WNBA G.O.A.T Bracket Challenge Winner Is…. + Final Thoughts from the Selection Committee.

Greatest of All Time Player Bracket Challenge!

 

Congratulations are in order for the Greatest WNBA Player of All Time Bracket Challenge winner Diana Taurasi! She won over Maya Moore who was the runner up. View the updated and final bracket here.

Diana Taurasi was placed in the first region, Region W. She beat out #16 seed Jewell Loyd in the Round of 64, #8 seed Dawn Staley in the Round of 32, #4 seed Sylvia Fowles in the Sweet 16, #2 seed Sheryl Swoopes in the Elite 8, #1 seed Lauren Jackson (from Region N) in the Final Four. She beat out several high profile players with terrific resumes of their own and it speaks to her popularity that she is the winner of this WNBA G.O.A.T Bracket Challenge.

Listed below are the final thoughts of the committee members who helped shaped the process of making the bracket, selecting the players and shaping the overall bracket.

Committee Member: Kevin Brown | Twitter @over_short

Final Thoughts:  We must have done pretty well with the seeding, given how few upsets there were.  The Final Four are not the four I would have chosen, but I’ve never been one to share popular opinion.

Thoughts on Diana Taurasi being the winner:  In a popularity contest, she was the inevitable choice.  Fans love scoring, and nobody did more.  Fans love swagger, and nobody had more.  All the quibbles about defense and only having one MVP fall to the side in the face of her iconic bun.

Committee Member: Nathan Hiatt | Twitter @NATE_HIATT 

Final Thoughts: It was definitely an interesting process. As a person that loves sports and the WNBA in general, I thought that this would be a fun way to be creative and cope without any sports because of COVID-19. As a committee, we looked to make the bracket challenge as fair and as simple as possible, and I think we did pretty decent at that, though there was always bound to be debates throughout the process. It was certainly interesting to see how everything has panned out with some upsets, but for the most part this challenge went about as I expected as players now are more popular within the media and social media.

Thoughts on Diana Taurasi being the winner: Diana Taurasi has definitely been an unbelievable player for many, many years and extremely popular with fans. As the WNBA all-time scoring leader, her three WNBA Championships rings, basketball talent and her on-the-court and off-the-court personality and popularity with fans, it is easy to see why she won the bracket challenge as the Greatest Player of All-Time.

Committee Member:  Aneela Khan | Twitter @whoopsblogger

Final Thoughts: It was an interesting process. We tried to make it fair and try to make something enjoyable for all of us during these uncertain times. We did try to make the seeds fair and balanced but unfortunately, people seemed to disagree. Which is ok, when you build a bracket, because that usually happens. It is interesting how far some players got ahead of others because certain players are more visible in the media than the other players or that they simply do not or were not aware of some WNBA historical legends.

Thoughts on Diana Taurasi being the winner:  Diana Taurasi is just fun to watch. Her ability to score points, her ability to lead her team when she needs to, her ability to help build up her team mates, her personality shines through. She is larger than life. As the all time WNBA scoring leader, she is truly remarkable and for that is she is the WNBA Greatest Player of All Time.

Committee Member: Michael Olsen | Twitter @colombianmikey

 

Final Thoughts:  I am so thankful for this opportunity.  As I begin to embark on my journey with college and figuring out what I want to do with my life, this tournament was an eye opener. I realized that whatever happens, I want to make basketball apart of it. I think the tournament turned out really well! Obviously, nothing is ever perfect and I wish some people would’ve won over others, but that’s the nature of voting. I hope that this tournament was a way for basketball fans to get a taste of basketball that they were missing. 

Thoughts on Diana Taurasi being the winner:  I was not  surprised. Many people have often said that she is the GOAT. Her career is none other than spectacular. I hope that we will continue to see her greatness for the next couple of years. She is getting up there in age, but I truly think that her desire will keep her playing for longer than people expect. She is impossible not to watch when she is on the basketball court and I know that she is an inspiration for any kid growing up with a basketball in their hands.

