The WNBA released its 2013 schedule Wednesday afternoon after weeks of mounting pressure from fans. Of the 16 regular season games to be featured on the ESPN networks, five of them will feature the Phoenix Mercury, a team many believed intentionally threw their 2012 campaign to position themselves for a high draft pick in the lottery. Regardless of the motive, fortunes played out in their favor when they were awarded the first overall pick.
The schedule also officially debunked rumors that were swirling regarding the future of the Washington Mystics, who got the fourth overall pick and were swooning with disarray under Trudi Lacey's tenure. Prospects for rebuilding should be more optimistic with Mike Thibault, who carries a winning pedigree from his previous job at Connecticut.
Minnesota Lynx fans will have to exhibit more patience than other league allegiances; the season begins on May 24, but Minnesota will not see their first action until June 1, when they host the Connecticut Sun at Target Center.
The Lynx will not have a home stretch beyond three games in their 2013 campaign, and their longest road trip will last four games, starting with a visit to Indiana on July 11 during their team's camp day. The four-game voyage concludes July 21, when they play the Phoenix Mercury.
Minnesota's day-game slate dropped from four contests in 2012 to two this season. Their second and final daytime game will take place just before the All-Star break on July 24, when the Phoenix Mercury visit Target Center.
FOX Sports North, the local broadcast partner for the Lynx, has yet to announce what games they will televise, although such telecasts have been few due to a constant overlap with the Minnesota Twins.