June 21, 1997. The New York Liberty beat the Los Angeles Sparks at the world famous Great Western Forum. Now, 19 years later to the day, the WNBA is celebrating the anniversary by naming the Top 20@20, a list honoring the best players to ever play in the League.
15 WNBA family members–former players to current coaches, women who didn’t get a chance to play in the W, and journalists–made up the voting committee. A total of 60 players, both current and former, were nominated to be on the final list.
Lists like these are invitations for debate. No Chamique Holdsclaw, Elena Delle Donne, Katie Douglas, Teresa Edwards or Dawn Staley? Three Lynx players? Nine current players and 11 former? Why not 10 for each?
The one thing this list does this confirm is how incredibly stacked the W’s talent pool has been for 20 years. From Lisa Leslie to Maya Moore, there has been no drop-off in talent. The WNBA’s Top 20@20 includes:
Seimone Augustus | Sue Bird | Swin Cash | Tamika Catchings
Cynthia Cooper-Dyke | Yolanda Griffith | Becky Hammon
Lauren Jackson | Lisa Leslie | Maya Moore | Deanna Nolan
Candace Parker | Ticha Penicheiro | Cappie Pondexter
Katie Smith | Sheryl Swoopes | Diana Taurasi
Tina Thompson | Teresa Weatherspoon | Lindsay Whalen
“The 20 women honored today are an extraordinarily accomplished group both on and off the basketball court,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders, via a press release. “On the court, they represent the absolute best in women’s professional basketball and are in so many ways larger than life. Off the court, they represent their teams, hometowns and communities in which they live and work with the utmost professionalism. And most importantly, they represent the hopes and dreams of generations of young girls all over the world – the future of the WNBA.”