|2009 WNBA season|
|League||Women's National Basketball Association|
|Duration||June 6 – October 9|
|Number of games||34|
|Number of teams||13|
|TV partner(s)||ABC, ESPN, NBA TV|
|2009 WNBA Draft|
|Top draft pick|
|Picked by||Atlanta Dream|
|Eastern champions||Indiana Fever|
|Eastern runners-up||Detroit Shock|
|Western champions||Phoenix Mercury|
|Western runners-up||Los Angeles Sparks|
The 2009 WNBA Season was the 13th season of the Women's National Basketball Association. It is the first WNBA season without a Houston franchise, the Comets having folded in December 2008. The season ended with the Phoenix Mercury winning their second championship in three years.
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 24, 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.
Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth most populous city in the United States, as well as the sixth most populous in North America, with an estimated 2018 population of 2,325,502. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with a population of 6,997,384 in 2018.
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 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 regular season began with a televised (ABC) meeting between the defending champion Detroit Shock and the Los Angeles Sparks in Los Angeles on June 6. The Connecticut Sun hosted the 9th Annual All-Star Game which was broadcast live on ABC (HD) on July 25.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building. The network's secondary offices, and headquarters of its news division, is in New York City, New York, at their broadcast center at 77 West 66th Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
The Detroit Shock were a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. They were the 2003, 2006, and 2008 WNBA champions.
The Los Angeles Sparks are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). 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 2019, the Sparks are the last franchise to win back-to-back titles.
ESPN is a U.S.-based pay television sports channel owned by ESPN Inc., owned jointly by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.
The Washington Mystics are a professional basketball team based in Washington, D.C., playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded prior to the 1998 season, and is owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the Mystics' NBA counterpart, the Washington Wizards. Sheila C. Johnson, co-founder of BET and ex-wife of Charlotte Sting owner Robert L. Johnson, is the managing partner.
Julie Plank is an American basketball coach, most recently of the Atlanta Dream of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
On December 8, 2008, the Houston Comets dispersal draft was held. Five former Comets players, Latasha Byears, Mwadi Mabika, Hamchetou Maiga-Ba, Michelle Snow and Tina Thompson were free agents and therefore not eligible for this draft. Teams selected based inversely on their 2008 regular season records.
A dispersal draft is a process in professional sports for assigning players to a new team when their current team ceases to exist or is merged with another team. Since most sports drafts are held in North America, this is where most dispersal drafts are conducted as well.
Latasha Nashay Byears is a former American professional women's basketball player. She played in the WNBA for the Sacramento Monarchs, the Los Angeles Sparks, the Washington Mystics, and for the Houston Comets. Byears ranked eighth all-time in the WNBA in field goal percentage (.514) and was among the top 10 rebounders in the league's history as of 2003.
Mwadi Mabika is a retired Congolese-American basketball player. She was an All-Star in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
The top picks were:
Six of the thirteen teams making selections waived their picks.
The WNBA Draft lottery was held on December 9, 2008. The Atlanta Dream received the first overall selection. The Washington Mystics received the number two selection. The Chicago Sky came up with the third overall selection, followed by the Minnesota Lynx at four and the Phoenix Mercury at number five. For the first time in WNBA history, the lottery balls were chosen exactly according to odds.
The Atlanta Dream are a professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia, playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded before the 2008 WNBA season began. The team is owned by Dream Too LLC, which is composed of two Atlanta businesswomen: Mary Brock, and Kelly Loeffler. Like some other WNBA teams, the Dream is not affiliated with an NBA counterpart, even though the Dream share the market with the Atlanta Hawks.
The Chicago Sky is an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, playing in the Eastern Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The franchise was founded before the 2006 WNBA season began. It is owned by Michael J. Alter and Margaret Stender. The team experienced a period of success from 2013 to 2016, making four playoff appearances and playing in the 2014 WNBA Finals.
The Minnesota Lynx are a professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team won the WNBA title in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
The 2009 WNBA Draft was held on April 9 in Secaucus, New Jersey. Coverage of the first round was shown on ESPN2 (in HD for the first time ever) at 3:00pm. Second and third round coverage was shown on ESPNU and NBA TV at 4:00pm.
Secaucus is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 16,264, reflecting an increase of 333 (+2.1%) from the 15,931 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,870 (+13.3%) from the 14,061 counted in the 1990 Census.
ESPN2 is an American pay television network that is owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Hearst Communications.
High-definition television (HDTV) is a television system providing an image resolution that is of substantially higher resolution than that of standard-definition television. This can be either analog or digital. HDTV is the current standard video format used in most broadcasts: terrestrial broadcast television, cable television, satellite television, Blu-rays, and streaming video.
