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"We Got a League" (1997) Officially approved by the NBA Board of Governors on April 24, 1996, the creation of the WNBA was announced at a press conference with Rebecca Lobo, Lisa Leslie, and Sheryl Swoopes in attendance. The league began with eight teams: the Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Houston Comets and New York Liberty in the Eastern Conference; and the Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs and Utah Starzz in the Western Conference. While not the first major women's professional basketball league in the United States (a distinction held by the defunct WBL), the WNBA is the only league to receive full backing of the NBA. The WNBA logo, "Logo Woman", paralleled the NBA logo and was selected out of 50 different designs. The Houston Comets dynasty (1997–2000) On the heels of a much-publicized gold medal run by the 1996 USA Basketball Women's National Team at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the WNBA began its first season on June 21, 1997 to little fanfare. The first WNBA game featured the New York Liberty facing the Los Angeles Sparks in Los Angeles. The game was televised nationally in the United States on the NBC television network. At the start of the 1997 season, the WNBA had television deals in place with NBC (NBA rights holder), and the Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation joint venture channels, ESPN and Lifetime Television Network, respectively. Penny Toler scored the league's first point. The WNBA centered its marketing campaign, dubbed "We Got Next", around stars Rebecca Lobo, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes. In the league's first season, Leslie's Los Angeles Sparks underperformed and Swoopes sat out much of the season due to her pregnancy. The WNBA's true star in 1997 was WNBA MVP Cynthia Cooper, Swoopes' teammate on the Houston Comets. The Comets defeated Lobo's New York Liberty in the first WNBA Championship game. The initial "We Got Next" advertisement ran before each WNBA season until it was replaced with the "We Got Game" campaign. Sheryl Swoopes, the first player signed (shown in 2008) Two teams were added in 1998 (Detroit and Washington) and two more in 1999 (Orlando and Minnesota), bringing the number of teams in the league up to twelve. The 1999 season began with a collective bargaining agreement between players and the league, marking the first collective bargaining agreement to be signed in the history of women's professional sports. In 1999, the league's chief competition, the American Basketball League, folded. Many of the ABL's star players, including several Olympic gold medalists (such as Nikki McCray and Dawn Staley) and a number of standout college performers (including Kate Starbird and Jennifer Rizzotti), then joined the rosters of WNBA teams and, in so doing, enhanced the overall quality of play in the league. When a lockout resulted in an abbreviated NBA season, the WNBA saw faltering TV viewership. By the 2000 season, the WNBA had doubled in size from its initial season. Four more teams were added for the 2000 season (the Indiana Fever, the Seattle Storm, the Miami Sol, and the Portland Fire). On May 23, 2000, the Houston Comets became the first WNBA team to be invited to the White House Rose Garden. This was important to the WNBA's growth because before this invitation, only men's sports teams had traveled to the White House. At the end of the 2000 season, the Houston Comets won their fourth championship, capturing every title since the league's inception. Led by the "Big Three" of Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson, and four-time Finals MVP Cynthia Cooper, the Comets dominated every team in the league. Under head coach Van Chancellor, the team posted a 98–24 record through their first four seasons (16–3 in the Playoffs). After 2000, Cooper retired from the league and the Comets dynasty came to an end. Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks (2001–2002) Lisa Leslie of the Sparks Going into the 2001 season, Houston faltered without Cooper and fell to fourth place in the conference by the end of the season. The top contender was the league's marquee team, the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks were predicted to win the earlier championships but the team could never get past the dominating Comets. Led by Lisa Leslie, the most dominating post player at the time, the Sparks posted an outstanding regular season record of 28–4. They advanced to their first ever WNBA Finals and swept the fourth-seeded Charlotte Sting from the Eastern Conference. Looking to repeat in 2002, the Sparks again made a strong run toward the postseason, going 25–7 in the regular season under head coach Michael Cooper, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers. Again, Leslie dominated opponents throughout the Playoffs, leading the Sparks to a perfect 6–0 record through all three rounds, beating rival New York Liberty in the 2002 Finals. Teams and the league were collectively owned by the NBA until the end of 2002, when the NBA sold WNBA teams either to their NBA counterparts in the same city or to a third party, as a result of the dot-com bubble. This led to two teams moving; Utah to San Antonio and Orlando to Connecticut. With the move, the Sun became the first WNBA team to be owned by a third party instead of an NBA franchise. This sale of teams also led to two teams