success. I have that little faith in them.

    No, all is not forgiven nor forgotten.

    • bigtime sucker

      season isn’t over yet denver, let’s let things play out, there are too many what if’s to just go on a rant. and when you go 0-4 in the preseason and 10-4 in the reg season, what holds more water? pro sport preseasons are the most innaccurate baromoeter of reg. season success ever, so i got a little chuckle out of lovies response to that. I agree with you on angelo though. the sooner he is gone, the better.

      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        Lovie comes from the Tony Dungy “who cares if we lose every pre-season game” Coaching Tree.

        I had the beloved pegged for 6-10 this year.

        If I could make one move it would be to replace JA with a draft-guru.

    • Spoon

      Every single person reading this blog would have said the same thing Lovie did, I would have added “Now all of you kiss my ass” and jumped up on the podium to do the Twist, while singing ‘na na na na’. Everyone that picked them to win 5 games, myself included, now gets to eat crow till next year, where you can start hoping he loses every game due to some childish Ditka love. Now go eat a sausage and go home.

      • Denver Smeghead

        So let’s see, you accuse me of wanting Dikta, which is garbage. So you accuse me of something else, which is just more garbage. Basically, no matter what I say, I’m a meatball because I’m not groveling at Lovie’s feet. Gotcha.

        No matter what you say, you’re being a deuscheb@nk.

      • Rosie O'Donnell

        I’ve always struggled with that one Smeg.
        I know my @ss from 3rd Base.
        I know $hit from Shinola (which was a brand of shoe polish).
        But I sometimes struggle with knowing jack from squat.

      • Denver Smeghead

        Ahh, so you’re one of THOSE types who invents new realities simply so people can fit into whatever pre-defined molds as you see fit. Whatever; I’ve got better things to do than deal with people who don’t know jack from squat.

      • Spoon

        Good try, but no. I’ve invented nothing. I simply find it incredibly amusing and sad that people get so butt hurt over Lovie taking shots back at people, when all people have done all year is take shots at him. No, he’s not Bill Belichick, but outside of the 1940’s he’s right behind ditka and halas for Bears coaches. So you can cry about his ‘hindsight mocking manner’ all you like, but the fact of the matter is he’s a quality NFL coach, not the best, but a good solid coach.

        Again, what he said on the podium is what EVERYONE here would have said, wanted to say or thought about saying. Now what reality am I inventing? That you’re acting like meatball cause a coach whom you don’t respect told some sports media to kiss his ass in an underhanded way?

      • Spoon

        Ahhh… so you’re on of THOSE types of meatballs, got it.

      • Denver Smeghead

        So, if you don’t like Lovie, you must love Ditka. Nice logic you’ve got going there, Spoon. Good thing I’m not a meatball fan or your comment might have a shred of relevancy.

        This is still a team that managed to lose at home to the Seahawks and Redskins, who got crushed at home by the Patriots. That has faced a 3rd string quarterback 3 times, and a backup in at least one other game. That beat the likes of the Panther and Bills when they were winless.

        Excuse me for still failing to be impressed with a coach who cares far too much about thumping his chest as an armchair quarterback.

      • Mike

        Spoon, awesome comment. I had them for 10-6 after the preseason. Merely because I thought they added a ton in Peppers, and they got exactly what they needed from him. Angelo has to go though, the drafting has been horrible for years. Oh, the final comments of your reply were perfect.

    • scott

      I had a long comment showing why I disagree with you, but this comment system sucks and Its keeps getting deleted. Sooo I’ll leave it at I think Lovie get to give the doubters a little crow because of how they have been critasizing him. (could have been a lot better thanks CBS)_

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    wow, you are on a roll
    Amen to all that…and Ted Phillips can go too.

  • meesohawnee

    Smeg your first post. LOL.. we should know the rules here. Dan is right all the time and his pet NBA is all world. Damn im just glad the Bulls won the stanely cup or else i wouldnt get basketball jammed down my throat every week. Merry xmass too all(the best and safe)

  • NBA Fan

    College basketball in general is pretty lame. The only time I care about any college hoops is during March Madness when it becomes a platform for a sort of office lottery. And although the NBA is not without faults, it is by far the only basketball worth watching because the gap in talent between college and NBA is so substantially large.

