This year, the WNBA season will be much different. All 12 teams will be housed in one location and all of the WNBA players and involved personnel will have to stay within one area. With all of that in mind, I decided to create an active WNBA Player Database to track every single signed player. I will update it every time we hear of a WNBA player that will not play until the day the WNBA officially tips off.
There are some notes within this document. For example, active players are marked in green and listed below, in the notes section, are listed players who chose not to play or are injured. They are marked in red. Every single time a WNBA player chooses not to play, I will move them down into the notes section and mark them with red.
Share and spread this document around to help those who want to write team previews (like myself!) or fans who want to know who will play this season. Bookmark this page and you will be able to view it at anytime. Remember, this document is ever changing. It may look different from week to week.
It was just announced earlier today that the WNBA season will start after discussions with the league’s players, coaches and officials after COVID-19 had shut down the WNBA season start which was scheduled to start on May 15th. You can read the press release here and read the full details here.
As a WNBA blogger, I am thrilled to see that the season is back. It makes me look forward to seeing live sports again, as we have been without them for three months now. But, as a human being, I am very concerned about this upcoming season. I think that it is absolutely wonderful that the players are getting paid their full salary. I also think it’s great that for players who have a higher chance of contracting coronavirus, can opt out of the season and sill be paid their full salary. I take Elena Delle Donne as an example of this. She could very well opt out of the season for this very reason. I also think many international players will not bother to show up this year because I don’t think they think it is worth the hassle.
On top of all of that, the Black Lives Matter movement has been gaining momentum and the fight towards social justice and equality is very prevalent in the States right now and since the league is made up of a large majority of black women, this is very close to their hearts. Some players may not play for this reason so that they can protest and fight for change, which is their right. Unfortunately, if they do that, they will not be paid their full salary. I should say, the Black Lives Matter matters worldwide as there have been many international protests as well.
This is a tough, tough call. I can understand why the WNBA wants to play, I can understand why some players want to play and why some would opt out. I understand players contracts service years need to be played and that the WNBA would like to generate some type of revenue. I do think the WNBA has always been towards the fore front of social issues and this season they will have a major spotlight, which will be even more brighter this season. But, I don’t know if 2020 is THAT season to shine. I have mixed feelings about all of it and in the end, the human side (not the sports fan/blogger) is telling me, this is not the time for sports. Not now. Not when there is still a global pandemic, with fears of a second wave and social unrest. It just does not feel right.
Welcome to the Greatest WNBA Coach of All Time Tournament Bracket Challenge presented by wbasketballblog.com!
There have been many great WNBA Coaches throughout the years, and after the success of our first tournament challenge which featured WNBA players, we thought we would do it again, except this time with coaches.
The tournament is on a smaller scale this time and it only features the top 16 of the greatest WNBA Coaches. Each coach was picked from input from the selection committee. The committee’s members are: Glenn Starkey, Kevin Brown (who both participated in the last bracket challenge), Albert Lee, Tee, Rebecca Wininger and myself (Aneela Khan).
In order to understand who to pick to advance, you need to understand all 16 coaches biographies. The bios have now updated to reflect the eight coaches who have moved onto the Elite 8 as well as the bracket.
Region W — #1st overall seed – Cheryl Reeve
Cheryl Reeve began her coaching career as an assistant coach for her alma mater, La Salle University. After short, but successful stints as an assistant in the WNBA, Reeve got the call. She was named the head coach for the Minnesota Lynx in 2009. Reeve’s hiring has resulted in four championships, the highest winning percentage ever, and two Coach of the Year honors. – Tee
Region N – #2nd overall seed – Van Chancellor(Eliminated in Final Four)
Region B – #3rd overall seed – Bill Laimbeer (Eliminated in Elite 8)
Region A – #4th overall seed – Mike Thibault
Region N – #5th overall seed – John Whisenant (Eliminated in Elite 8)
Region A – #6th overall seed – Michael Cooper (Eliminated in Round of 16)
Region W – #7th overall seed – Brian Agler (Eliminated in Round of 16)
Region B – #8th overall seed – Linn Dunn (Eliminated in Final Four)
Region N – #9th overall seed – Richie Adubato (Eliminated in Round of 16)
Region B – #10th overall seed – Dan Hughes (Eliminated in Round of 16)
Region W – #11th overall seed – Sandy Brondello (Eliminated in Elite 8)
Region A – #12th overall seed – Anne Donovan (Eliminated in Elite 8)
Region N – #13th overall seed – Marynell Meadors (Eliminated in Round of 16)
Region A – #14th overall seed – Paul Westhead (Eliminated in Round of 16)
Region W – #15th overall seed – Corey Gaines (Eliminated in Round of 16)
Region B – 16th overall seed – Curt Miller (Eliminated in Round of 16)
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.
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.
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.