folding, the Miami Sol and Portland Fire, because new owners could not be found. Bill Laimbeer leaves his mark (2003–2006) The WNBA Players Association threatened to strike in 2003 if a new deal was not worked out between players and the league. The result was a delay in the start of the 2003 preseason. The 2003 WNBA Draft was also delayed and negative publicity was gained from this strike. After taking over a struggling franchise in 2002, former Detroit Pistons forward Bill Laimbeer had high hopes for the Detroit Shock in 2003. The team was just 9–23 in 2002, but Laimbeer predicted that the Shock would win the 2003 championship. Things started well for the Shock, who had three all-stars in the 2003 All-Star Game (Swin Cash, Cheryl Ford, and Deanna Nolan). Laimbeer orchestrated a rare worst-to-first turnaround and the Shock finished the season 25–9 in first place in the Eastern Conference. Winning the first two rounds of the Playoffs, the Shock faced two-time champion Los Angeles Sparks and reigning Finals MVP Lisa Leslie in the 2003 Finals. The Shock beat the Sparks, winning game three on a three-pointer by Deanna Nolan. Bill Laimbeer After the 2003 season, the Cleveland Rockers, one of the league's original eight teams, folded because the owners were unwilling to continue operating the franchise. On October 21, 2004, Val Ackerman, the first WNBA president, announced her resignation, effective February 1, 2005, citing the desire to spend more time with her family. Ackerman later became president of USA Basketball. Ackerman was later selected as the new commissioner of the new Big East Conference. On February 15, 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that Donna Orender, who had been serving as the Senior Vice President of the PGA Tour and who had played for several teams in the now-defunct Women's Pro Basketball League, would be Ackerman's successor as of April 2005. The WNBA awarded its first real expansion team to Chicago (later named the Sky) in February 2006. In the off-season, a set of rule changes was approved that made the WNBA more like the NBA. In 2006, the league became the first team-oriented women's professional sports league to exist for ten consecutive seasons. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, the WNBA released its All-Decade Team, comprising the ten WNBA players to have contributed, through on-court play and off-court activities, the most to women's basketball during the period of the league's existence. After missing out on the Finals in 2004 and 2005, the Shock bounced back in 2006 behind newly acquired Katie Smith. Along with Smith, the Shock still had six remaining members from their 2003 Finals run (Cash, Ford, Holland-Corn, Nolan, Powell, and Riley). The Shock finished second in the Eastern Conference, and knocked off first-seeded Connecticut in the second round of the Playoffs. The Shock faced reigning champion Sacramento Monarchs in a five-game series. The Shock won game five on their home floor. Bringing "Paul Ball" to the WNBA (2007–2009) Diana Taurasi of the Mercury In December 2006, the Charlotte Bobcats organization announced it would no longer operate the Charlotte Sting. Soon after, the WNBA announced that the Sting would not operate for 2007. A dispersal draft was held January 8, 2007. Teams selected in inverse order of their 2006 records; Chicago received the first pick. Former Los Angeles Lakers championship coach Paul Westhead was named head coach of the Phoenix Mercury on October 11, 2005, bringing his up-tempo style of play to the WNBA. This fast-paced offense was perfect for his team, especially after the league shortened the shot clock from 30 seconds to 24 seconds in 2006. Much like the early Houston Comets championship teams, the Phoenix Mercury had risen to prominence led by their own "Big Three" of Cappie Pondexter, Diana Taurasi, and Penny Taylor. The Mercury were well-suited for fast offense behind these three players. Phoenix averaged a league-record 88.97 points per game in 2007; teams could not keep up with the new style of play, and the Mercury were propelled into first place in the Western Conference. Facing the reigning champion Detroit Shock, the Mercury imposed their high-scoring offense with hopes of capturing their first title in franchise history. Averaging 93.2 points per game in the Finals series, the Mercury beat Detroit on their home floor in front of 22,076 fans in game five to claim their first ever WNBA title. In October 2007 the WNBA awarded another expansion franchise to Atlanta. Atlanta businessman Ron Terwilliger was the original owner of the new team. Citizens of Atlanta were able to vote for their choices for the new team's nickname and colors. The Dream, as they were named, played their first regular season game on May 17, which was a 67–100 loss to the Connecticut Sun. Paul Westhead resigned from the Mercury after capturing the 2007 title and Penny Taylor opted to stay home to prepare for the 2008 Summer Olympics, causing the Mercury to falter in 2008. The team posted a 16–18 record and became the first team in WNBA history to miss the Playoffs after winning the championship in the previous season. In their place, the Detroit Shock won their third championship under coach Bill Laimbeer, solidifying their place in WNBA history before Laimbeer resigned early in 2009, effectively ending the Shock dynasty. During the 2008 regular season, the first ever outdoor professional basketball game in North