To be a G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) in the WNBA one has to tick four major checklists that are longevity, rings, peak, and MVPs.
WNBA, or the Women’s National Basketball Association, was founded by the NBA in 1996. The league started playing the very next year and as of now has 12 teams.
The twelve teams of the WNBA are divided into two conferences, the Eastern and the Western.
The teams in the Western Conference are Seattle Storm, Las Vegas Aces, Minnesota Lynx, Dallas Wings, Los Angeles Sparks, and Phoenix Mercury.
The teams in the Eastern Conference are Indiana Fever, Chicago Sky, Washington Mystics, Atlanta Dream, New York Liberty, and Connecticut Sun.
In 2023, the highest-paid WNBA player is Las Vegas Aces’ Jackie Young with a 252,450 US dollars annual average salary.
List Of Top 10 Best WNBA Players Of All Time
- Diana Taurasi
- Tamika Catchings
- Cynthia Cooper
- Lauren Jackson
- Lisa Leslie
- Maya Moore
- Candace Parker
- Sheryl Swoopes
- Sylvia Fowles
- Sue Bird
So let’s head to details of the Top 10 Best WNBA Players Of All Time.
1. Diana Taurasi
Who is the best WNBA player of all time? The answer is Diana Taurasi. To know what makes Taurasi the best of the best one has to watch the matches.
It is her durability in the game, her offensive greatness, and her longevity that makes her the top player. She was 6 ft tall.
Diana Taurasi owns the all-time leading scorer with a whopping 9,693 points. She scored this throughout her 18 seasons-long careers.
While growing up she was an enthusiastic basketball player and was named the National High School Player of the Year, and Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year. Taurasi was selected in the 2004 WNBA draft by Phoenix Mercury, an American professional team based in Phoenix.
In 2004 she was the winner of the WNBA Rookie of the Year award. Taurasi was the WNBA champion in 2007, 2009, and 2014.
Her achievements include 2-time WNBA Finals MVP, 6 times EuroLeague Champion, 7 times Russian National League Champion, and 3 times NCAA champion.
She was the WNBA All-Star 10 times, and USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year four times.
Diana Taurasi has a total of five Olympic medals and all of them are gold. She won gold medals in the years 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020.
In her career, she has been a part of professional clubs such as Dynamo Moscow, Spartak Moscow, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray Medical Park, and UMMC Ekaterinburg.
Diana was a part of the 15th, 20th, and 25th Anniversary teams of the WNBA in the respective years 2011, 2016, and 2021.
She played in a total of 144 games with an average of 15.0 points per game.
2. Tamika Catchings
Many of the players who get in on the greatest WNBA players list are often quoted as either the best offensive player or the best defensive player.
Tamika Catchings is the name of the player who is neither of the both.
Wondering how she made it to the list? Well, she was an all-rounder, not just an all-rounder, but the best all-rounder ever. Tamika Catchings is 6 ft and 1 inch tall.
Tamika is known as the player of Indiana Fever, an Indianapolis-based professional women’s basketball team. She paired with the team from 2002 to 2016.
Well, she has also played for clubs such as Chuncheon Woori Bank Hansae, Spartak Moscow, Lotos Gdynia, and Galatasaray.
Catchings was born in Stafford, New Jersey, and graduated from college in 2001. The same year she was drafted third overall by Indiana Fever. She has an average of 16.6 points per game from a total of 127 games.
In 1998 she was the NCAA champion, and the WNBA champion in 2012. She is the WNBA all-time steals leader with a 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year Award Win.
Tamika Ctachings has two Olympic gold medals from the years 2004 and 2008.
She was a part of WNBA’s 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th-anniversary teams in 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2021, respectively.
3. Cynthia Cooper
Cynthia Cooper played her first-ever season in the WNBA at the age of 34. That was the first season of the game.
She was at the top of the league for three consecutive years. Cynthia Cooper played as a point guard, aka, shooting guard, with a height of 5 ft and 10 inches.
Fans still are sad that Cynthia Cooper did not get a chance to make her best by getting drafted into the WNBA right after college.
In all of her four seasons in the Houston Comets, she was named the most valuable player of the WNBA Finals. She further appeared for clubs such as SC Alcamo, Basket Parma, and Segovia.
After retiring as a player Cooper became coach of the game She coached the teams of Phoenix Mercury, Prairie View A&M, UNC Wilmington, Texas Southern, and USC.
