In 2006 Lisa Leslie became the first player to dunk in the WNBA, so how did it take six years after the league was set up for a player to perform a fundamental move?

“I find what I like about the women’s game is that it is played below the rim,” USA basketball executive director Jim Tooley tells Around the Rings.

Asides from coming across as a tad condescending this comment is a fine silver lining of an unfair situation. The women’s league is severely underpaid in comparison to their male counterparts- on average N.B.A. players earn $4,650,531 vs $72,000 for W.N.B.A. players.

It all comes down to popularity. The WNBA’s ratings aren’t up there with the NBA at less than half the attendance per season. The game ‘below the rim’ just isn’t as popular as the Men’s league. The WNBA players are deprived of showcasing their athleticism and skill by the limitations of a rim that is too high. It’s not a matter of lowering the level so ‘the girls can join in’, no, it’s levelling the playing field and admitting these rules were set up without bearing in mind the physical differences that on average exists between the two leagues. Besides if the WNBA official ball size is smaller why can’t the rim be lower?

So what if WNBA lowered the rims? More dunks, higher attendance and higher pay straight away? Maybe it’s not as simple as that, but it would be excellent to see more WNBA players dunk like Brittney Griner.

Words and Animation: Isabel Barfod