America was played at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. The Indiana Fever defeated the New York Liberty 71–55 in front of over 19,000 fans. Late in 2008, the WNBA took over ownership of one of the league's original franchises, the Houston Comets. The Comets ceased operations on December 1, 2008 after no owners for the franchise could be found. A dispersal draft took place on December 8, 2008 and with the first pick, Sancho Lyttle was taken by the Atlanta Dream. After an unsatisfying conclusion in 2008, the Mercury looked to bounce back to championship caliber. New head coach Corey Gaines implemented Paul Westhead's style of play, and the Mercury averaged 92.82 points per game throughout the 2009 season. Helped by the return of Penny Taylor, the Mercury once again locked up first place in the Western Conference and advanced to the 2009 Finals. The championship series was a battle of contrasting styles as the Mercury (number one league offense, 92.82 points per game) had to face the Indiana Fever (number three league defense, 73.55 points per game). The series went five games, including arguably one of the most thrilling games in WNBA history in game one of the series (Phoenix won in overtime, 120–116. The Mercury beat the Fever in game five, this time on their home court, to capture their second WNBA championship. Not only did Paul Westhead's system influence his Mercury team, but it created a domino effect throughout the league. Young athletic players were capable of scoring more and playing at a faster pace. As a league, the 2010 average of 80.35 points per game was the best ever, far surpassing the 69.2 average in the league's inaugural season. Changing of the guard (2010–2012) Sylvia Fowles of the Sky On October 20, 2009, the WNBA announced that the Detroit Shock would relocate to Tulsa, Oklahoma; the team is called the Tulsa Shock. On November 20, 2009, the WNBA announced that the Sacramento Monarchs had folded due to lack of support from its current owners, the Maloof family, who were also the owners of the Sacramento Kings at the time. The league announced it would seek new owners to relocate the team to the San Francisco Bay area; however, no ownership was found and a dispersal draft was held on December 14, 2009. The 2010 season saw a tight race in the East, with three teams being tied for first place on the final day of the regular season. Five of the six teams in the East were in first place at some point during the season. The East held a .681 winning percentage over the West, its highest ever. In the 2010 Finals, two new teams represented each conference: the Seattle Storm and the Atlanta Dream. Seattle made their first finals appearance since winning it all in 2004 and Atlanta, coming into the playoffs as a four seed, impressively swept its opponents in the first two rounds to advance to the Finals in only the third year of the team's existence. After the 2010 season, President Orender announced she would be resigning from her position as of December 31. On April 21, 2011, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that former Girl Scouts of the USA Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Laurel J. Richie would assume duties as President on May 16, 2011. The 2011 season began with strong publicity helped by the rising young stars of the league and the NBA lockout. Many news outlets began covering the league more frequently. NBA TV, the television home of the NBA scheduled over 70 regular season games to be televised (along with a dozen more on ESPN2 and ABC). The new influx of young talent into the league gave many teams something to be excited about. Players like Candace Parker of the Sparks, Maya Moore of the Lynx, DeWanna Bonner of the Mercury, Angel McCoughtry of the Dream, Sylvia Fowles of the Sky, Tina Charles of the Sun, and Liz Cambage of the Shock brought a new level of excitement to the game, adding talent to the teams of young veterans such as Diana Taurasi, Seimone Augustus and Cappie Pondexter. The level of play was getting better, as evidenced by higher scoring, better defense, and higher shooting percentages. Fans responded to the new stars in the league; by the end of the 2011 regular season, nine of the twelve teams in the league had increased attendance over their 2010 averages. The new influx of talented young players showed that the league's longevity gave young girls something to aspire to. Rookies coming into the league had the luxury of growing up watching veterans like Cynthia Cooper, Lisa Leslie and Teresa Weatherspoon. For the first time ever, young girls could now look at the WNBA as an opportunity for basketball to continue after college. The new players delivered in 2011. Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles set a league record for double-doubles in a season with 23. Also, Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky became only the second player in WNBA history to finish a season averaging at least 20 points (20.0ppg) and 10 rebounds (10.2rpg) per game. The San Antonio Silver Stars experienced boosts from their young players as well; rookie Danielle Adams scored 32 points off the bench in June and fellow rookie Danielle Robinson had a 36-point game in September. Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry was the first player in league history to average over 20 points per game (21.6ppg) while playing under 30 minutes per game (27.9mpg). McCoughtry led her team to the Finals for the second straight year, but despite breaking her own Finals scoring record, the Dream was swept for the second straight year, this time by the Minnesota Lynx, which won its first title behind a fully healthy Seimone Augustus. 2012 featured a long Olympic break, but still saw the league grow. The Indiana Fever won the WNBA championship. The Three to See (2013) The much publicized 2013 WNBA Draft produced Baylor University star Brittney Griner, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, and Notre Dame All American Skylar Diggins as the top three picks, the draft was the first to be televised in primetime on ESPN. Griner, Delle Donne, and Diggins were thus labelled "The Three To See", but with the draft also came standouts such as Tayler Hill, Layshia Clarendon and Alex Bentley. The retirement of legends Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Ticha Penicheiro, and Sheryl Swoopes coupled with the arrival of highly touted rookies and new rule changes effectively marked the end of an era for the WNBA and the ushering of another. On the court, the Minnesota Lynx won their second title in three years, defeating the Atlanta Dream in the Finals, and becoming the first team to sweep the playoff since the Seattle Storm. The promotion of Griner, Delle Donne, and Diggins helped boost television ratings for the league by 28 percent, and half of teams ended the season profitable. The improved health of the league was on display after the season, when the Los Angeles Sparks' ownership group folded; it took the league only a few weeks to line up Guggenheim Partners to purchase the team, and the franchise also garnered interest from the ownership of the Golden State Warriors. Other developments In 2007, the WNBA and ESPN came to an 8-year television agreement. The agreement would be the first to pay television rights fees to the league's teams. Never before has an agreement promised rights fees to a women's professional league. The agreement runs from 2009 to 2016 and is worth millions of dollars. In 2013, an extension was signed through 2022. The new deal will pay each team $1 million a year. Prior to the 2009 season, the maximum team roster size was changed from 13 players (11 active and 2 inactive) to 11 players (all active). Any team that falls below nine players able to play due to injury or any other factor outside of the control of the team will, upon request, be granted a roster hardship exception allowing the team to sign an additional player or players so that the team will have nine players able to play in an upcoming game or games. As soon as the injured (or otherwise sidelined) player(s) is able to play, the roster hardship player(s)—not any other player on the roster—must be waived. In 2009, the Phoenix Mercury became the first American professional basketball team to feature advertisements on their uniform when they sold an ad to LifeLock Insurance on the front of their jerseys, leading many people to wonder if ads on NBA uniforms were coming soon. Since then several other WNBA teams have followed suit. The NBA announced in the summer of 2016 that they will begin to feature advertisements on jerseys, with the first team to do so being the Philadelphia 76ers (with a StubHub sticker now on their jerseys). Also in 1999 the league held its first ever All Star Game where the best players of the Eastern Conference played against the best players of the Western Conference. Since the All Star games were ongoing, the west has been dominate until 2006 the east finally won a game. Before the start of the 2011 season, every team announced a new look for their uniforms. The supplier of the uniforms for the league, Adidas, upgraded all teams to new high-tech designs, much like they did for the NBA prior to the start of their season. The 2011 NBA lockout began on July 1, 2011. Unlike the previous lockout, which affected the WNBA, president Laurel J. Richie confirmed that this lockout would have no effect on the WNBA. If the NBA season was shortened or canceled, the 2012 WNBA season (including the WNBA teams still owned by NBA owners) would run as planned. The lockout ended on November 26, and NBA teams would play a 66-game regular season following the lockout. In March 2014, the WNBA and players signed a new, 8-year collective bargaining agreement, increasing the number of players on a roster to 12. Milestones See also: WNBA records WNBA Milestones Milestone Player Team Date Information First player signed Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets October 23, 1996 Signed by the WNBA and assigned to Houston. First points scored Penny Toler Los Angeles Sparks June 21, 1997 Scored the first points on a baseline jump-shot. First triple double Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets July 27, 1998 14 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists First goaltending call Sylvia Fowles Chicago Sky June 3, 2008 Trying to block a layup by Lisa Leslie. First slam dunk Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks July 30, 2002 Dunked on a fast break against Miami. Most career points Tina Thompson Hou., LA, Sea. 1997–2013 7,488 points Most career rebounds Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks 1997–2009 3,307 rebounds Most career assists Ticha Penicheiro Sac., LA, Chi. 1998–2012 2,599 assists Most points in a game Riquna Williams Tulsa Shock September 8, 2013 51 points Most rebounds in a game Chamique Holdsclaw Washington