For her coaching, Cynthia Cooper won the 2011 CAA Coach of the Year Award. She was part of the 25th, 20th, 15th, and 10th Anniversary Teams in the years 2021, 2106, 2011, and 2006.
Cynthia Cooper won the WNBA championship four times from 1997 to 2000. Cooper played in 119 games in her career span and has 12.7 points per game.
Cynthia Cooper participated in two Olympics and has one gold medal and a bronze medal. She first won gold in the 1988 Olympics and then a bronze in the 1992 Olympics.
4. Lauren Jackson
No one could soar higher than Australia’s Lauren Jackson during the seven years after 2003. She was a power forward or center with a height of 6 ft and 5 inches.
Lauren started her career in 1997 at the Australian Institute of Sport and continued her journey through different destinations like Canberra Capitals, Seattle Storm, Samsung Bichumi, Spartak Moscow region, again at Canberra Capitals, Ros Casares Valencia, Heilongjiang Shenda, a third time at Canberra Capitals, Albury Wodonga bandits and now she is with Southside Flyers.
Jackson was selected in the 2001 WNBA draft as the first overall by the Seattle Storm, a Seattle-based professional American basketball team.
She played in four World Cups and four Olympic Games. Jackson won the gold medal in the 2006 Brazil World Cup and bronze medals in the 1998 Germany, 2002 China, and 2022 Australia World Cups.
Her Olympic presence was in the Olympic games of 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athnes, 2008 Athens, and 2012 London. She won silver medals in the first three and a bronze medal in the last one.
Jackson played in 317 games in her career and has an average of 18.9 points per game.
Lauren Jackson is inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
5. Lisa Leslie
Lisa Leslie is adored by many as one of the best WNBA players of all time.
6 ft and 5 inches tall, Leslie was part of the basketball court as a player for twelve long years from 1997 to 2009.
In 1997, she was selected in the WNBA draft by Los Angeles-based American professional basketball team, the Los Angeles Sparks.
Lisa Leslie has an epic four-time gold win in the Olympics. She was part of the national team that won Olympic gold in the 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, and 2008 Beijing games.
Leslie won two gold medals with the national team in the 1998 Germany and the 2002 China World Championships. Earlier in the 1994 championships she had a bronze win.
She played in the 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th Anniversary Teams of the WNBA in the years 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2021.
In the 2002 International Women’s Basketball Championship, she was the Most Valued Player, MVP. Leslie is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
From a career of 120 games, she has an average of 20.1 points per game.
6. Maya Moore
Maya Moore is popularly known as the greatest winner in the history of women’s basketball.
She played as Small Forward with a height of 6 ft. She was selected as the first pick in the 2011 WNBA draft by Minnesota Lynx, a professional basketball team based in Minneapolis.
Her playing career was from 2001 to 2019, during which she played for Ros Casares Valencia, Shanxi Flame, and UMMC Ekaterinburg.
She participated in five international games and won gold in all five of them.
Maya Moore’s international gold wins are, two in the Olympics, in the 2012 London games, and in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro; two in World Championships, in the 2010 Czech republic games and the 2014 Turkey games; and one in the 2009 Belgrade World University Games.
Moore played in a total of three seasons, the 2004 – 2005 season, the 2005 – 2006 season, and the 2006 – 2007 season, with games 32, 32, and 34 in each of the seasons, respectively. In the last season, her pint per game was 25.5.
In the year 2011, she was the WNBA Rookie of the Year. Moore was the WNBA scoring leader in 2014 and the WNBA steals leader in 2018.
While in high school, she played 128 games in four seasons and had 19.3 points per game.
Maya Moore is the champion of championships with wins, four wins in the WNBA championship, 2 wins in the EuroLeague Women’s Championship, 3 wins in the International Women’s Chinese Basketball, and 2 wins in the NCAA championship.
She was a part of the 2016 and 2021 WNBA Anniversary Teams, and the 20th and 25th anniversaries, respectively.
7. Candace Parker
You can go along as many best WNBA players of all time lists, but you can’t get through even a single one that does not have the name, Candace Parker.
What makes Candace, the Ace of her game is that she is flexible to play in any position.
Candace has represented her homeland in two Olympic games, the 2008 Beijing games, and the 2012 London games. She bagged gold in both of the two.
In the year 2008, Candace Parker’s debut year in the WNBA, she was a sort of magician of basketball by touching heights that no one has touched in a single year.
