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.

 

WNBA G.O.A.T Bracket Challenge – The Final Four

Greatest of All Time Player Bracket Challenge!

By now, you have heard of the WNBA Greatest of All Time Bracket Challenge. This bracket challenge was designed as a way to help recreate the March Madness feel that was missed this year. We started voting last month and now it has come down to the Final Four. The Final Four players left are Diana Taurasi (from Region W), Lauren Jackson (from Region N), Maya Moore (Region B) and Sue Bird (Region A). You can view the updated bracket here.

Each has their own respected WNBA resume and has left quite a mark on the WNBA. Diana Taurasi is the WNBA’s leading scorer and one of the most thrilling players to watch in the WNBA.  Lauren Jackson is one of the WNBA’s first international superstars who helped change the game for forwards/centers with her versatile style of play. Maya Moore won often and early in her WNBA career and all of it was accomplished before she was 30 years old. Sue Bird is a WNBA legendary guard and the all time WNBA assists leader.

The Final Four players beat out great players along the way and in three regions (Region W, N, B) all the #1 seeds advanced. But, in the last region (Region A), #2 seed Sue Bird beat out the #1 seed Lisa Leslie by a narrow vote.

The Final Four voting will begin on Saturday, April 25th at 10 am EST with the first two regions, Region W and Region N facing off. Diana Taurasi vs Lauren Jackson. On Sunday, April 26th at 10 am EST,  the other two remaining regions, Region B and Region A will face off. Sue Bird vs Maya Moore. The “championship” vote will be voted on April 28th at 10 am EST. The winner of the G.O.A.T WNBA Bracket Challenge will be announced officially on Wednesday, April 29th.

Who are the 32 players in the G.O.A.T WNBA Bracket Challenge?

Greatest of All Time Player Bracket Challenge!

We released the WNBA G.O.A.T Bracket Challenge and we have had great response to it. Our Round of 64 is now completed and now we move on to the Round of 32. Listed below are the 32 players left in the WNBA G.O.A.T Bracket Challenge who moved on thanks to the voting.

The Round of 32 will begin tomorrow at 10 am EST via Twitter Polls and we thought it would be a great idea to have the bios of the 32 WNBA Players so all of you would have an informed opinion on who to vote for in every region. . We are starting with the first region W, followed by the second region, N, then the third region B and the final region A.

Region W

#1 overall seed Diana Taurasi vs #8 Dawn Staley

#1 Diana Taurasi

Regarded as one of the most intense players, Diana Taurasi has backed it up in 15 seasons with the Mercury delivering 3 championships and becoming known as one of the toughest playoff competitors in league history. Spending her entire career with the Phoenix Mercury she has led the Merc to new heights winning the 2009 MVP 5 scoring titles including 4 in a row, while making 9 all star and ten all WNBA teams. But DT’s biggest accomplishments have come in the post season winning the Finals MVP twice on her way to being known as one of the best clutch performers in WNBA history.  – Glenn

#8 Dawn Staley

Dawn Staley is one of the WNBA’s most recognizable players and is currently the head coach of South Carolina women’s basketball team. Dawn originally played for the ABL before being drafted in the WNBA in 1999. She played for six seasons for the Charlotte Sting and was traded to the Houston Comets during her last season in the WNBA in 2006. She led the Charlotte Sting to the title game in 2001. She was a six time WNBA All Star. Aneela

#2 Sheryl Swoopes vs #7 Ticha Penicheiro

#2 Sheryl Swoopes (1997- 2011)

Three time MVP, four time champion, three time defensive player of the year, two time scoring champ, and a list of additional accolades too long to include here. Swoopes was one of the faces of the league from its inception and one of the most enduringly popular figures ever to grace a WNBA court. – Kevin

#7 Ticha Penicheiro

Penicheiro is one of the best passers the WNBA has ever seen. Currently, she ranks 2nd All-Time in both assists and steals. Over her 15-year career, Penicheiro led the league in assists 7 times, including a career-high 8 assists per game in 2002. She also won a WNBA championship with the Sacramento Monarchs in 2005. – Michael

#3 Candace Parker vs #6 Chamique Holdsclaw

#3 Candace Parker (2008 – present)

Two time MVP, eight time All WNBA, and league champion. Parker led the league in rebounding and blocks twice each. One of the most engaging and popular players in league history, she has been one of the faces of the league from the moment she was drafted #1 in 2008. – Kevin

#6 Chamique Holdsclaw

A six-time WNBA All-Star and a three-time All-WNBA Second Team selection. She played 11 seasons with her longest stint being her six seasons with the Washington Mystics. She was the 1999 Rookie of the Year and won her only scoring title in 2002. She also won back-to-back rebounding crowns too. – Lamar