Mystics May 23, 2003 24 rebounds Most assists in a game Ticha Penicheiro Sacramento Monarchs July 29, 1998 16 assists Most career wins for a coach Mike Thibault Conn. Sun / Washington Mystics 2003–present 239 wins Most points by a team in one game N/A Phoenix Mercury July 24, 2010 127 points in double overtime against Minnesota Largest margin of victory N/A Seattle Storm August 7, 2010 46-point win (111–65) over Tulsa Largest attendance for one game N/A Detroit Shock September 16, 2007 22,076 in game 5 of 2007 Finals Teams Liberty Sun Sky Rockers Shock Fever Dream Sting Sol Miracle Mystics Shock Comets Stars Lynx Fire Storm Starzz Monarchs Mercury Sparks The WNBA originated with 8 teams in 1997, and through a sequence of expansions, contractions, and relocations currently consists of 12 teams. There have been a total of 18 franchises in WNBA history. As of the 2015 WNBA season, the Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, and the San Antonio Stars (formerly Utah Starzz) are the only remaining franchises that were founded in 1997. Conference Team City Arena Capacity Colors Joined WNBA Head Coach Eastern Conference Atlanta Dream Atlanta, GA Hank McCamish Pavilion[note 1] 8,600 Sky Blue, Red, White 2008 Michael Cooper Chicago Sky Rosemont, IL Allstate Arena 17,500 Sky Blue, Yellow, White 2006 Pokey Chatman Connecticut Sun Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena 9,323 Navy Blue, Gold, White, Red 1999* Curt Miller Indiana Fever Indianapolis, IN Bankers Life Fieldhouse 18,165 Navy Blue, Red, Gold, White 2000 Stephanie White New York Liberty New York City, NY Madison Square Garden 19,812 Black, Green, Orange, White 1997 Bill Laimbeer Washington Mystics Washington, D.C. Verizon Center 20,356 Red, Navy, White, Gray 1998 Mike Thibault Western Conference Dallas Wings Arlington, TX College Park Center 7,000 Dark Blue, Lime Green, White 1998* Fred Williams Los Angeles Sparks Los Angeles, CA Staples Center 18,997 Purple, Gold, Teal 1997 Brian Agler Minnesota Lynx Minneapolis, MN Target Center[note 2] 19,356 Blue, Green, White, Silver 1999 Cheryl Reeve Phoenix Mercury Phoenix, AZ Talking Stick Resort Arena 18,055 Purple, Yellow, Orange, White 1997 Sandy Brondello San Antonio Stars San Antonio, TX AT&T Center 18,418 Black, Silver 1997* Dan Hughes Seattle Storm Seattle, WA KeyArena 15,354 Green, Red, White, Gold 2000 Jenny Boucek An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise move. See the respective team articles for more information. Note Jump up ^ Due to renovations to Philips Arena, the Dream will play their 2017 and 2018 home games on the campus of Georgia Tech. Jump up ^ Due to renovations to Target Center, the Lynx will play their 2017 home games at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Relationship with NBA teams Current WNBA logo with NBA color scheme Eight WNBA teams are associated with the NBA team from the same market and are known as sister teams. These teams include the Indiana Pacers and Fever, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, the New York Knicks and Liberty, the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, the Atlanta Hawks and the Dream, the San Antonio Spurs and the Stars, and the Washington Wizards and Mystics. Of these teams, only the Dream and the Sparks are owned separately. Three WNBA teams are in the same market as an NBA team but are not affiliated. The Connecticut Sun are located in the same regional market as the Boston Celtics; though the teams are not affiliated with each other. Though located in the same market, the Chicago Sky are not affiliated with the Bulls, as evidenced by their differing home arenas; the Sky play at Allstate Arena in nearby Rosemont, as opposed to the Bulls playing at United Center. The Dallas Wings, which had been the Tulsa Shock before moving to the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex after the 2015 season, are not affiliated with the existing NBA team in the Metroplex, the Dallas Mavericks. As with the Sky and Bulls, the Wings and the Mavericks will play in different arenas, with the Wings playing at College Park Center in Arlington as opposed to the Mavericks playing in downtown Dallas at American Airlines Center. The remaining WNBA team, the Seattle Storm, was formerly the sister team of the now relocated SuperSonics but was sold to a Seattle-based group before the SuperSonics moved and become the Oklahoma City Thunder. The now defunct Charlotte Sting, Miami Sol, Portland Fire, Cleveland Rockers, Orlando Miracle, Houston Comets and Sacramento Monarchs were also sister teams of the Hornets, Heat, Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Magic, Rockets and Kings, respectively. The Detroit Shock was the sister team of the Pistons until the teams' owner sold the Shock to investors who moved the team to Tulsa, Oklahoma. During its tenure in Tulsa, it was not affiliated with Oklahoma's NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Sparks are the only team that shares a market with an NBA Development League team; the Sparks share the Los Angeles market with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, while the Shock shared the Tulsa market with the Tulsa 66ers until the latter team was relocated to become the Oklahoma City Blue. Membership timeline
