NEW YORK — The WNBA honored its past and present when it announced the league’s top 25 players Sunday.
The “W25” has 10 current players, including Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart. Former stars Lisa Leslie, Tamika Catchings, Katie Smith and Sheryl Swoopes are among 15 retired players selected by a panel of media members and women’s basketball pioneers and advocates.
It’s the fourth time that the league, in its 25th season, has produced a list of its top players. Bird, Catchings, Cynthia Cooper, Yolanda Griffith, Lauren Jackson, Leslie, Smith, Swoopes and Tina Thompson also were recognized on each of the previous anniversary lists.
“It’s a huge honor to be named among the top 25 players in league history and I’m in awe that I’m a part of such a prestigious list,” Bird said. “It’s been incredible to experience the rise in the level of competition in the past 25 years and I’m excited to see what the future holds for this league.”
To be considered for the group, players must have played at least two seasons and met four of seven criteria: won a major individual award; selected to either the All-WNBA First Team or All-WNBA Second Team; selected to either the WNBA All-Defensive First Team or WNBA All-Defensive Second Team; selected to the WNBA All-Star Game; a member of a WNBA championship team; currently ranked among the top 40 career leaders in at least one major statistical category; and/or a recipient of the WNBA’s season-long Community Assist Award.
“Throughout this season, the WNBA and our fans are celebrating the impact the WNBA has made on sports and society over a quarter of a century,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “I can think of no better way to honor those responsible for that impact than by unveiling the members of this prestigious group, The W25.”
Fans will be able to vote for their choice as the greatest of all-time. The fans’ pick will be revealed during the WNBA Finals.
Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Tina Charles, Cynthia Cooper, Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Yolanda Griffith, Brittney Griner, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Angel McCoughtry Maya Moore, Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Tichia Penicheiro, Cappie Pondexter, Katie Smith, Breanna Stewart, Sheryl Swoopes, Diana Taurasi, Tina Thompson, Lindsay Whalen.