How Diana Torassi, Sylvia Fowles, and Sue Bird Rewrote WNBA Record Books

They’re three of the best gamers in girls’s basketball historical past. They’ve every received a number of WNBA championships and Olympic gold medals, and helped develop the league and surpass WNBA information. Certainly one of them turns forty on Saturday.

Diana TaurasiAnd the Silvia Fowles And the So Chicken They redefined lots of the statistical classes within the WNBA. However their dominance is manifested within the high three of the sport’s largest stats: Taurasi is the all-time WNBA scoring chief, Fowles is the all-time rebounding chief and Chicken is the all-time nursing chief.

Whereas longevity has performed a task on their method to the highest – Taurasi in her 18th season within the WNBA, Fowles in fifteenth for her and Chicken in nineteenth units her aside. Chicken, 5-foot-9 goalkeeper Seattle StormHe turns 42 in October, Fowls 6-6 Minnesota Linux Centre, turns 37 in the identical month.

Like Taurasi, 6-0 goalkeeper for Phoenix MercuryTurning 40, we check out every participant’s path towards the report, different WNBA legends they’ve skilled alongside the best way and the gamers behind them of their scoring, rebounding and aiding schemes.

Tourasi: an unparalleled goalscorer

Torassi, who says she would not plan to retire anytime quickly, is taken into account the best participant in girls’s basketball historical past. GOAT was voted final 12 months by followers because the WNBA celebrated its twenty fifth season – and was ranked primary in WNBA historical past by the ESPN panel final September – Taurasi is understood for the peculiarities of being an all-scorer. It has a surprisingly quick and easy-to-look launch irrespective of the place you shoot from on the sector. And he or she has full religion that she needs to be the one to take the shot irrespective of how huge the stakes.

Even for somebody like Taurasi, who’s so relied upon to take successful photographs within the recreation, it’s a must to settle for that they may even miss a few of them. However Taurasi, a three-time WNBA champion and MVP of the 2009 common season, hasn’t shied away from that duty.

I’ve largely adhered to. A #1 draft decide in 2004, Taurasi is a five-time WNBA champion, the one participant in league historical past to have scored at the very least 600 factors in six consecutive seasons and the one participant to have scored 800 factors in a single season on a number of events (2006, 2008). Taurasi additionally has WNBA skilled information for area targets, 3-point area targets, common scoring in a season (25.3) and factors in a season (860).

Torassi grew to become the league’s high scorer on June 18, 2017, surpassing Tina Thompson – who scored 7,488 factors in 496 video games throughout her profession – in 377 profession video games.

It is a report which will by no means be matched. Torassi has averaged 15 further factors per recreation in 15 completely different seasons of her profession, probably the most of any participant in league historical past. Twice this season, she has scored at the very least 30 factors, changing into the oldest participant within the league to take action.

Taurasi has now scored 1,856 factors, greater than some other participant in common season historical past. And as ESPN Stats & Info notes, the distinction between Taurasi and runner-up Thompson is a bigger hole than Thompson and Angel McCoughtry, who’s ranked 16 (a distinction of 1,691 factors).

Maybe the one query stays whether or not the Taurasi, who has 9,344 factors, can rating one other 656 to achieve 10,000.

Taurasi averaged 15.5 PPG this season; When you attain that charge per recreation to any extent further, you will want 42 common season video games to hit 10,000 profession factors, in keeping with ESPN stats and knowledge. Nonetheless, if Taurasi can match her profession level common of 19.3 within the PPG, it might take 33 common season video games to achieve 10,000 factors, in keeping with ESPN stats and knowledge.

Phoenix has performed 11 video games to this point in 2022 out of 36 prolonged video games within the common season. If Taurasi stays wholesome and misses a recreation, and maintains or reaches any of the above scoring averages, she may high 10,000 profession factors in some unspecified time in the future subsequent season.

(Word: Candice Dupree, who has not formally retired however has not performed a recreation in 2022, is the second closest energetic participant on the scoring charts with 6,895 factors, good for fourth general. Phoenix Mercury Heart Tina Charles ranked sixth with 6,749. Tamika Catchings took third place with 7,380 factors and Cappie Pondexter at 6,811 from the highest 5.)

Fowles: A dominant pressure across the edge

Fowles stated that is her final season, however her restoration has been as dominant as ever: She’s the one participant within the league to common a double-double (16.5 PPG, 10.3 RPG) this season.