She was the first pick of Los Angeles Sparks, a Los Angeles-based professional basketball team. Apart from Sparks, she played for UMMC Ekaterinburg, Guangdong Dolphins, Fenerbahçe, Xinjiang Tianshan Deers, and Chicago Sky.
Currently, she is a player for Las Vegas Aces with a signed contract of 100,000 US dollars average annual salary.
Candace Parker holds the record rookie in a debut game with a score of 34 points. The same year she was honored with the WNBA All-Rookie of the Year award.
What she further did in 2008 was win the WNBA most valued player, All-WNBA First team, WNBA rebounding leader, WNBA peak performer, NCAA championship, and AP Female Athlete of the Year.
Before getting drafted into WNBA she won the USBWA College Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year, John R. Wooden Award, Honda Sports Award for basketball, and Honda-Broderick Cup.
In her 15 years in basketball, she played in 392 games with 16.4 points per game.
8. Sheryl Swoopes
Sheryl Swoopes is a prominent name for being the first player to be signed into the WNBA.
Swoopes embarked on her basketball journey with Houston Comets in 1997. She stayed with the club until 2007. In 2008 she started playing for Seattle Storm and later in 2011 for Tulsa Shock.
She retired as a player but stayed on the court as a coach. In that position, she served at Mercer Island HS, Loyola-Chicago, and Texas Tech.
Sheryl Swoopes has three Olympic gold medal wins to her title, the 1996 Atlanta, the 2000 Sydney, and the 2004 Athens. She played for the U.S. in four World Cups and became a two-time champion and a two-time bronze medal winner.
Sheryl is inducted as a player into the Basketball Hall of Fame and into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Swoopes won the WNBA championship four times, was the WNBA All-Star Game most valued player in 2005, two-time scoring champion, two-time steals leader, and one-time peak performer.
In 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2021, she was a member of the WNBA team on the occasion of its 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th anniversaries.
She has 15 points per game from 324 games. As she was the first signed WNBA player, she became the first to win multiple awards, too.
9. Sylvia Fowles
Sylvia Fowles was selected by Chicago Sky in the first round of the WNBA draft. She later played for Minnesota Lynx. Her playing position was center and she played from 2008 to 2022.
Fowles has been a part of clubs Spartak Moscow, Galatasaray Medical Park, Shanghai Swordfish, Canik Belediyesi, and Beijing Great Wall.
She was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the WNBA four times in 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2021. Sylvia was part of the 25th Anniversary Team in 2021.
Sylvia Fowles is a 2 time WNBA blocks leader, 3 times WNBA rebounding champion, 3 times WNBA Peak Performer, 2 times WCBA champion, 3 times Turkish Cup Winner, 2 times Europe SuperCup winner, and 2 times EuroLeague winner.
She won four golds at the Olympics in the 2008 Beijing games, 2012 London games, 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, and 2020 Tokyo games.
Fowles was also a part of the team that won the 2010 Women’s Basketball World Cup conducted in the Czech Republic.
In her 14-year-long career span, she played in 408 teams for two teams and has an average point per game of 15.7.
Sylvia Fowles’ field goal percentage (FG) is .599 and her rebounds per game (RPG) is 9.8; both are WNBA records.
10. Sue Bird
Sue Bird is Seattle Storm’s point guard with five Olympic golds. She holds the WNBA record for the player with the most number of games played, a total of 580.
Her points per game are 11.7In international basketball, she has played for Dynamo Moscow, Spartak Moscow Region, and UMMC Ekaterinburg.
With a height of 5 ft and 9 inches, she played as a point guard. In 2021 Sue Bird was selected as the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.
Sue Bird won the WNBA championships four times, became the WNBA All-Star 13 times, and the NCAA champion two times. Throughout her career Bird played for Seattle Storm.
She was a part of the WNBA anniversary teams in 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2021 on the occasion of the 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th anniversaries.
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Basketball is a popular sport among people of all age groups. Women players of the game have achieved heights like never before. Being a woman and remaining at the top of the field is not an easy task in any industry.
WNBA players such as Diana Taurasi, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper, and Sheryl Swoopes are encouraging new talents to enter the court to rise to stardom.
The others among the top 10 best WNBA players of all time are Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Maya Moore, Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles, and Sue Bird.
These women should be acknowledged as the greatest WNBA players ever.