logo                 

15 Greatest Players in WNBA History

Vote now for the Top 15 Players in WNBA History….. HERE.

This is a tremendous listing of 30 players.  I have wondered aloud… why only 30?  Reply back to this post with thoughts on additional players omitted and as to why you believe they should be on the list to be considered among the Top 15 WNBA Players.

The nominees were selected by a panel comprised of media members and basketball experts, with consideration given to such factors as on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service, as well as to contributions to team success and the overall growth of women’s basketball.

That is a broad range of criteria and opens the discussion for people who have had a major impact on the league overall.  I have some thoughts on some omitted players.

No disrespect to any of the 30 players on the list.  They are all deserving of the honor.  I would have like to seen a list of 45-50 for the Top 15 spots.  There will be never ending debate on who should be on the list, so let’s get it started…

I can only speak first hand of the ones I have been fortunate to coach.  My list will obviously have a New York Liberty bias… it’s OK, it’s my website.

My additional players for consideration:

Who else should be on the list?….

Vickie Johnson

“VJ”, the consummate professional.  One of the first thoughts I had when I joined the Sky organization was to ask Pokey to sign VJ.  Dan Hughes put her on the bench before we could get to it.  Smart move.  The 12th overall pick in the second round of the inaugural WNBA Elite draft in 1997, which was composed of professional women’s basketball players who had competed in other leagues.

She was a two-time WNBA All-Star and was the first New York Liberty player to record 2000 points.

Johnson ended an eight-year career with the Liberty by signing with the San Antonio Silver Stars on February 9, 2006.

Sue Wicks

No one meant more to a team in the locker room than Sue.  Our run to four WNBA Finals appearances were largely due to the work that Sue did, especially in the locker room and behind the scenes.  She developed into an All-star player, participating in each WNBA All-Star Game from there until her retirement.  In 2000, she received the WNBA’s top award for sportsmanship, the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. In 1999 and in 2000, we reached reached the WNBA Finals.  In 2002 we returned to the Finals again, Sue was integral to our success in New York.

In 182 WNBA games played, Wicks scored 823 points, for a total of 4.5 points per game, had 182 assists for one assist per game, recovered 788 rebounds, for a total of 4.3 per game, and had 158 blocks, for a total of 0.90 blocks per game. She finished her WNBA career as the number eight leader of all times in shots blocked.

Rebecca Lobo

Both as a player and as an ambassador for the league, “B” has long been a top the list of the leagues best.  Lobo’s career was cut short when she tore her left anterior cruciate ligament and her meniscus in the first game of the season.  In 1999, she was selected to the inaugural WNBA All Star team but could not play because of the injury. In 2002 she was traded to the Houston Comets in exchange for Houston’s second-round selection (26th overall) in the 2002 WNBA Draft.  The next season she was traded to the Connecticut Sun, where she retired in 2003.  Lobo was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2010.

Kim Perot

The point guard for the Houston Comets, helping them to win WNBA championships in 1997 and 1998. At 5’5″, she was noted there for her ferocious play.  She was posthumously awarded a third championship ring, her #10 jersey was retired, thus making her the first player in league history to have her number retired. The WNBA subsequently renamed their sportsmanship award in her honor.

Elena Baranova

In 7 WNBA seasons during 1997-2005: 3 for Utah Starzz, 1 for Miami Sol and 3 for New York Liberty. She took part in 220 games where she scored 2,215 points, leading her teams to the Conference Semifinals (2001, 2005) and Conference Final (2004).  Elena was a tremendously skilled player, especially for her height.  She was one of the first European superstars to come to the WNBA.

Tammy Jackson

Jackson became one of the original players in the league.  She spent all but two games of her career with the Houston Comets, and was with the team when they won the first four WNBA titles from 1997 to 2000.  Tammy did all the dirty work on those Houston teams so the “Big Three” could do what they do best.s

Kym Hampton

4th overall pick in the first round of the 1997 Elite Draft.  Kym was a tremendous pro and lead the Liberty to the Finals, really on one good leg.  You can’t leave Kym off the list because she only played three seasons.  The inaugural starting center on the New York team that went to the Finals.  She continue to impact the league from her work with New York still.

Janeth Arcain

Arcain was one of the original players selected from the WNBA’s inaugural season in 1997.  She was selected 13th overall in the second round of the Elite draft by the Houston Comets.  She played every Comets game in the first seven seasons of the WNBA before skipping the 2004 season to prepare for the Olympics.  A key piece of the Comets dynasty that included four championships from 1997 to 2000, Arcain had her best season in 2001, averaging 18.5 points per game en route to Most Improved Player and First Team All-WNBA honors.  I still believe we MAY have beaten Houston in the 1999 WNBA Finals in game three if not for Arcain.  Spoon hit “The Shot” to win game two and Janeth was tremendous in game three.

There are many others that come to mind, but let’s get the debate started.  I know there will be plenty of people that want to tear apart my additions.  Let’s do it!

 

Comments

  1. Nobody will ever be as good as Cynthia Cooper. The big three of the Houston comets were best ever. Kim Perrot and Cynthia Cooper made stick to the TV when they played. Add Tina to mix and oh boy. Nobody past or present can touch Cynthia Cooper.

Leave a Reply