Fowles’ recoil prowess was nowhere close to as giant and highly effective, although each are astounding. It has a web site within the textbooks and performs like an outdated heart refuses to surrender its area within the low constructing. You will not see Fowles—two-time WNBA Champion and MVP of the 2017 common season—drift out of contact; She at all times embraces it and nearly at all times wins the battle.

Protection is an enormous a part of Fowls’ recreation. Of her complete of three,836 rebounds, 2,743 got here within the defensive place. However when contemplating her 1,092 offensive boards, it is necessary to do not forget that she’s had a WNBA report of 59.8% of the sector for her profession. Whether or not it is her accuracy or dominance of the glass, she merely eliminates as many probabilities as her opponents’ second probability factors.

Fowls, a four-time WNBA Defensive Participant of the Yr, has been an equally constant and efficient participant whether or not she’s needed to be an anchor on her personal or pair up with one other sturdy participant. Fowles and former Lynx striker Rebecca Bronson, one other standout participant, have been a fierce duo because the WNBA has ever seen, serving to Lynx win titles in 2015 and 2017 (Fowles was the Finals MVP each instances). On July 28, 2020, in Sport Two of the bubble season in Bradenton, Florida, her 3357th profession run went from Fowles to previous Bronson’s WNBA profession report.

One other huge ingredient to Fowles’ continued success: Regardless of her bodily model, she has largely prevented harm. A calf harm restricted Fowles – who additionally holds WNBA information for one season for rebounds (404), defensive rebounds (282) and rebounds per recreation (11.9) – to seven video games in 2020, nevertheless it was the primary vital time that spent it there. Missed since becoming a member of Lynx in 2015.

Nonetheless, Lynns introduced Thursday that Fowles can be out indefinitely because of a cartilage harm in her proper knee. By 12 video games, she has been main the league in rebounds per recreation and area aim share (64.1), averaging 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks.

At present, Fowles is in full swing for her fifth season, averaging at the very least 15 factors and 10 rebounds and capturing at the very least 60% off the sector. In keeping with ESPN stats and knowledge, no different participant in WNBA historical past has even had one season like this – and the Fowls Naismith Corridor of Famer will meet Artis Gilmore for probably the most seasons in WNBA or NBA historical past (he additionally had 5). Fowles was the No. 2 decide general within the 2008 WNBA Draft.

Altaïr: Distributor and Final Chief

Like all nice level guards, Chicken has distinctive courtroom imaginative and prescient and a excessive degree of decisiveness, which is important for those who’re a commoner. However there are a couple of different issues that marked the four-time WNBA champion as one of many biggest level guards ever, each women and men, at any degree.

Chicken, who stated all indications are that 2022 is her final season, not solely is aware of the sport, she feels it. Which means whereas she is aware of the foundations of the sport in and out, she additionally understands the wrinkles and tweaks that occur when she’s within the move of the sport.

Like Taurasi, Chicken creates a move tag on a regular basis that may be arduous to get previous. Chicken at the moment has 3100 passes, and the following energetic participant is Chicago Sky‘s Courtney Vanderslot, is fourth with 2,254 passes, behind retired Tisha Benichero (2600) and Lindsey Wallen (2,345). Turassi checks at No. 5 (2,079).

Chicken is averaging 6.5 assists per recreation this season, and if he maintains that tempo for 2022, it might be a report for her fifteenth WNBA season with a median of at the very least 5.0 APG. The following closest is Penicheiro’s 9 seasons like this, in keeping with ESPN stats and knowledge.

Fifteen of 5 seasons of APG may even tie it up with NBA’s Steve Nash and Mark Jackson because the fifth such season in NBA or WNBA historical past, in keeping with ESPN Statistics and Info. Simply LeBron James John Stockton (19 individuals), Jason Kidd (18 years) Chris Paul (17) extra.

Chicken stated it took years to effective tune the nuances of managing her teammates’ video games and characters, and he or she made a couple of errors alongside the best way. However the major talent for guiding others to be their finest skills has at all times been the facility of birds.

In actual fact, management is maybe its most necessary attribute. Chicken has at all times taken the time to know her teammates as gamers and other people, however she does it in a really low-key method and by no means actually exhibits anybody on the sector. She is ready to get her level throughout and even self-discipline her teammates in a manner that instructions respect. Folks need to comply with Chicken’s lead, and that is been true of each group I have been on, from UConn to The Storm to the US girls’s nationwide group.

Chicken, a three-time regular-season help passer, surpassed Penicheiro to set the WNBA report on August 1, 2017, together with her 2,600 assists. She additionally holds the WNBA mark initially of the common season (557). Chicken, #1 general within the 2002 WNBA Draft, was unparalleled in her profession.