The denizens of Las Vegas will soon be able to add WNBA betting to the NHL betting they are already able to do, as well as to the NFL betting they will be able to do in the year 2020. Then again, given the rolling stone nature of the Stars, who were founded in Salt Lake City as the Utah Starzz in 1997, and moved to San Antonio in 2003, it is anybody’s guess whether they will find a permanent home in Sin City. in fact, their only constant has been the ‘Stars’ moniker. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that WNBA Enterprises filed the application Oct. 14 for the rights to “Las Vegas Stars” in Class 41 for “ongoing television and radio programs in the field of basketball and rendering live basketball games and basketball exhibitions.”
— San Antonio Stars (@SAStars) October 13, 2017
The NBA and WNBA approved the sale of the Stars to MGM Resorts on October 17th, but MGM spokesman Scott Ghertner said he had neither heard about the team name nor would confirm or deny it. “The fact that they filed means that’s the name they want,” intellectual property attorney in Las Vegas and a partner at Dickinson Wright Jennifer Ko Craft said. “We don’t know if they’ll actually get it yet, because it hasn’t been examined.” A minor league baseball team by the name of Las Vegas Stars existed between 1983 and 2000, and its president confirmed that Minor League Baseball remains the owner of that trademark. All things considered, the Las Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL have set a precedent, not just for WNBA betting in Nevada, but also for the Stars to retain their name.
The Las Vegas Stars won the latest draft lottery, as the San Antonio Stars did the previous one by the way, and were thus awarded the No. 1 pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft, but that shouldn’t necessarily make fans who bet on WNBA bullish on the Stars. After all, they selected Kelsey Plum as the first pick of the 2017 WNBA draft, who then went on to become the first top pick in four years, and second in nine, not to win the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award. Generally speaking, college success does not guarantee professional success, as that is as true for the WNBA as it is for the NBA. Plum, for example, holds NCAA women’s records for most points in a single season (1,080) and most points ever (3527), but averaged just 8.5 points per game and shot 34.6% from the field in her rookie year in the WNBA.
For what it’s worth, the 2018 Las Vegas Stars couldn’t possibly be any worse, by WNBA standards and otherwise, than the 2017 San Antonio Stars, who finished the season with the worst record in the league (8-26), as well as a league-worst 74.4 points per game. There is plenty of room for improvement, but there is also plenty of time to improve. “The Star’s roster is very young in terms of game experience at almost every position,” ESPN women’s basketball analyst LaChina Robinson said. “So time and development of a team identity will help to add numbers to the win column.”