Front Row asked ESPN WNBA analysts Carolyn Peck and Rebecca Lobo to consider their favorite moments as chosen from espnW’s Top 10.
No. 1, Sept. 4, 1999: N.Y.’s Teresa Weatherspoon’s half-court heave
“I was on the New York Liberty – but sidelined with a torn ACL – for this game [against the Houston Comets]. The shot was amazing. It quieted the [Houston] crowd and forced a Game 3. We enjoyed watching the confetti come down [prematurely].”
No. 2, Sept. 14, 2004: B-Money lives up to billing
“It was a phenomenal duel between two great scoring guards [Seattle’s Betty “B-Money” Lennox and Connecticut’s Nykesha Sales].”
No. 3, Sept. 29, 2009: High-octane opener
“[Phoenix beat Indiana 120-116 in OT in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals] A great game that showed women in the WNBA can really score.”
No. 1, Sept. 29, 2009: High-octane opener
“This was a grind it out game, and Indy showed they weren’t going out without a fight.”
No. 2, Sept. 4, 1999: Spoon’s half-court heave
“This is the first shot that was heard around the WNBA world.”
No. 3, Oct. 8, 2012: Feverish ending
[Indiana’s Briann January made amends for missing a late layup with a rebound and assist against Connecticut]. “This play was a tremendous example of why you never give up on the play, even if you miss a layup.”
The 2014 WNBA Finals begin Sunday when the Chicago Sky visits the Phoenix Mercury for Game 1 (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) of a best-of-five series.
No doubt the stars of the Sky and Mercury will supply plenty of show-stopping plays. But what have been the best moments in WNBA playoff history?
Sixteen previous WNBA postseasons have provided a number of incredible behind-the-back passes, come-from-behind victories and games for the ages. Choosing just 10 to compose espnW’s Top 10 WNBA Playoff Moments took a collaborative effort with ESPN’s television production team working in coordination with the espnW editorial staff.
Former New York Liberty star Teresa Weatherspoon’s game-winning, half-court heave during the 1999 WNBA Finals (see video above) is just one example of the dramatic moments the league’s postseason has provided.
The idea for a Top 10 Moments started with senior coordinating producer Barry Sacks. ESPN Vice President, Multimedia Strategy & Integration, Carol Stiff, then used her vast WNBA knowledge to select some standout moments. For Stiff, picking some of the top moments in WNBA history was easy; whittling them down to just 10 proved to be a more difficult task.
“I’ve been a part of the WNBA on ESPN going all the way back to the first season in 1997,” said Stiff. “There have been many outstanding moments. [espnW general editor] Melanie Jackson and I collaborated in choosing approximately a dozen plays that really stood out to us, which we then shared with a few of our espnW writers for their input. Together we were able to find the top 10 playoff moments.”
The result includes a collection of half-court shots, last-second heaves and more.
The best part? espnW left it up to the fans to vote on the top three, which will be revealed during The Finals, beginning with Game 1.
Rachel Siegal contributed to this post