|1997 WNBA season|
|League||Women's National Basketball Association|
|Duration||June 21 - August 30|
|Number of games||28|
|Number of teams||8|
|TV partner(s)||ESPN, NBC, Lifetime|
|1997 WNBA Draft|
|Top draft pick||Tina Thompson|
|Picked by||Houston Comets|
|Season MVP||Cynthia Cooper (Houston)|
|Top scorer||C. Cooper (22.2)|
|Eastern champions||Houston Comets, New York Liberty|
|Eastern runners-up||Charlotte Sting|
|Western champions||none due to setup|
|Western runners-up||Phoenix Mercury|
|Runners-up||New York Liberty|
|Finals MVP||Cynthia Cooper (Houston)|
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
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.
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 Los Angeles Sparks are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Sparks compete in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference. The team was founded before the league's inaugural 1997 season began. Like some other WNBA teams, the Sparks have the distinction of not being affiliated with an NBA counterpart, even though the market is shared with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. As of 2020, the Sparks are the most recent franchise to win back-to-back titles.
The New York Liberty is an American professional basketball team based in Brooklyn, New York City, which plays in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) as part of the Eastern Conference. The team was founded in 1997 and is one of the eight original franchises of the league. The team is owned by Joe Tsai, the majority owner of the Brooklyn Nets. The team's home games are played at Barclays Center.
Elena Viktorovna Baranova is a retired Russian professional basketball player. She is a former Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) player, where she became the first player from Europe in 1997 WNBA inaugural season, the first All-Star from Russia in 2001 and played for the New York Liberty until the 2005 season.
Chantel Ruth Tremitiere is an American former professional women's basketball player.
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. During the season, Kelly Boucher became the first Canadian to play in the league, suiting up for the Charlotte Sting.
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The 2000 WNBA Season was the Women's National Basketball Association's fourth season. The 2000 season saw four expansion teams join the league, the Indiana Fever, Miami Sol, Portland Fire, and Seattle Storm. The season ended with the Houston Comets winning their fourth WNBA championship.
The 2001 WNBA Season was the Women's National Basketball Association's fifth season. The season ended with the Los Angeles Sparks winning their first WNBA championship.
The 2002 WNBA Season was the Women's National Basketball Association's sixth season. The season ended with the Los Angeles Sparks winning their second WNBA championship.
The 2003 WNBA Season was the Women's National Basketball Association's seventh season. It was first season in which teams either folded or relocated, as well as the first to have teams that were not co-owned with NBA teams. The Orlando Miracle relocated to Connecticut and became the Connecticut Sun, the Utah Starzz relocated to San Antonio, Texas and became the San Antonio Silver Stars. Meanwhile, both the Miami Sol and the Portland Fire folded, while the Charlotte Sting became the second WNBA team without a brother NBA team. The schedule increased from 32 games per team to 34, where it stands to this day. The season ended with the Detroit Shock winning their first WNBA Championship.
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The Western Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is made up of six teams.
The 1999 WNBA season was the third season for the Houston Comets. The Comets won their third WNBA Finals.
The 1997 WNBA season was the first season for the New York Liberty.
The 1997 WNBA season was the inaugural season for the Utah Starzz. The Starzz were partially named after the old ABA team, the Utah Stars, but with the zz at the end like the Utah Jazz. The franchise held the distinction of having the worst record in the WNBA in 1997.
The 1997 WNBA season was the inaugural season for the Sacramento Monarchs.
The following shows a list of records held by certain players and teams in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
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.