Committee Member: Lamar Smith | Twitter @inside380

 

Final Thoughts:  Despite, some players advancing based on their strong fanbase or controversy over some lower seeds,  I think the bracket was well done. The last two players in mind are the two best WNBA players right now. I had Maya ranked No. 2 and Taurasi No. 1 so I’m not surprised they are in the final.

Thoughts on Diana Taurasi being the winner: She’s the most fierce competitor and best scorer in the history of the league. She is what Kobe Bryant was to the Lakers or Tim Duncan was to the Spurs and that’s the embodiment of a franchise. She set the precedent for the culture, she’s won three rings and the Mercury consistently have one of the best attendances records every year. She’s simply MUST SEE TV.

Committee Member: Glen Starkey |Twitter @Starkman55

Final Thoughts: It was a long bracket and a tough process. Honestly, there were lower seeds worthy of more votes and high seeds who could have been knocked off early. But the chalk was fair and the final lineup despite some recency bias was how I judged the Final Four. Maya Moore vs Diana Taurasi is a terrific match up for the final (despite being an all UCONN final). I also thought Tamika Catchings deserved a place in the Final Four. But it is certainly a fair representation of the WNBA’s greatest players. That said, forgetting Yolanda Griffith still bothers me. She was a beast and one of the best pure defensive posts in the game.

Cynthia Cooper made it to the Final Four but to win 4 titles in the twilight of your career and be Finals MVP in all of them from ages 34 to 38 after spending a decade overseas is one feat I hope never gets forgotten as the WNBA grows a new generation of players.

Sue Bird may have gotten more of a push to the Final Four than expected but to be honest, her current notoriety and her reputation as a great clutch player overcomes any statistical shortcomings.

Thoughts on Diana Taurasi being the winner: Diana Taurasi certainly has the credibility throughout her career. Each of her three titles were earned and she was the key cog in all of them. In addition, when she plays, Phoenix wins. Period. While the end seems to be near with a very serious back injury, Diana Taurasi’s career is one of the finest. She has earned the right to be named the Greatest WNBA Player of All Time.

 

6 thoughts on “WNBA G.O.A.T Bracket Challenge Winner Is…. + Final Thoughts from the Selection Committee.

  1. A lot of nonsense in the thoughts on Taurasi being the winner. Her teams average 18-16 for a season when she plays. How is that a winner?
    She has never played defense in her career. How can you be rated the greatest of all time, when you take half the game off, which leads to an average season of 18-16, despite the great 29-5 2014 season?
    She is the undisputed dirtiest player of all time, with the technicals, ejections, and suspensions records to back it up. How can that be the greatest of all time?
    Give her the greatest offensive player of all time, because she combines assists with scoring, but otherwise, Cooper, Swoopes, Leslie, Catchings, Jackson, and Smith all should rank ahead of her at least. Moore, Thompson, and Fowles have the potential to beat her as well.

  2. The result was ha foregone conclusion. Still it was fun participating. My final vote was for Maya and stays that way. She never had the swag of DT and that hurts her in the popularity contest. People just just get so used to voting for Diana it’s like automatic. Four rings in seven years come on Maya!

  3. Voted for Diana because she never gives up. She’s always fighting even when the situation is unfair (playing against the no.1 team seattle after beating 2 teams who had nothing to lose and managing to tie the game not to mention the travel). And guys always talk about her defense when trying to put her down but they forget to compare her offense with the other players in the GOAT discussion. Diana set an offensive record in over 100 less games that the great Sheryl Swoopes, who many would call the GOAT and she is the name every college player knows and anyone remotely interested in women’s bball knows her. That’s why she is the GOAT.

    1. But, don’t forget that when you don’t exert any energy on defense, you have more to give on offense. That is a conscious trade-off. Seimone Augustus was on pace to blow away Taurasi’s records, but opted to learn to play defense, and ended up with 4 titles and 6 Finals appearances, and is still top 12 in career scoring.
      And Taurasi is well known, in large part due to her consistent dirty play, and I already am on record as calling Taurasi the greatest offensive player of all time.

      I consider her to be the WNBA equivalent of Ted Williams, who never took advice on defense until late in his career. His goal was to be the greatest hitter of all time, and he arguably achieved it, but DiMaggio was always called the greatest living ballplayer, because he was the complete package.

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