|MVP||Cynthia Cooper (Houston Comets)|
|Eastern Finals||New York defeated Phoenix 59-41|
|Western Finals||Houston defeated Charlotte 70-54|
The 1997 WNBA Championship was the championship game of the 1997 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Houston Comets, top-seeded team of the league, defeated the New York Liberty, second-seeded team, 65-51 to win the league's inaugural championship.
The Comets' 18–10 record gave them home court advantage over New York (17–11).
For the playoffs, the top four teams overall in the league were seeded one to four. Top seed Houston played the four seed Charlotte and the two seed New York played number three Phoenix.
|Houston Comets||New York Liberty|
1st East, 1st overall
|Regular season||17–11 (.607)|
2nd East, 2nd overall
|Defeated the (4) Charlotte Sting, 70-54||WNBA Semifinals||Defeated the (3) Phoenix Mercury, 59-41|
The Liberty won 3 of the 4 games in the regular season series:
|New York Liberty 62, Houston Comets 60 (OT)|
|Houston Comets 67, New York Liberty 70|
|New York Liberty 65, Houston Comets 58|
Time listed below is Eastern Daylight Time.
|New York Liberty 51, Houston Comets 65|
|Scoring by half: 24–28, 27–37|
| Pts: Hampton (13)|
Rebs: Hampton (13)
Asts: Weatherspoon (5)
|Pts: Cooper (25)|
Rebs: Jackson (11)
Asts: Cooper (4)
The Houston Comets became the first WNBA champions, riding the unstoppable Cynthia Cooper and a suffocating defense to a 65–51 victory over the New York Liberty.
Cooper, the fledgling league's leading scorer who was named Most Valuable Player earlier in the week, scored 14 of her 25 points in the pivotal second half, when the Comets had a 10–0 burst and held the Liberty scoreless for nearly 6½ minutes. Tina Thompson added 18 points for the Comets, who turned Houston into "Clutch City" again. The city adopted that nickname during the two-year championship reign of the NBA's Houston Rockets.
Cooper also was named Finals MVP as the sellout crowd of 16,285 saw the Comets come up with their best defensive effort of the season.
Kym Hampton had 13 points and 13 rebounds and Vickie Johnson added 12 points for the Liberty, who picked a bad time for one of their worst offensive displays. A meaningless basket with three seconds remaining by Rebecca Lobo—who was limited to nine points—allowed New York to avoid its lowest point total of the season.
Houston, which edged New York for the Eastern Conference title and knocked off Charlotte in the semifinals, finished the regular season 18–10. The Liberty, who advanced with a semifinal win at Phoenix, were 17–11.
|1997 Houston Comets Finals roster|
|1997 New York Liberty Finals roster|
The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States. It is currently composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 22, 1996, as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association (NBA), and league play started in 1997. The regular season is played from May to September, with the All Star game being played midway through the season in July and the WNBA Finals at the end of September until the beginning of October. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to hold a midseason tournament, the Commissioner's Cup, starting in the 2020 season were placed on hold. Initially, regular-season Cup games were to be played through early July, followed by a final match in August. The pandemic also led to the entire 2020 season being held without fans at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The Houston Comets were a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Houston, Texas, United States. Formed in 1997, the team was one of the original eight WNBA teams and won the first four championships of the league's existence. They are one of two teams in the WNBA that are undefeated in the WNBA Finals; the Seattle Storm are the other. The Comets were the first dynasty of the WNBA and are tied with the Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm for the most championships of any WNBA franchise. The team was folded and disbanded by the league in 2008 because new ownership could not be found.
The Charlotte Sting was a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, one of the league's eight original teams. The team folded on January 3, 2007.
The WNBA Finals are the championship series of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the conclusion of the league's postseason each fall. The series was named the WNBA Championship until 2002. Starting 2016 Verizon is the official sponsor.
Cynthia Lynne Cooper-Dyke is an American basketball coach and former player who has won championships in college, in the Olympics, and in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is considered by many as one of the greatest women's basketball players ever. In 2011, Cynthia was voted by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. Upon the league's formation, she played for the Houston Comets from 1997 to 2000, being named the Most Valuable Player of the WNBA Finals in all four seasons, and returned to play again in 2003. Cynthia still holds the record for most Finals MVPs with four. On April 30, 2019, she was introduced as the head coach for the Texas Southern Lady Tigers basketball team, a position she held in the 2012–13 season. She has also coached at USC, UNC Wilmington, Prairie View A&M, and, professionally, for the Phoenix Mercury. Cooper-Dyke was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Tina Marie Thompson is an American former WNBA professional basketball player and the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers women's basketball team. Thompson was inducted into both the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
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. The season ended with the Comets defeating the Liberty in a one-game series 65–51. Cynthia Cooper was named MVP of the game.
The 1998 WNBA season was the Women's National Basketball Association's second season. The 1998 season saw two expansion teams join the league, the Detroit Shock and Washington Mystics. The expansion teams allowed the defending champions Houston Comets to move to the Western Conference. The regular season was extended from 28 games to 30 games. The season ended with the Comets winning their second WNBA championship.
The 1999 WNBA Season was the Women's National Basketball Association's third season. The 1999 season saw two expansion teams join the league, the Minnesota Lynx and Orlando Miracle. The schedule was increased from 30 to 32 games per team. The season ended with the Houston Comets winning their third WNBA championship.
The Eastern Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association is made up of six teams.
The Western Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is made up of six teams.
The 1997 WNBA season was the first season for the Houston Comets. The Comets won the inaugural WNBA Finals.
The 2008 WNBA Finals was the championship series of the 2008 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Detroit Shock, top-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, defeated the San Antonio Silver Stars, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, three games to none in a best-of-five series. This was Detroit's third title in six years.
The 1998 WNBA Championship was the championship series of the 1998 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Houston Comets, top-seeded team of the league, defeated the Phoenix Mercury, third-seeded team of the league, two games to one in a best-of-three series. This was Houston's second straight title.
The 2000 WNBA Championship was the championship series of the 2000 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Houston Comets, second-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the New York Liberty, first-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, two games to none in a best-of-three series. This was Houston's fourth title.
The 1999 WNBA Championship was the championship series of the 1999 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Houston Comets, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the New York Liberty, top-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, two games to one in a best-of-three series. This was Houston's third title.
The 2010 WNBA Finals was the championship series of the 2010 season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The champions of the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Dream, faced the champions of the Western Conference, the Seattle Storm.
The USC Trojans women's basketball team, or the Women of Troy, is the collegiate women's basketball team that represents the University of Southern California, in the Pac-12 Conference. The team rose to prominence in 1976, at which time scholarships became available to female basketball players. They were the first Division I team to give these scholarships.
The 2000 WNBA Playoffs was the postseason for the Women's National Basketball Association's 2000 season which ended with the Western Conference champion Houston Comets beating the Eastern Conference champion New York Liberty, 2-0. Cynthia Cooper was named the MVP of the Finals.
The 1997 WNBA Playoffs was the postseason for the Women's National Basketball Association's 1997 season which ended with the Houston Comets beating the New York Liberty, 1-0 (65-51). Cynthia Cooper was named the MVP of the Finals. This was the first year of WNBA playoffs.