1997 WNBA season

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1997 WNBA season
Duration June 21 - August 30
Games 28
Teams 8
Total attendance 1,082,963
Average attendance 9,669
TV partner/s ESPN, NBC, Lifetime
Draft
Top draft pick United States Tina Thompson
Picked by Houston Comets
Regular season
Season MVP United States Cynthia Cooper (Houston)
Stat leaders
    Points C. Cooper (22.2)
    Rebounds L. Leslie (9.5)
    Assists T. Weatherspoon (6.1)
Playoffs
East champions Houston Comets, New York Liberty
  East runners-up   Charlotte Sting
West champions none due to setup
  West runners-up   Phoenix Mercury
Finals
Finals champions Houston Comets
  Runners-up   New York Liberty
Finals MVP United States Cynthia Cooper (Houston)
WNBA seasons

1998 →

The 1997 WNBA Season was the Women's National Basketball Association's first in existence. It started off with 8 franchises: Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs, and the Utah Starzz. It featured an inaugural game between the New York Liberty and the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks lost to the New York Liberty, 67-57. The attendance at the Forum was 14,284.[1] The season ended with the Comets defeating the Liberty in a one game series 65-51. Cynthia Cooper was named MVP of the game.

Regular season standings[edit]

Eastern Conference

Eastern Conference W L PCT Conf. GB
Houston Comets x 18 10 .643 6–6
New York Liberty x 17 11 .607 8–4 1.0
Charlotte Sting x 15 13 .536 5–7 3.0
Cleveland Rockers o 15 13 .536 5–7 3.0

Western Conference

Western Conference W L PCT Conf. GB
Phoenix Mercury x 16 12 .571 9–3
Los Angeles Sparks o 14 14 .500 8–4 2.0
Sacramento Monarchs o 10 18 .357 4–8 6.0
Utah Starzz o 7 21 .250 3–9 9.0

Season award winners[edit]

Award Winner Team
WNBA Finals MVP Award Cynthia Cooper Houston Comets
WNBA Most Valuable Player Award Cynthia Cooper Houston Comets
WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award Teresa Weatherspoon New York Liberty
WNBA Peak Performer Andrea Congreaves Charlotte Sting
WNBA Peak Performer Haixia Zheng Los Angeles Sparks
WNBA Sportsmanship Award Haixia Zheng Los Angeles Sparks
WNBA Coach of the Year Award Van Chancellor Houston Comets

League Leaders[edit]

  • Chantel Tremitiere: Sacramento Monarchs, Minutes Played 1051
  • Cynthia Cooper: Houston Comets, Field Goals 191
  • Wendy Palmer: Utah Starzz, Field Goal Attempts, 420
  • Haixia Zheng: Los Angeles Sparks, Field Goal Percentage, .618
  • Cynthia Cooper: Houston Comets, 3-Pt Field Goals, 67
  • Ruthie Bolton: Sacramento Monarchs, 3-Pt Field Goal Attempts, 192
  • Eva Nemcova: Cleveland Rockers, 3-Pt Field Goal Percentage, .435
  • Cynthia Cooper: Houston Comets, Free Throws, 172
  • Cynthia Cooper: Houston Comets, Free Throw Attempts, 199
  • Bridget Pettis: Phoenix Mercury, Free Throw Percentage, .898
  • Latasha Byears: Sacramento Monarchs, Offensive Rebounds, 87
  • Lisa Leslie: Los Angeles Sparks, Defensive Rebounds, 203
  • Lisa Leslie: Los Angeles Sparks, Total Rebounds, 266
  • Teresa Weatherspoon: New York Liberty, Assists, 172
  • Teresa Weatherspoon: New York Liberty, Steals, 85
  • Elena Baranova: Utah Starzz, Blocks, 63
  • Chantel Tremitiere: Sacramento Monarchs, Turnovers, 122
  • Isabelle Fijalkowski: Cleveland Rockers, Personal Fouls, 129
  • Cynthia Cooper: Houston Comets, Points, 621
  • Chantel Tremitiere: Sacramento Monarchs, Minutes per game, 37.5
  • Cynthia Cooper: Houston Comets, Points per game, 22.2
  • Lisa Leslie: Los Angeles Sparks, Rebounds per game, 9.5
  • Teresa Weatherspoon: New York Liberty, Assists per game, 6.1
  • Teresa Weatherspoon: New York Liberty, Steals per game, 3.0
  • Elena Baranova: Utah Starzz, Blocks per game, 2.2

[2]

Playoffs[edit]

Main article: 1997 WNBA Playoffs
Main article: 1997 WNBA Finals

There were only 8 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in the league were seeded one to four. Houston was in the Eastern Conference in 1997 so two Eastern Conference teams matched up in the WNBA Finals.

WNBA Semi-Finals
Single game
WNBA Championship
Single game
           
E1 Houston 70
E3 Charlotte 54
E1 Houston 65
E2 New York 51
W1 Phoenix 41
E2 New York 59

References[edit]

External links[edit]