The 26th WNBA season is rolling right along, and for that, we’re more than grateful. The best female hoopers in the world are back to doing what they do best on the court. Elena Delle Donne’s Mystics are off to a hot start in the East, and A’ja Wilson’s Aces – with the inclusion of coach Becky Hammon – are at the top of the West. What could be better?
At Top Shot, we honor legends of the game; The trailblazers, goats and matriarchs whose past performance set the tempo for a bright future.
Each WNBA season is special, and in 2008, over a decade after the league’s inception, there were Moments for the ages. Now, you’ll have a chance to own them.
In case you missed it, here’s the news. A storied W drop is on the way. This Friday, May 27, two limited edition series – WNBA Run It Back: 2008 and WNBA Archive Set: 2008 will be released on Top Shot.
Before they are, let’s reminisce about the signature moments that made that season special.
CANDACE PARKER’S ROOKIE STATEMENT
Candace Parker was selected No. 1 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks and never looked back.
She dominated as a first-year starter, averaging 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. She took home the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player award – a WNBA first, and only the 3rd time in pro basketball history a player has won both in the same season.
Parker laid the groundwork to be a generational star in the game.
BEIJING OLYMPICS TAKE PLACE
For the first time, the WNBA All-Star game was canceled, during a mid-August break for Olympic participation in Beijing, China. The United States breezed through the competition to take home the gold medal – defeating Lauren Jackson and the rest of the Australian National Team in the final. The US team featured three Sparks standouts: Parker, Lisa Leslie and DeLisha Milton-Jones.
ATLANTA DREAM ENTER THE LEAGUE
On January 23, 2008, Atlanta claimed a WNBA team of its own. The team name “Dream” was inspired by the famous speech of Atlanta’s own Martin Luther King Jr., with the team colors as red, white and blue. The Dream struggled in ‘08, but since its debut, has made it to the WNBA Finals in three seasons (2010, 2011 & 2013).
SEATTLE STORM TALENT
Seattle was blessed with name recognition. The Storm rostered five – yup, a whole starting lineup’s worth – of WNBA Top 25 Players in Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson, Swin Cash, Sheryl Swoopes and Yolanda Griffith.
They lost a heartbreaking first round playoff series against the also-loaded Sparks and reflect one of the most talented rosters in Seattle basketball history.
LISA LESLIE’S RETURN
After missing the entire 2007 season while on maternity leave, the Sparks struggled mightily without Lisa Leslie, the face of its franchise. Enough to slot into the top pick of the WNBA Draft, which, fortunately enough, manifested the aforementioned Parker selection.
In 2008, Leslie recharged and dominated on the defensive end. She led the league in defensive win shares, defensive rating and total blocks (97). Leslie won the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and made First-Team All-WNBA. Talk about an amazing comeback campaign.
BECKY HAMMON’S PLAYOFF PINNACLE
At age 31, in her second season with San Antonio, Becky Hammon reinforced her WNBA stardom. During the regular season, she averaged 17.6 ppg, the 3rd-highest mark of her 16-year career. Under Hammon’s leadership, the Silver Stars finished with the No. 1 seed in the West.
Come playoff time, Hammon’s intensity took the main stage. She led San Antonio past Sacramento and Los Angeles to land her only career WNBA Finals appearance.
DETROIT SHOCK: A DYNASTY
The year officially belonged to Detroit.
The Shock wore the W crown after a 3-0 sweep in the WNBA Finals vs. San Antonio.
A midseason trade for former All-Star Taj McWilliams-Franklin seemed to save the Shock’s season. Katie Smith earned her only Finals MVP. Deanna Nolan added another ‘ship.
Winning it all was sweet redemption for the Shock, after the previous season’s loss in a Finals Game 5 at home against Phoenix.
So, a third title in six years? Dynasty confirmed.
CANDACE PARKER BRINGS BACK THE DUNK
We started with Candace Parker, might as well end with Candace Parker.
On June 22, 2008, she rushed out on the break against the Indiana Fever and slammed home the first jam of her WNBA career. Parker became the second player to ever dunk in a regular season game – only Lisa Leslie had done it before – and her athleticism ushered in a new wave of high-flying women.
We’ll see you this Friday, when these iconic Moments and players will become new Moment NFTs for your WNBA collection. New to Top Shot? Create your account today to start your collection and you'll be able to open a NBA or WNBA starter pack right away.