The Mercury, behind the record-setting defense of Brittney Griner and offense of Diana Taurasi and Candace DuPree, soared past the Chicago Sky 83-62 on Sunday in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.
The Mercury will try to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series when they host Chicago Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at US Airways Center. Phoenix is trying to win its third WNBA championship after a regular season that saw it win a WNBA-record 29 games.
But the Mercury’s on-court performance isn’t the only winning formula. According to an Associated Press report, the Mercury and the WNBA is in good shape, financially and competitively, league president Laurel Richie said Sunday.
She also said she believed there would not be ownership issues in the offseason as there were a year ago when Los Angeles was left in limbo just a couple of months after the end of the 2013 season.
“But I think our ownership group has seen the numbers, they’ve been in arena, they’ve been to games, they know that our fan base is growing, that the level of talent is increasing,” Richie said before Game 1 of the WNBA Finals between Phoenix and Chicago. “Do I expect any surprises of that nature this year? No, I don’t.”
Six teams should end up in the black this season, the same number as last season, and ownership groups are stable, Richie said.
Richie said San Antonio, Minnesota, Connecticut, Indiana, Phoenix and Seattle all turned a profit or broke even in 2013. She declined to say if the same six would do so in 2014, saying final numbers were not yet available, but that she believed six would be in the black this season.