LFive-time Olympian Sue Bird and guard of Hispanic origin Diana Taurasi stand out among the 10 players on the “W25” list, which was revealed this Sunday by the WNBA in celebration of its 25th anniversary season.
The WNBA called the list “a collection of the 25 greatest and most influential players in WNBA history.”
The league began with 72 nominees chosen based on factors such as performance and ability on the field of play, as well as leadership, sportsmanship and community service.
That list was narrowed to 25 with the voting of a panel made up of media representatives and women’s basketball pioneers / advocates.
Seattle Storm’s Bird in their 18th season and Phoenix Mercury’s Taurasi in their 17th have spent their entire WNBA careers with the teams that selected them.
The first of them has four WNBA championships with the Storm, and Taurasi three, with the Mercury; both teams have clinched playoff spots this season.
Also on the W25 list are players Tina Charles and Elena Delle Donne (both with Washington); the pvot Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota); escort Brittney Griner (Phoenix); guard Angel McCoughtry (Las Vegas); forward Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); forwards Candace Parker (Chicago) and Breanna Stewart (Seattle).
Bird, 40, is the oldest of the chosen players, while Stewart (27) is the youngest.
Another player on the list is Maya Moore, who has not played since the 2018 season, but was considered by the panel as she has not announced her retirement.
Among the 14 retired players are three-time MVPs Lisa Leslie and Lauren Jackson, who played their entire careers in the WNBA for the Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle, respectively.
There is also Sheryl Swoopes, who spent most of her career with Houston.
All three are in the halls of the Naismith Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball. Jackson has been included in both this year.
The other players removed from the list are Seimone Augustus, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper, Yolanda Griffith, Becky Hammon, Ticha Penicheiro, Cappie Pondexter, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and Lindsay Whalen.
From the W25 list, a total of 22 have won at least one WNBA title, and they are led by four each for Augustus, Bird, Cooper, Moore, Swoopes, Thompson and Whalen. Hammon did not win a championship in his career, and Charles and McCoughtry are still seeking the first.
All but one of the regular-season MVPs in league history, forward A’ja Wilson, 25, of the Las Vegas Aces, were on the W25 list.
Among the requirements to be nominated was that they must have been a member of a WNBA team for at least two seasons and have met four of the following seven criteria.
Win a major individual award, be selected for the WNBA first or second team, be selected for the first or second fully defensive team, and be selected as an All-Star.
Also have won a WNBA championship, currently ranked in the top 40 professional leaders in at least one major statistical category, or received the WNBA Community Assist Award for the entire season.
The WNBA announced that fans will be able to choose their favorite player as the best in WNBA history in the “Vote for the GOAT” campaign from this Sunday, until September 19, when the end of the regular season.
Fans can vote through the WNBA website and app or through Twitter.
The league indicated that the winner would be revealed during the WNBA Finals next October.