May 3, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; The shoes of Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) before the game against the Dallas Wings at College Park Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

All things considered, Nike has been at the forefront of the recent rise in popularity of women’s basketball. In addition to inking Caitlin Clark to a reported $28 million contract, the swoosh recently launched a campaign for Sabrina Ionescu’s second signature sneaker and also announced that two-time WNBA MVP and reigning WNBA Finals MVP A’Ja Wilson will be receiving her own signature shoe in 2025.

That’s part of what made it so curious to see the language the Nike Basketball X account used to bemoan the week-long layoff between the Dallas Mavericks series-clinching victory in the Western Conference Finals and Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

“And that’s that… a week without hoops smh,” the account wrote, along with an upside down smiley face emoji, in a since-deleted post.

As many were quick to point out, the Nike Basketball account needn’t look any further than its own header image — which promotes Wilson’s upcoming signature shoe — or its recent post promoting Ionescu’s shoe. While there may not be any NBA basketball until Game 1 of the Finals next Thursday, there will be plenty of WNBA action between now and them, including Saturday’s highly anticipated matchup between Clark’s Indiana Fever and Angel Reese’s Chicago Sky. (Oh, and Nike not only has a sponsorship deal with the overall WNBA as well, they’re an equity investor there.)

On the one hand, this seems a simple mistake, as it’s obvious the account’s intent was to draw attention to the week-long layoff until the start of the NBA Finals. Had the account simply posted “one week without NBA basketball,” nobody would have batted an eye. Instead, it made the unfortunate decision to equate the NBA with all of “hoops.”

Conversely, these are the type of oversights that women’s sports have long been fighting against, but clearly haven’t moved past. And it’s especially disheartening that the post came from Nike, which has not only championed women’s sports, but is also the WNBA’s official uniform sponsor.

It’s hardly surprising that the account deleted the post relatively quickly in an attempt to distance itself from the unfortunate error. But in the world of social media, screenshots live forever, as do subtweets from competitors looking to capitalize on the slip up.

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.