SAN ANTONIO — Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper and Diana Taurasi lead the list selected as the WNBA’s Top 15 players of all time.
The selections, announced Saturday during halftime of the All-Star game, also include Seattle’s Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and Katie Smith; Los Angeles’ Tina Thompson and Ticha Penicheiro; Indiana’s Tamika Catchings; New York’s Cappie Pondexter; San Antonio’s Becky Hammon; Tulsa’s Sheryl Swoopes; and retired greats Dawn Staley, Yolanda Griffith and Teresa Weatherspoon, a former star and current coach at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech.
“This list of 15 players is composed of exciting and dominating players from start to finish and highlighted by players of all kinds — scorers, playmakers, ballhandlers, rebounders, defensive wizards, leaders, and players who have brought out the best in their teammates,” WNBA chief of basketball operations and player relations Renee Brown, who has been an executive with the league since its inception, said in a statement.
The players were picked in balloting by fans, select national media, as well as current players and coaches.
Bird, Catchings, Cooper, Griffith, Jackson, Leslie, Smith, Staley, Swoopes and Thompson were also voted to the league’s All-Decade team five years ago.
Catchings, Hammon, Staley and Weatherspoon are only players in the group not to have won a WNBA championship.
“I don’t know where to begin,” said Weatherspoon. “To be voted as one of the Top 15 Players of all time leaves me speechless. I have an overwhelming feeling of joy and appreciation. It tells me my hard work didn’t go unnoticed, and to be voted in by the fans makes it even more special to me.
“The fans are the people I played before each and every night. All I can say is thank you!”
Earlier in the week, Weatherspoon was inducted into the New York Liberty Ring of Honor.
During her time with the Liberty, Weatherspoon started 220 straight games and was a five-time WNBA All-Star, a four-time All-WNBA second-team selection and the two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.