WNBA history 101, Part I

Fans of men’s basketball tend to be walking history books. They can cite players, stats, trades and the like from decades ago, and relate them to current team situations.

Not so for many women’s basketball fans.

Current aficionados of the WNBA, in particular, know the major players of the past, like Lisa Leslie and Ticha Penicheiro. But they are less likely to know Ukari Figgs, Andrea Stinson or Janeth Arcain.

Today’s WNBA fans take for granted LiveAccess, which allows them to see games broadcast online, in real time. In 2001, I remember working out at the gym one night and listening to a radio broadcast of a Seattle Storm away game on my Sony Walkman.

The past creates the present, and not knowing the history of the league is disrespectful. So let me introduce this website, basketball-reference.com. It’s filled with a lot of great information.

In 2002, the WNBA had 16 teams:

Eastern Conference

Charlotte Sting
New York Liberty
Washington Mystics
Indiana Fever
Orlando Miracle
Miami Sol
Cleveland Rockers
Detroit Shock

Western Conference

Los Angeles Sparks
Houston Comets
Utah Starzz
Seattle Storm
Portland Fire
Sacramento Monarchs
Phoenix Mercury
Minnesota Lynx

By 2003, there were 14 teams.

In 2004, there were 13 teams.

Check out the rosters and coaches of the:

2002 Sparks

2002 Charlotte Sting

2002 Houston Comets

2002 New York Liberty

…..just for starters. (And knowing that you can click on any player on the site to look up their stats)

It’s a trip, isn’t it?

Some of us long-time fans do miss those early days of the league.

The WNBA will celebrate its 20th year in 2016, so it’s time to read up on it.

More later…….