#4 Sylvia Fowles vs #5 Becky Hammon

#4 Sylvia Fowles

A 6-foot-6 center known as a great rebounder and defender, has played 12 seasons in the WNBA and currently plays for the Minnesota Lynx. Fowles is a two-time WNBA Champion, a two-time WNBA Finals MVP and a one-time WNBA MVP. Fowles also is a three-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and a six-time WNBA All-Star. – Nathan

#5 Becky Hammon

A six time WNBA All Star and 16 year WNBA veteran. Hammon has split her WNBA career between the New York Liberty and the San Antonio Stars where the Stars have since retired her jersey. She has made the All – WNBA Team four times, she won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics and took the San Antonio Stars to their only WNBA Finals appearance in 2008 – Lamar

Region N

#1 Lauren Jackson vs #8 Candice Dupree

#1 Lauren Jackson

Seen as one of the world’s greatest women’s players and one of the WNBA’s best post players in history. Lauren Jackson came to the WNBA at the tender age of 19 and did not disappoint quickly becoming the anchor in the middle of the great Storm teams of the 2000’s. Teaming up with Sue Bird they quickly formed one of the greatest inside outside tandems seen in the WNBA. Winning two titles in her 12 season career Injuries cut Lauren’s career short but she still was remembered as a 2 time scoring champion and one time rebounding champion who was a severe threat whenever she stepped onto the court.  – Glenn

#8 Candice Dupree

Candice Dupree is a model of consistency. Every time that she steps on to the court, she is going to get what she wants. This consistency is what led her to make 7 all-star games. Dupree was also a member of the 2014 Phoenix Mercury team that won a championship. She currently ranks in the top ten all-time for both total points and rebounds. – Michael

#2 Cynthia Cooper vs #7 Teresa Weatherspoon
#2 Cynthia Cooper

Quite simply the WNBA’s first megastar. Cynthia Cooper transcended a long career in Europe and exploded onto the American scene at the ripe age of 34. She was the scoring and overall leader of the legendary Houston Comets dynasty. Winning the WNBA title in each of her four full seasons and being named Finals MVP in each of those seasons. The 3 time scoring champ and 2x WNBA MVP in her first two seasons, Cooper set the benchmark for excellence that WNBA players still strive for today.  – Glenn

#7 Teresa Weatherspoon

Teresa Weatherspoon is one of the WNBA’s inaugural players and was a dynamic guard for the New York Liberty. She became well known for her half court shot to tie the WNBA Finals series with the Houston Comets in 1999. She helped guide the Liberty to it’s first ever WNBA Finals appearance in 1997 and then in 1999. She won the first ever WNBA DPOY in 1997 and won again the following year. – Aneela

#3 Seimone Augustus vs #6 Brittney Griner
Seimone Augustus (2006 – present)

Six time All WNBA player, eight time All Star, and four time champion. The #1 pick of the 2006 draft, Augustus won rookie of the year and became the face of the Lynx throughout their 2010’s dynasty including winning finals MVP.  – Kevin

#6 Brittney Griner

A six-time WNBA All-Star that has played seven seasons all for the Phoenix Mercury. Griner has made All-WNBA five times and has made the All-WNBA Defensive First Team three times and the All-WNBA Defensive Second Team three times. A two-time Defensive Player of the Year who averages 3.0 bpg over her career. She is a two-time scoring champ and has scored over 20ppg the last three years. Griner won a WNBA title in 2014 and an Olympic gold medal in 2016. – Lamar

#4 Elena Delle Donne vs #5 Lindsay Whalen

#4 Elena Delle Donne

A 6-foot-5 forward known has arguably the most talent player currently in the WNBA, has played seven seasons in the WNBA and currently plays for the Washington Mystics, averaging 20.3 points and 7.0 rebounds for her career. Delle Donne is a one-time WNBA Champion, a two-time WNBA MVP and a six-time WNBA All-Star. Delle Donne also was a WNBA Rookie of the Year and in 2019 became the only player in WNBA history to join the 50-40-90 club. – Nathan

#5 Lindsay Whalen

A 5-foot-9 known as one of the most consistent and reliable WNBA players in history, played 15 seasons in the WNBA and retired in 2018 with the Minnesota Lynx. Whalen was a four-time WNBA Champion, a five-time All-Star and a three-time All-WNBA First Team. Whalen also was a three-time WNBA assists leader and currently has the most assists in WNBA Playoff history.  – Nathan

