The 2019 WNBA All Star Game features quirky rule changes, a mixture of newcomers and regulars, and of course several Washington Mystics. Everything you need to know is below.
When & where
The game will be held on Saturday, July 27 at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
How to watch
The game will be aired on ABC and available streaming on WatchESPN. In the Washington, D.C. area, the game will be on WJLA-TV.
Who will be representing the Mystics?
Elena Delle Donne, Kristi Toliver and Mike Thibault. Because Delle Donne is a team captain, she got to draft Tolliver to her team and make a draft day trade to bring her coach over to her side, too.
Team Elena Delle Done
Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics)
Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury)
Jonquel Jones (Connecticut Sun)
Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm)
Kia Nurse (New York Liberty )
DeWanna Bonner (Phoenix Mercury)
Tina Charles (New York Liberty)
Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks)
Alyssa Thomas (Connecticut Sun)
Kristi Toliver (Washington Mystics)
Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky)
Team A’ja Wilson
Liz Cambage (Las Vegas Aces)
Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks)
Natasha Howard (Seattle Storm)
Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces)
A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces)
Unfortunately, Captain A’ja Wilson won’t be playing herself due to an ankle injury. Napheesa Collier was added to the team in her in place, but we don’t yet know who will replace her in the starting lineup.
Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx)
Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky)
Candice Dupree (Indiana Fever)
Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx)
Allie Quigley (Chicago Sky)
Odyssey Sims (Minnesota Lynx)
Erica Wheeler (Indiana Fever)
What to watch for
Up-tempo play thanks to new “experimental rules”
The WNBA has decided to add two new rules to the game, both of which should keep the game lively. First, the shot clock will be just 20 seconds long. Second, the game will allow “live play” substitutions for the offensive team. Though there is a system in place to make sure 6 players don’t end up on the court at once, this certainly has the potential for some fun chaos.
Six players are first-time All Stars
While both teams are studded with big names like Brittney Griner, Nneka Ogwumike, and Sylvia Fowles, there are also six first-timers. And two of those six are rookies: Kia Nurse and Napheesa Collier, former UConn teammates.
A possible Team USA Preview
Unlike the men’s USA national team, which tends to see elite players drop out to preserve their health for the NBA, the women’s national team tends to hang on to its star talent, perhaps to a fault. As a result, All Star rosters feature a lot of USA Basketball regulars.
Six of 2019’s All Stars (Delle Donne, Griner, Ogwumike, Wilson, Tina Charles, and Jewell Lloyd) were on Team USA’s 2018 World Cup roster, and many more are likely to represent the USA in the 2020 Olympics. It should also be noted that Kia Nurse, despite being only 23, has been playing for Canada’s national team since 2013.
What else happened during All-Star Weekend?
For the first time in over a decade, All Star Weekend included a Friday night Skills Challenge and Three-Point Contest.
Diamond DeShields won the skills challenge and Shekinna Stricklen won the three-point contest. Click here to see all of the events around WNBA All-Star Weekend.