The WNBA announced today that it will unveil a list of the top 25 players in the league’s 25-year history during halftime of the WNBA Finals on June 7. Each of the league’s stars will be honored during the ceremony before the start of Game 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston. Each player will be introduced and surrounded by a group of teammates and coaches and joined by a selected group of fans and media at the arena.
The WNBA announced Wednesday that it would reveal the top 25 players in the league’s 25-year history during the WNBA’s 25th anniversary game against the New York Liberty on Sept. 24 in New York. The announcement will be made during the game by Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker during halftime, with the list announced by Parker after the game. The top six players on the list will be announced at the game, with the remaining players to be revealed by season, beginning with the 1998 season.
The WNBA officially unveiled a list of the 25 greatest players in its 25-year history during the league’s 25th season, including the league’s most recent top-10 players. In addition, the league announced a couple of selections that didn’t make the cut, but whose inclusion in the list still created a stir, including the top-ranked player from the third WNBA era.
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ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel
- Mechelle Voepel is an espnW reporter that covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports. Voepel has been with ESPN since 1996 and has covered women’s basketball since 1984.
The roster of “The W25,” which was released Sunday by the WNBA in honor of its 25th anniversary season, features ten current players, including five-time Olympians Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi and three three-time MVPs.
It’s “a compilation of the 25 best and most important players in WNBA history,” according to the league, with individuals chosen based on their overall contributions.
The WNBA started with 72 candidates who were selected based on their on-court skills, leadership, sportsmanship, and community involvement. The W25 was selected by a panel of media and women’s basketball pioneers/advocates voting.
Bird, now in her 18th season, and Taurasi, now in her 17th, have played their entire WNBA careers with the clubs that selected them. Both clubs have secured postseason berths this season, with Bird having four WNBA titles with the Storm and Taurasi having three with the Mercury.
Tina Charles and Elena Delle Donne (both with Washington); Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota); Brittney Griner (Phoenix); Angel McCoughtry (Las Vegas); Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles); Candace Parker (Chicago); and Breanna Stewart (Chicago) are the other active players on the W25 (Seattle).
Bird, who is 40 years old, is the oldest of the current players, while Stewart, who is 27 years old, is the youngest.
Maya Moore, who hasn’t played since the 2018 season but hasn’t declared her retirement, is also on the list.
Three-time MVPs Lisa Leslie and Lauren Jackson, who spent their entire WNBA careers with Los Angeles and Seattle, respectively, and Sheryl Swoopes, who spent the most of her career with Houston, lead the 14 retiring players. All three are members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, with Jackson being inducted into both this year.
Seimone Augustus, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper, Yolanda Griffith, Becky Hammon, Ticha Penicheiro, Cappie Pondexter, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, and Lindsay Whalen are among the other retired players on the list.
Augustus, Bird, Cooper, Moore, Swoopes, Thompson, and Whalen are among the W25 members who have won at least one WNBA championship. Charles and McCoughtry have yet to win a title in their careers, while Hammon has yet to win one.
All of the regular-season MVPs in league history were on the W25 list, with the exception of 2020 winner A’ja Wilson, 25, of Las Vegas.
The candidates had to have played for at least two seasons for a WNBA club and meet four of the following seven criteria: win a major individual award; be named to the All-WNBA first or second teams; be named to the All-Defensive first or second teams; be named an All-Star; win a WNBA championship; be ranked in the top 40 career leaders in at least one major statistical category; or receive the WNBA’s season-long Community Assist Award.
Starting Sunday at 5 p.m. ET and ending Sept. 19, WNBA fans will be able to vote for their favorite player as the best in WNBA history in the “Vote for the GOAT” campaign. Fans may cast their votes on the WNBA’s website and app, as well as on Twitter. The winner will be announced in October during the WNBA Finals.
The WNBA is famous for its players’ success and longevity. It was founded in 1996 and has been around long enough to produce a list of the greatest players ever.. Read more about greatest wnba player of all time and let us know what you think.
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