    I would even venture to say that many of those who keep harping about how college basketball is so much better because of fundamentals, effort, etc., say so because there are no small white men for whom they can root.

  • Mark, Sterling

    /bow to Denver……thank you sir…..thank you

  • The Bank

    Hey David Stern, how’s that WNBA thing working out for you?

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    I don’t have a legitemate argument for Denver, but the Bears have made the playoffs three times in six years with a SB appearance. They had only made it to the postseason twice inbetween Lovie and Ditka. I don’t have a mancrush on Lovie, but he’s been a relatively successful coach. I know that it doesn’t fly in the Bernstein world of absolutes, but has he done a bad job, or is it a shakeup in the name of a shakeup? That scares me.

    • Denver Smeghead

      Relatively successful, yes, I can’t argue with that. But if not for his contract, Lovie would’ve been canned last year. He certainly earned the hot seat.

      • IzzyBone

        And he earned his way off of the hot seat. You can argue about Lovie all you want, but he’s not the issue. He’s a defensive head coach who has a good D every season and gets his players to bust their ass week in and week out. The problem with this team is the FO. If Angelo came anywhere close to hitting on a first round pick, this offense would be as good as the defense.

  • Ry

    I don’t know about you, but I laughed out loud when I first read the headline of this article.

  • Sports Fan, doesn't matter the gender

    Wow, I really cannot believe what I am reading here. As much as you may not want to watch women’s basketball the bottom line is that the UCONN women’s basketball team has just achieved an amazing accomplishment. Please tell me what team could be compared to such an achievement? 89 straight wins is absolutely unbelievable and I don’t care what sport it is in! It is a team of greatness whether you want to give them the props they deserve or not. No, you can’t compare women’s basketball to men’s but you don’t see any team in any sport dominate as much as they have!

    • bigtime sucker

      in todays sports world, i say, 89 straight wins most by an embarrasing margin of victory deserves a pat on the back with the left hand and a recruiting investigation with the right just because it’s women’s sports doesn’t mean it’s just assumed that everyting is on the up and up. how is he getting what seems to me 5 players in the top 20 every year?

      • Sports Fan, doesn't matter the gender

        It’s amazing to me that teams that HAVE been investigated for recruiting violations (primarily in the men’s game) haven’t even come close to this mark. Maybe it comes down to getting the best athletes because they want to be apart of a program that far exceeds any other! Women’s basketball is not going away whether people want it to or not. Usually anyone that says otherwise just knows they would get beat by women’s player.

  • Scoopie

    The title of the blog today is the best. We all know it’s true, but seeing it in a published formatted just makes me smile.

    Women’s Basketball Sucks


  • BC

    A whole lot of article for something you don’t care about… In fact, if you’re watching, shame on you for wasting your time. If you’re not, why exactly is your opinion of any consequence? What would you have written about today had it not been for this? Surely there must be some more interesting sports topic to occupy your time…

    • bigtime sucker

      now that’s a good counter argument, with the bulls blowing out the sixers by as much as they did, no bears news and it’s too early to discuss hawks'(sorry hockey fans but it is) i guess picking a fight is the best option. but it worked so i guess he has the last laugh

      • bigtime sucker

        bc i knwo this will appear above your comment but you had no reply button. my wife and i actually were watching 16 and pregnant yesterday and i was shocked, not by the show, i think it’s ok to highlight the struggles that a teenage mom goes through, no better deterant to be honest, but i find it obscenly curious that as the show went into commercial break, the first commercial nearly every break was for Bod body spray in which it depicts a guy basically being attacked by hotties and taking them into a bathroom stall for a little eh eh. One depicted a 3 some about to happen. spreads conflicting messages, this is what happens when you act irresponsibly, but that irresponsible lifestyle, we can’t help but admit how glamerous it is, ain’t it?
        no wonder teens are messed up

      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        ya know BC, you got me thinking….wouldn’t it be magnificent irony (or karma) if Dan-o’s daughter grew-up to be an outstanding point guard or something???

      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        hey, good to see you bts
        I figured you were taking the week off.
        In any event, I truly wish you and your family a joyous and Merry Christmas.
        I really respect you because you are such a dedicated and loving father.
        Enjoy this most special time with your young ‘uns.

