WNBA Mailbag: Looking Back at the Top 20
We reply to your thoughts of our rankings.
by Ben York / @bjyork
The first-ever SLAMonline WNBA Top 20 list officially ended last week, but we are still receiving emails about it. And as far as we’re concerned, that’s a good thing.
Below, we respond to your thoughts, questions, praise, and venom in a unique recap of the rankings. Be sure to check out my podcast on WNBA.com where we talk specifically about the order of the final three (Jackson, Catchings, and Taurasi). — BY
Q: Your credibility is completly [sic] shot (not that you had any before). – J.T., Seattle
A: I understand that all Storm fans wanted Lauren Jackson at No. 1. However, I think I took more of a hit for the tone of my article rather than her actual ranking. I really thought I conveyed how amazing of a player I feel Lauren Jackson is when I linked to this article I wrote over a year ago where I made a case for her being the best of all-time. Again, this was just a list heading into 2011, not an all-time ranking.
A: Thanks for the kind words, Janet. Regarding the disagreement of the placings…it’s totally cool. I knew it would create a debate and that was, ultimately, the goal of the whole list. It was fantastic to see almost a thousand total comments on the Top 20 list over the past five months.
And they say no one talks or cares about women’s basketball…
Q: One player that I think should have been on your list is Rebekkah Brunson. Why didn’t she make it? – Allen, Minnesota
A: Originally, this started out as a Top 25 list and Rebekkah Brunson was No. 21. However, we decided to cut the list to just 20 because there are hundreds of fewer players and obviously less franchises in the WNBA than the NBA. We felt the list deserved to be extremely competitive. Check back to the site next week to see who the “fringe” players were (even though they were part of the original 25).
Q: I stopped reading your list a long time ago. I don’t think I agreed with any of your rankings and certainly not Taurasi at No. 1 and Sue Bird should have been higher. – Simon, Indianapolis
A: Doesn’t sound like you stopped checking out the list…but thanks!
Q: I know people have given you crap for putting Diana Taurasi at No. 1, but there really isn’t any debate that she belongs there. – Cynthia, Phoenix
A: Cynthia, I think there is a debate but with everything she has accomplished thus far coupled with the momentum she created heading into the 2011 WNBA season, it’s difficult to argue against her. Plus, she’s fully healthy!
I’ve learned never to bet against Diana Taurasi.
Q: This list was just another Taurasi love fest. – Brittany, Oregon
A: Thanks for the email, Brittany, but I disagree. I realize I’m based in Phoenix and defended Taurasi when, seemingly, no one else would, but I firmly believe that she is going to be the best player in the league in 2011.
It’s really that simple.
Q: Serious question – why was the format different for each player? It didn’t seem like there was much continuety [sic] especially in the Top 3. The tones and formats were all different!! – Beth, Seattle
A: I purposely made it that way. It might just be me, but I’d rather read a list that has a unique and different type of write-up for each player. Wouldn’t it be boring to read the same exact write-up for 20 weeks? The players in the WNBA, in my opinion, deserve a write-up that is unique to each individual on the list.
Q: What player was your favorite one to write about on the list? – A.J., Los Angeles
A: The whole list was a total blast to develop. However, the last three (Jackson, Catchings, Taurasi) were the most fun to write about, by far. In spite of what people think, Taurasi wasn’t always No. 1; there were times when Catchings and Jackson were each No. 1. The fun part was coming up with definitive and justifiable reasons why a certain player would vault ahead.
Q: I just want to thank you for doing this list. It gave us WNBA fans something to talk about in the off-season on a consistent basis. I didn’t agree with all your rankings but I appreciated the write-ups and overall list. – Chris, Denver
A: Thanks, Chris. As I’ve stated before, that was the whole point of the list – getting people to talk. It was my sincere hope that it gave fans something to debate and discuss over a painfully long off-season.
We’ll certainly do this again.
Q: Didn’t agree with all your rankings but I did enjoy the podcast you did with wnba.com each week. Is that going to continue throughout the season? – Lauren, Connecticut
A: Most definitely, and thank you for the kind words. Check back soon!