Relocated teams Detroit Shock – 1998–2009 (relocated to Tulsa) Orlando Miracle – 1999–2002 (relocated to Uncasville, Connecticut) Utah Starzz – 1997–2002 (relocated to San Antonio) Tulsa Shock – 2010–2015 (relocated to Arlington, Texas) Folded teams Charlotte Sting – 1997–2006 Cleveland Rockers – 1997–2003 Houston Comets – 1997–2008 Miami Sol – 2000–2002 Portland Fire – 2000–2002 Sacramento Monarchs – 1997–2009 The WNBA Draft Every spring, the WNBA Draft is held at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. From 2005 to 2008, the draft was held in the city that hosted the NCAA Women's Final Four. In 2009 and 2010, the draft was held at the league's offices in Secaucus, New Jersey. The draft is currently three rounds long with each of the 12 teams in the league (trades aside) getting three picks each. Draft order for teams that made the playoffs the previous year are based on team records. The team with the highest previous record will pick last. Since eight teams qualify for playoffs, the bottom eight picks are determined by this method. For the remaining top four picks, a selection process similar to the NBA Draft Lottery is conducted for the four teams that did not qualify for the playoffs. Season format Regular season Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx, MVP of the 2014 WNBA Season. Teams hold training camps in May. Training camps allow the coaching staff to prepare the players for the regular season, and determine the 12-woman roster with which they will begin the regular season. After training camp, a series of preseason exhibition games are held. The WNBA regular season begins in May. During the regular season, each team plays 34 games, 17 each home and away. Each team plays one in-conference team 4 times and the remaining in-conference teams 3 times each (12 games). Each team then plays the six out-of-conference teams 3 times (18 games). As in the NBA, each team hosts and visits every other team at least once every season. WNBA All-Star Game In July, the regular season pauses to celebrate the annual WNBA All-Star Game. The game is part of a weekend-long event, held in a selected WNBA city each year. The actual game is played on the selected WNBA team's home court. The All-Star Game features star players from the Western Conference facing star players from the Eastern Conference. During the season, fans vote for the players they would like to see start the game. In 2004, The Game at Radio City was in held in place of a traditional All-Star Game. The 2006 All-Star Game was the first game to feature custom uniforms that match the decade anniversary logo. Due to the Olympics, there was no WNBA All-Star Game in 2008, 2012, and 2016. In 2010, an exhibition game (Stars at the Sun) was held. Shortly after the All-Star break is the trading deadline. After this date, teams are not allowed to exchange players with each other for the remainder of the season, although they may still sign and release players. Major trades are often completed right before the trading deadline. Olympic-year seasons During years in which the Summer Olympics are held, the WNBA takes a month off in the middle of the season to allow players to practice and compete with their respective national teams. During the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the break lasted from July 31 – September 2. During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the league did not schedule any games from July 28 – August 27. During the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the Olympic break stretched from July 14 – August 15. For the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the Olympic break was from July 23 – August 25. The WNBA Playoffs Main article: WNBA Playoffs The WNBA Playoffs begin in late September, with eight teams qualifying for the playoffs. Having a higher seed offers several advantages. Since the first two seeds get double byes, and the next two seeds get first-round byes, having a higher seed generally means one will be facing a weaker team. The team in each series with the better record has home court advantage. The first two playoff rounds follow a tournament format with each team playing a rival in a single elimination game, whichever team that wins, advances into the next round, while losers are eliminated from the playoffs. For the first round, the matchups by seed are 5th vs 8th and 6th vs 7th. In the second round, the matchups by seed are 3rd vs the lowest remaining seed and 4th vs the highest remaining seed. In the semifinals, the matchups by seed are 1st vs the lowest remaining seed and 2nd vs the highest remaining seed. This leaves two teams left to play each other in the WNBA Finals. In the first and second rounds, is a single elimination game. In the semifinals, the best-of-five series follows a 2–2–1 home-court pattern, meaning that the higher-seeded team will have home court in games 1, 2, and 5 while the other team plays at home in game 3 and 4. This pattern has been in place since 2016 (changed from the best-of-three series 1–1–1 format for four teams in each conferences, where the higher seed hosted the opening game in the first two rounds). The WNBA Finals Main article: WNBA Finals The final playoff round, a best-of-five series between the victors of each conference, is known as the WNBA Finals, and is held annually, currently scheduled for October. Each player on the winning team receives a championship ring. In addition, the league awards a WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. For this round, the series follows a 2–2–1 pattern, meaning that one team will have home court in games 1, 2, and 5, while