What is the WNBA Commissioner's Cup? Closer look at details, format, schedule and more

2023 Commissioner
What is the WNBA Commissioner's Cup?

The WNBA Commissioner's Cup is set to return for its fourth year but with some changes. All 12 teams are scheduled to participate and play five designated Cup games that will count toward the regular season total. The in-season tournament is set to start on June 1, while the final day for the Cup games is on June 13.

After all the Cup games have been played, the teams with the best record from the Eastern and Western Conferences will battle it out in the final scheduled on June 25. Just like in the NBA, the final won't count as part of the regular season and just an extra game for the two teams participating in it.

The biggest change in this year's WNBA Commissioner's Cup is the number of games. Teams played 10 games each in the first three years of the in-season tournament, but it was changed this season.


What is the prize for the winner of the WNBA Commissioner's Cup?

The winning team will lift the Commissioner's Cup trophy, while the best player of the game will be named the Commissioner's Cup Finals MVP. But there are also cash prizes awaiting the winners and runner-ups of the in-season tournament.

The Cup champions are set to receive $500,000 in cash prizes. Players on the winning team will receive $30,000 each, while the Finals MVP will get a $5,000 bonus. As for the losing team, their players will get around $10,000 each for participating.

It's not a lot of money compared to what NBA players are making, but it's a lot for WNBA players on a minimum contract. So it's an important tournament to keep the players' morale up early in the season. The average salary in the league last year was an estimated $147,745.


Which teams have won the WNBA Commissioner's Cup trophy?

The WNBA Commissioner's Cup was supposed to start in the 2020 season, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it. The first-ever in-season tournament happened in 2021, with the Seattle Storm taking home the trophy, beating the Connecticut Sun 79-57.

Breanna Stewart was named the Finals MVP in 2021. The Las Vegas Aces began their success with the Cup win in 2022, beating the Chicago Sky 93-83 and Chelsea Gray being named as MVP. They won the double last season after lifting the WNBA Championship for the very first time.

The Aces almost won back-to-back doubles, but lost last year's Commissioner's Cup final to the New York Liberty. Jonquel Jones was named MVP, but the Aces got the last laugh. They defeated the Liberty in the WNBA Finals 3-1 to win their second straight championship.

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