Region B
#1 Maya Moore vs #8 Breanna Stewart
#1 Maya Moore

Quite simply the greatest player from the 2010’s. Maya Moore transformed the Minnesota Lynx from the bottom into a dynasty within one year of her arrival. She helped create one of the most respected franchises in the process. The 2014 MVP added leadership and scoring which went on to win four WNBA titles and 6 finals in 8 years. She was named WNBA Finals MVP in 2013. In 2019, Maya Moore stepped away from the game to pursue social justice opportunities and in the process added even more respect to an already legendary career.  – Glenn

#8 Breanna Stewart

What Breanna Stewart has done in her career is incredible. At just 25 years old, Stewart has already won both the regular-season league MVP and finals MVP. She has also made 2 all-star games in 2017 and 2018. She lost her 2019 season due to an achilles injury, so there will be a lot eyes on her to see if she can pick up where she left off in 2018. Breanna Stewart might be young, but by the time she wraps up her career, she will be among the league greats. – Michael

#2 Tamika Catchings vs #7 Rebekkah Brunson
#2 Tamika Catchings

The most respected woman in WNBA history for her class on the court and her community leadership off it. Tamika Catchings is known as one of the greatest ever to play the game. She reached 3 WNBA Finals and she was a WNBA champion in 2012. She’s a 5 time Defensive Player of the Year and was the 2011 WNBA MVP. Catchings’s all around game was second to none in her 15 year career, all with the Indiana Fever. She led the Fever to the WNBA playoffs in all but two of them. Her community work and leadership has made Tamika Catchings one of the WNBA’s greatest ambassadors and she continues in a new role as Fever President and General Manager. – Glenn

#7 Rebekkah Brunson

Brunson is a 5 time All-Star over her 15-year career. During this span, she won 5 championships, the most in WNBA history. Brunson is also the WNBA’s all-time leading rebounder with a total of 3,356 rebounds. Rebekkah Brunson was a fierce defender which earned her a spot on 7 All-Defensive teams, 1 being First Team (2011) and 6 being Second Team. (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2018) – Michael

 

#3 Angel McCoughtry vs #11 Skylar Diggins-Smith
#3 Angel McCoughtry (2009 – present)

Six time All WNBA player, five time All Star, seven time All Defensive team, and two time scoring champ. McCoughtry was the #1 pick in 2009 and won rookie of the year. She led the league in steals twice. Abrasive and mercurial, McCoughtry has a reputation for being hard on coaches and teammates. Despite that, many players have had their best seasons playing alongside her. -Kevin

#11 Skylar Diggins – Smith

Diggins-Smith is a perennial all-star currently set to play for the Phoenix Mercury in this upcoming season. In 2014 she won the WNBA’s Most Improved Player award after averaging 20.1 points per game. Her resume also includes 2 First Team All-WNBA appearances (2014,2017) and one 1 Second Team All-WNBA appearance. (2018) Also during the 2018 season she set her career high for points with 35. – Michael

#5 Swin Cash vs #13 Courtney Vandersloot
#5 Swin Cash

A 6-foot-1 forward known has one of the most consistent players in WNBA history, played 15 seasons in the WNBA and retired in 2016 with the New York Libery. Cash was a three-time WNBA Champion and a four-time WNBA All-Star. – Nathan

#13 Courtney Vandersloot

A 5-foot-8 guard known as arguably the best passer in WNBA history along with Sue Bird, has played nine seasons in the WNBA and all for the Chicago Sky. Vandersloot is a two-time WNBA All-Star and was All-WNBA First Team in 2019. Vandersloot also is a four-time WNBA assists leader as she currently has the all-time average for assists, hovering at 6.2 assists in the regular season and 7.0 assists in the postseason. – Nathan

Region A
#1 Lisa Leslie vs #8 Penny Taylor

#1 Lisa Leslie

One of the allocated Cornerstones of the WNBA Lisa Leslie created the LA sparks into the model franchise it continues to be today. Her massive post presence and inside shooting touch made her one of the most feared players on the court and her marketing savvy made her one of the most respected players off it. A 3 time MVP and the force behind the Sparks back to back titles in 2001 and 2002, Leslie is rightfully one of the WNBA’s true legends. – Glenn

#8 Penny Taylor

Penny Taylor is one of the best all-around players to ever play in the WNBA. In 2001 Taylor was drafted to the Cleveland Rockers with the 11th pick in the first round. She played a total of 13 seasons in the league, 3 of which resulted in championships. She also made 3 all-star appearances and was even named to the All-WNBA First team in 2007.Michael

#2 Sue Bird vs #7 Cappie Pondexter
#2 Sue Bird (2002 – present)

Eight time All WNBA player, 11 time All Star, three time assist leader, and three time champion. Bird is the epitome of a WNBA point guard, balancing her own offense with her teammates perfectly. She is the league’s all time assist leader and helped Lauren Jackson and Breanna Stewart to MVP status. – Kevin