the other plays at home in games 3 and 4. The 2–2–1 pattern in the WNBA Finals has been in place since 2005. The WNBA Finals 1990s[show] 2000s[show] 2010s[hide] Season Champion Runner-Up Format Result Finals MVP Team Coach Team Coach 2010 Seattle Storm Brian Agler Atlanta Dream Marynell Meadors Best-of-five 3–0 Lauren Jackson 2011 Minnesota Lynx Cheryl Reeve Atlanta Dream Marynell Meadors Seimone Augustus 2012 Indiana Fever Lin Dunn Minnesota Lynx Cheryl Reeve 3–1 Tamika Catchings 2013 Minnesota Lynx Cheryl Reeve Atlanta Dream Fred Williams 3–0 Maya Moore 2014 Phoenix Mercury Sandy Brondello Chicago Sky Pokey Chatman Diana Taurasi 2015 Minnesota Lynx Cheryl Reeve Indiana Fever Stephanie White 3–2 Sylvia Fowles 2016 1-all. Players and coaches Main articles: List of Women's National Basketball Association players and List of Women's National Basketball Association head coaches See also: List of foreign WNBA players Sue Bird, a member of the All-Decade and Top 15 teams In 2011, a decade and a half after the launch of the WNBA, only two players remained from the league's inaugural season in 1997: Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson. Thompson holds the record for the number of years in the league (fifteen). Lisa Leslie was the longest-tenured player from the 1997 draft class; she spent her entire career (1997–2009) with the Los Angeles Sparks. Tangela Smith has played the most games in her career (415). The members of the WNBA's All-Decade Team were chosen in 2006 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the WNBA from amongst 30 nominees compiled by fan, media, coach, and player voting. The team was to comprise the 10 best and most influential players of the first decade of the WNBA, with consideration also given to sportsmanship, community service, leadership, and contribution to the growth of women's basketball. Players for the WNBA's Top 15 Team were chosen in 2011 on the anniversary of the league's fifteenth season from amongst 30 nominees compiled in a similar manner to that of the All-Decade Team process. Over 30 players have scored more than 3,000 points or more in their WNBA careers. Only six WNBA players have reached the 6,000 point milestone: Tina Thompson, Diana Taurasi, Tamika Catchings, Katie Smith, Lisa Leslie, and Lauren Jackson. In 2007, Paul Westhead of the Phoenix Mercury became the first person to earn both NBA and WNBA championship rings as a coach. In 2008, 50-year-old Nancy Lieberman became the oldest player to play in a WNBA game. She signed a seven-day contract with the Detroit Shock and played one game, tallying two assists and two turnovers in nine minutes of action. By playing in the one game Lieberman broke a record that she herself had set in 1997, when she was the league's oldest player at 39. Awards Around the beginning of September, the regular season ends. It is during this time that voting begins for individual awards. The Sixth Woman of the Year Award is given to the best player coming off the bench (must have more games coming off the bench than actual games started). The Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to the most outstanding first-year player. The Most Improved Player Award is awarded to the player who is deemed to have shown the most improvement from the previous season. The Defensive Player of the Year Award is awarded to the league's best defender. The Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award is awarded to the player who shows the outstanding sportsmanship on and off the court. The Coach of the Year Award is awarded to the coach that has made the most positive difference to a team. The Most Valuable Player Award is given to player deemed the most valuable for (her team) that season. Also named are the All-WNBA Teams, the All-Defensive Teams, and the All-Rookie Team; each consists of five players. There are two All-WNBA teams, consisting of the top players at each position, with first-team status being the most desirable. There are two All-Defensive teams, consisting of the top defenders at each position. There is one All-Rookie team, consisting of the top first-year players regardless of position. Most recent award winners Winners are from the most recent season unless otherwise indicated. Award Winner Position Team Votes/Statistic Most Valuable Player Award Elena Della Donne Swingman Chicago Sky 371 out of 883 Finals MVP Award Sylvia Fowles Center Minnesota Lynx Rookie of the Year Award Jewell Loyd Guard Seattle Storm 21 out of 39 Most Improved Player Award Kelsey Bone Center Connecticut Sun 14 out of 39 Defensive Player of the Year Award Brittney Griner Center Phoenix Mercury 33 out of 39 Sixth Woman of the Year Award Allie Quigley Guard Chicago Sky 24 out of 39 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award DeLisha Milton-Jones Forward Atlanta Dream 11 out of 39 Peak Performer: Points Elena Delle Donne Swingman Chicago Sky 23.4 PPG Peak Performer: Rebounds Courtney Paris Center Tulsa Shock 9.3 RPG Peak Performer: Assists Courtney Vandersloot Guard Chicago Sky 5.8 APG Coach of the Year Award Bill Laimbeer Coach New York Liberty 23 out of 39 Notable international players Further information: List of foreign WNBA players A number of international players that have played in the WNBA have been all-stars, won MVP awards, or won championships: Lauren Jackson Russia Svetlana Abrosimova, Russia – won a championship with the Storm in 2010 Russia Elena Baranova, Russia – the first