In Search of the WNBA Goat Part 3: The Winner!

Welcome, the small and dedicated subset of you who care about my thoughts about women’s basketball. When last we left off, we’d narrowed down the WNBA GOAT debate to two names, one with an impressive advanced stat profile across a long career, the other the face of a championship franchise without a men’s team to divide the city’s attention. The former is Tamika Catchings, longtime Indiana Fever stalwart and 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. The latter is Lauren Jackson, who if nothing else has on lock the greatest-of-all-time moniker in her native Australia. Let’s put them together for a …

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In Search of the WNBA GOAT (Part 2: WS/40)

Trying to rank the greatest men in NBA history by Win Shares produces an interesting magic number of sorts. Every NBA player who has at least 125 career Win Shares is either in the Hall of Fame already or will be once he is eligible—the list of those latter guys includes LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol, James Harden, Dwight Howard, and Vince Carter. Nobody in WNBA history has 125 career Win Shares. The seasons are only 34 games long, after all, but there’s still a Mendoza Line of sorts. If we assume that Diana Taurasi …

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In Search of the WNBA GOAT (Part 1: Rings and Counting Stats)

The men’s NBA has a pretty well-settled debate on who its true greatest of the great are, the players who go beyond the Hall of Fame and onto discussions of a would-be Mount Rushmore. If you’re the type to count rings, Bill Russell is (and will quite possibly always be) the greatest. Nobody is ever winning 11 championships again. Even LeBron James reaching Russell’s 12 career NBA Finals will be tainted by “Russell went 11-1 and James went (if he wins them all from here out) however many-and-6.” If you want to deal in counting stats, until someone scores their …

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On NBA Sidelines, We See the WNBA’s True Value

As a business entity, the WNBA is just about a complete non-factor, a small blip on the NBA’s balance sheet, a league that makes barely more money in a year than one NBA player on a four-year supermax will in Year 4 of that contract. But in terms of its contributions not just to women’s sports but to sports irrespective of gender, the WNBA punches far above its weight—like on a Little Mac in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out level of punching above its weight. Kara Lawson, WNBA and Olympic champion and Washington Wizards broadcaster, was hired by the Boston Celtics to …

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