      • BC

        Yup, but time for less negativity, eh? Think I’d rather hear about girls engaged in a healthy endeavor than seeing TV shows dedicated to (and compensating) teenage mothers… So his easy way out is to go negative on something? Kind of a lame and uncreative application of supposed talents.

        In fact, perhaps we should talk about quality sportswriters and how blogs by less-talented folks simply shouldn’t be allowed…

  • bronzo

    Dan is comparing apples to oranges…I never watch women’s basketball unless you count watching my grade schooll daughter’s games. Look there is a big difference between men’s and women’s ( boys and girls) basketball . I’m pretty sure the people on this blog realize that. So why did bernsie waste a whole blog talking about it. WHO CARES…

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      I’m guessing that he was inspired by Geno’s @sshattedness.

  • bronzo

    your probably right Chet, but still his level of contempt scares me…

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      “level of contempt” is Dan-o’s schtick.
      Yesterday’s Bears’ blog was a rare example of a positive blog from him.

      I would much prefer his prior blog format in which he would comment on several topics…take a shot at Geno if you wish and then move on to The Bulls blow-out last night (and the Doug Collins straight-jacket watch!!!) etc.

      BTW, a very Merry Christmas to you bronzo.

  • bronzo

    Thanks Chet merry Christmas to you and your family also. I was unalbe to blog yesterday, but I did get chance to read it along with the comments . Agree much more enjoyable to read.

    I did hear Terry’s roar yesterday very touching…

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      Yes, the Roar yesterday was one of the rare times we got to hear the real Terry (and not the schtick of Uncle Terry).
      It struck me that he was being so personal that he needed to have Rusty Scupper read the Roar because he would not have been able to get through it without breaking down crying.
      I have a gut instinct that Terry is a very nice guy (despite the schtick) but Dan-o is difficult in real life.

  • bigtime sucker

    thanks for all the kind words and well wishes chet and i recipricate those to you and your family

  • bigtime sucker

    i was out sick

    anyways, sports regardless of gender, it just makes me wonder how he has such a run on talent. a) the pool must be really thin. b) he must be a great sales man. you knwo, the kind that could sell a cheeseburger to a muslim at noon during ramadan. c) there is something funny going on. i mean even tennsee’s legendary program can’t compete recruiting wise with UCONN so it just makes me scratch my head and ask hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    • Spoon

      I dont follow college basketball at all, let alone womens, but I have to ask. Is there another team you’d go to as a female college recruit other than Uconn? Does he even have to try to recruit, or is going to Unconn as a college girl the only avenue you have for high end female atheletics?

      • bigtime sucker

        doug bruno is a good coach, so is pat summitt, purdue has a good program, there are other options but if uconn’s mens coach had the same level of success, the hounds would be a sniffing a way at every phone call and every text and every piece of mail he ever sent to a recruit. but since it’s women’s sports, and it’s all wholesome and a “true college sport” and stuff, everyone assumes he is doing everything legally, and he maybe, but a part of me is skeptical. he is not just winning, he is blowing everyone out and that just raises my eyebrows a bit. that’s all i am saying

  • bronzo

    I think your right Chet … once you get past his on-air persona I think Terry is nice guy. Dan I assume is still a condecending, smug know it all.


    What Geno Auriemma has done with the UCONN Women’s Basketball program and their 89-game win streak is good, but not great. There are few dominant women’s hoops program and the thing about their win streak is that they are winning a lot of these games by double digits. Even though I don’t think you can compare the women’s & men’s games, I think Auriemma could take over the men’s program at UCONN or other schools, but I don’t think he’d have nearly the success he’s had with those girls in Storrs, CT. Besides, the quality of the women’s game is not nearly as good as the men either.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    “not nearly as good”
    Wilco Tango Foxtrot???
    they are worlds apart

    I agree with bts…..gotta be a “Sam Gilbert” somewhere in Storrs CT.

  • Rosie O'Donnell

    “Women’s basketball sucks?”
    I’ll kick your arse Bernstein.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego is saying that the Mavs want to trade for Mello, even if it is just a one-year rental. Whoa, now that’d be one helluva team.

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