international player in the WNBA (1997), one-time All-Star (2001). Brazil Érika de Souza, Brazil – one-time All-Star (2009) Australia Elizabeth Cambage, Australia – one-time All-Star (2011) and 2011 All-Rookie Team Senegal Astou Ndiaye-Diatta, Senegal – won a championship with Shock in (2003) Brazil Iziane Castro Marques, Brazil – one-time All-Star (2010) Australia Lauren Jackson, Australia – two-time champion (2004, 2010), three-time MVP and eight-time All-Star Democratic Republic of the Congo Mwadi Mabika, Democratic Republic of the Congo – won championships with the Sparks in 2001 and 2002 Mali Hamchétou Maïga-Ba, Mali – won a championship with the Monarchs in 2005 Portugal Ticha Penicheiro, Portugal – won a championship with the Monarchs in 2005 and four-time All-Star Australia Penny Taylor, Australia – three-time champion (2007, 2009, 2014) and four-time All-Star Canada Tammy Sutton-Brown, Canada – two-time All-Star Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sophia Young, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – four-time All-Star Some of these players, among them Abrosimova, Maïga-Ba, Penicheiro, Sutton-Brown, and Young played U.S. college basketball. Rules and regulations Rules are governed by standard basketball rules as defined by the NBA, with a few notable exceptions: The three-point line is 22 feet 1.75 inches (6.7501 m) from the middle of the basket, 21 feet 8 inches (6.60 m) at the corners. This is the same distance used under new FIBA rules; FIBA had increased its three-point distance to 22 feet 1.75 inches (6.7501 m) since October 1, 2012 (for domestic competitions). The regulation WNBA ball is a minimum 28.5 inches (72 cm) in circumference and weighs 20.0 ounces (570 g), 1 inch (2.5 cm) smaller and 2 ounces (57 g) lighter than the NBA ball. Since 2004, this size has been used for all senior-level women's competitions throughout the world in full-court basketball. Competitions in the half-court 3x3 variant used the women's ball until 2015, when a dedicated ball with the circumference of the women's ball but the weight of the men's ball was introduced. Quarters are 10 minutes in duration instead of 12. Games are divided into four 10-minute quarters as opposed to the league's original two 20-minute halves of play, similar to FIBA and NCAA Women's college rules (many WNBA players play in European or Australian leagues, which all use the FIBA rule set). A recent trend with new WNBA rules has been to match them with a similar NBA rule. Beginning with the 2006 WNBA season: The winner of the opening jump ball shall begin the 4th quarter with the ball out of bounds. The loser shall begin with the ball out of bounds in the second and third quarter. Previously under the two-half format, both periods started with jump balls, presumably to eliminate the possibility of a team purposely losing the opening tip in order to gain the opening possession of the second half. This is not a problem under the four-quarters because the winner of the opening tip gets the opening possession of the final period. The shot clock was decreased from 30 to 24 seconds. The rule changes signaled a move away from rules more similar to those of college basketball and toward those that provide a more NBA-like game. FIBA also uses a 24-second clock. The 2007 WNBA season brought changes that included: The amount of time that a team must move the ball across the half-court line went from 10 to 8 seconds. A referee can grant time-outs to either a player or the coach. Two free throws and possession of the ball for clear-path-to-the-basket foul. Previously only one free throw was awarded as well as possession. In 2012, the WNBA added the block/charge arc under the basket. As of 2013 the defensive three-second rule and anti-flopping guidelines were introduced. The three-point line was also extended. Court dimensions WNBA Court Dimensions Area Imperial Metric Length of court (baseline to baseline) 94 ft 28.65 m Width of court (sideline to sideline) 50 ft 15.24 m Rim height (floor to rim) 10 ft 3.05 m Center circle diameter
You guys look really silly especially miss bacterial infection.ewww.sounds like you're quite familiar with them.where did that come from outside of your own personal experience. 2.I would be ashamed to acknowledge that my "man" cheats on me with 'groupies' kind of reflects his respect for her and her worth to him. What good is it to sleep in his house if he is sleeping with everyone else. Maybe the one sleeping in his house is the groupie with very little respect for herself. He must be good for business. No way in the world I'm going to let a man come and go as he pleases.just so I can dote the honor of having access to his house. :/ Ladies get your own worth and identity so you don't have to be a puppet.Sounds like very little loyalty and a fake commitment.
Just a bit of tea. He was in Atlanta recently for a game. His ex is a broadcaster here. I was interning with a network that I won't mention, but long story short his ex (my brother knows her from Orlando looks like she's black and Asian but I think she is part Indian. Really pretty)anyway walked up to her in the locker room while she was working. Don't know what happened afterwards but the way he looked at her and walked out after she did. I wouldn't be surprised if something happened. Even though she didn't seem phased by him. However, she was working. I think Vince Carter has a lot of 'girlfriends'. He is a nice looking guy though.