#7 Cappie Pondexter

Cappie Pondexter will go down as one of the most explosive guards in the history of the WNBA. When she came into the league in 2006 she made an immediate splash averaging 19.5 points per game for the Phoenix Mercury. Pondexter is a two-time WNBA champion with the Mercury. She also took home the Finals MVP trophy for her performance in the 2007 WNBA Finals. Cappie finished her career as a 7-time all-star among many other accolades. – Michael

#3 Tina Thompson vs #6 Nneka Ogwumike

#3 Tina Thompson (1997 – 2013)

Eight time All WNBA player, nine time All Star, and four time champion. Thompson was the first player chosen in the inaugural college draft in 1997. She was a precursor to the ubiquitous “stretch four” of today, mixing the ability to bang in the paint with long range shooting accuracy. – Kevin

#6 Nneka Ogwumike

A six-time WNBA All-Star and has played eight seasons in the league. She has spent her whole career with the Los Angeles Sparks and is currently their third all-time leading scorer. She was the 2016 WNBA MVP and has been All-NBA four times. She has made the All Defensive Team four times. And she hit the series winning shot in the 2016 WNBA Finals to bring the Sparks their first title in 14 years. – Lamar

#4 Katie Smith vs #5 Tina Charles

#4 Katie Smith

A 5-foot-11 wing known as a great scorer, played 15 seasons in the WNBA and retired in 2013 with the New York Liberty. Smith was a two-time WNBA Champion and a one-time WNBA Finals MVP. Smith was also a seven-time All-Star and had one of best scoring seasons in WNBA history with 23.1 points per game in 2001. – Nathan

#5 Tina Charles

A five-time WNBA All-Star and the 2012 league MVP. She has won two Olympic gold medals. Charles has All-WNBA eight times and is one of three players in WNBA history to lead the league in scoring and rebounding. She’s led the league in rebounding four times and is the New York Liberty’s all-time rebounding leader. She has been in the league for 10 seasons. – Lamar

WNBA Player Milestones to watch for in 2019

The WNBA season is just 10(!) days away now and with the season approaching, it’s time to look at certain milestones that active WNBA players will reach this season. For example, Sue Bird will hit 3000 assists this season which has never been done by a  WNBA player. When Diana Taurasi returns from her back injury, she is the league all time leading scorer and will try to reach the 9000 point threshold, which is another milestone that no player has ever reached. I will include that milestone once she returns.  Listed below are the three main categories (scoring, rebounds and assists) and which players are close to hitting them this season. Enjoy!

SCORING

6000 points

Seimone Augustus needs 164 points to reach 6000 points.

Angel McCoughtry needs 532 points to reach 6000 points.

5000 points

Sylvia Fowles needs 79 points to reach 5000 points.

4000 points

Kristi Toliver needs 107 points to reach 4000 points.

Nneka Oguwmike needs 435 points to reach 4000 points.

3000 points

Shavonte Zellous needs 142 points to reach 3000 points.

2000 points

Odyssey Sims needs 8 points to reach 2000 points.

Karima Christmas-Kelly needs 106 points to reach 2000 points.

Leilani Mitchell needs 198 points to reach 2000 points.

Shekinna Stricklen needs 256 points to reach 2000 points.

Emma Meeseman needs 271 points to reach 2000 points.

Alyssa Thomas needs 369 points to reach 2000 points.

1000 points

Courtney Williams needs 47 points to reach 1000 points.

Dearica Hamby needs 79 points to reach 1000 points.

Natalie Achonwa needs 100 points to reach 1000 points.

Tiffany Mitchell needs 124 points to reach 1000 points.

Tianna Hawkins needs 203 points to reach 1000 points.

Damiris Dantas needs 233 points to reach 1000 points.

Allisha Gray needs 247 points to reach 1000 points.

Brittney Sykes needs 248 points to reach 1000 points.

Moriah Jefferson needs 251 points to reach 1000 points.

A’ja Wilson needs 318 points to reach 1000 points.

REBOUNDS

3000 rebounds

Tina Charles needs 116 rebounds to reach 3000 rebounds.

Candice Dupree needs 225 rebounds to reach 3000 rebounds.

2000 rebounds

DeWanna Bonner needs 188 rebounds to reach 2000 rebounds.

1000 rebounds

Alyssa Thomas needs 93 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds.

Karima Christmas Kelly needs 103 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds.

Emma Meeseman needs 140 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds.

Stefanie Dolson needs 183 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds.

Elizabeth Williams needs 220 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds.

ASSISTS

3000 assists

Sue Bird needs 169 assists to reach 3000 assists.

1000 assists

Danielle Robinson needs 29 assists to reach 1000 assists.