The top draft picks were as follows:
|Indiana Fever x||22||12||.647||–||14–3||8–9||17–5|
|Atlanta Dream x||18||16||.529||4.0||12–5||6–11||10–12|
|Detroit Shock x||18||16||.529||4.0||11–6||7–10||11–11|
|Washington Mystics x||16||18||.471||6.0||11–6||5–12||10–12|
|Chicago Sky o||16||18||.471||6.0||12–5||4–13||10–12|
|Connecticut Sun o||16||18||.471||6.0||12–5||4–13||9–12|
|New York Liberty o||13||21||.382||9.0||8–9||5–12||8–13|
|Phoenix Mercury x||23||11||.676||–||12–5||11–6||13–7|
|Seattle Storm x||20||14||.588||3.0||13–4||7–10||13–7|
|Los Angeles Sparks x||18||16||.529||5.0||11–6||7–10||11–9|
|San Antonio Silver Stars x||15||19||.441||8.0||10–7||5–12||10–10|
|Minnesota Lynx o||14||20||.412||9.0||9–8||5–12||7–13|
|Sacramento Monarchs o||12||22||.353||11.0||7–10||5–12||6–14|
The 2009 WNBA All-Star Game was hosted by the Connecticut Sun on July 25 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Coverage of the game began at 3:30pm on ABC. This marked the second time the Sun had hosted the annual event.
|Western Conference 130, Eastern Conference 118|
|Scoring by quarter: 25-27, 38-33, 36-33, 31-25|
| Pts: Swin Cash (22)|
Rebs: Cappie Pondexter (9)
Asts: Sue Bird (10)
|Pts: Sylvia Fowles (17)|
Rebs: Érika de Souza (9)
Asts: Asjha Jones (6)
The following shows the leaders for each statistic during the 2009 regular season.
|Points per game||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury||20.4|
|Rebounds per game||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks||9.8|
|Assists per game||Sue Bird||Seattle Storm||5.8|
|Steals per game||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever||2.91|
|Blocks per game||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks||2.12|
|Field goal percentage||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||.599 (103-172)|
|Three point FG percentage||Tangela Smith||Phoenix Mercury||.452 (42-93)|
|Free throw percentage||Nicole Powell||Sacramento Monarchs||.979 (94-96)|
|Points per game||Team Stat||Phoenix Mercury||92.82|
|Least points allowed||Team Stat||Seattle Storm||72.82|
|Field goal percentage||Team Stat||Phoenix Mercury||.460|
|Least FG% allowed||Team Stat||Los Angeles Sparks||.399|
|2009 WNBA Preseason|
|2009 WNBA Regular Season|
|2009 WNBA Postseason|
Conference Semifinals (September 16-21)
Conference Finals (September 23-26)
WNBA Finals (September 29-October 9)
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|June 6, 2009||Candice Dupree||Chicago Sky||Seimone Augustus||Minnesota Lynx|
|June 15, 2009||Alana Beard||Washington Mystics||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|June 22, 2009||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever||Candice Wiggins||Minnesota Lynx|
|June 29, 2009||Tammy Sutton-Brown||Indiana Fever||Cappie Pondexter||Phoenix Mercury|
|July 6, 2009||Alana Beard||Washington Mystics||Cappie Pondexter||Phoenix Mercury|
|July 13, 2009||Shameka Christon||New York Liberty||Cappie Pondexter||Phoenix Mercury|
|July 20, 2009||Asjha Jones||Connecticut Sun||Sue Bird||Seattle Storm|
|July 27, 2009||Katie Douglas||Indiana Fever||Becky Hammon||San Antonio Silver Stars|
|August 3, 2009||Katie Douglas||Indiana Fever||Becky Hammon||San Antonio Silver Stars|
|August 10, 2009||Sancho Lyttle||Atlanta Dream||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|August 17, 2009||Sandrine Gruda||Connecticut Sun||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks|
|August 24, 2009||Deanna Nolan||Detroit Shock||Sue Bird||Seattle Storm|
|August 31, 2009||Deanna Nolan||Detroit Shock||Vickie Johnson||San Antonio Silver Stars|
|September 7, 2009||Deanna Nolan||Detroit Shock||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks|
|Most Valuable Player Award||Diana Taurasi||Guard||Phoenix Mercury||323 out of 966|
|Finals MVP Award||Diana Taurasi||Guard||Phoenix Mercury||N/A|
|Rookie of the Year Award||Angel McCoughtry||Forward||Atlanta Dream||30 out of 41|
|Most Improved Player Award||Crystal Langhorne||Forward||Washington Mystics||19 out of 40|
|Defensive Player of the Year Award||Tamika Catchings||Forward||Indiana Fever||34 out of 40|
|Sixth Woman of the Year Award||DeWanna Bonner||Guard||Phoenix Mercury||20 out of 38|
|Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award||Kara Lawson||Guard||Sacramento Monarchs||8 out of 38|
|Peak Performer: Points||Diana Taurasi||Guard/Forward||Phoenix Mercury||20.4 PPG|
|Peak Performer: Rebounds||Candace Parker||Forward||Los Angeles Sparks||9.8 RPG|
|Peak Performer: Assists||Sue Bird||Guard||Seattle Storm||5.8 APG|
|Coach of the Year Award||Marynell Meadors||Coach||Atlanta Dream||30 out of 41|
|All-WNBA First Team||Becky Hammon||Diana Taurasi||Cappie Pondexter||Tamika Catchings||Lauren Jackson|
|All-WNBA Second Team||Deanna Nolan||Katie Douglas||Candace Parker||Sophia Young||Lisa Leslie|
|All-Defensive First Team||Tully Bevilaqua||Tanisha Wright||Tamika Catchings||Nicky Anosike||Lauren Jackson|
|All-Defensive Second Team||Alana Beard / Deanna Nolan||Angel McCoughtry||Candace Parker||Sancho Lyttle||Lisa Leslie|
|All-Rookie Team||Renee Montgomery||Shavonte Zellous||Marissa Coleman||Angel McCoughtry||DeWanna Bonner|
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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.
The WNBA on ESPN refers to the presentation of Women's National Basketball Association games on the ESPN family of networks. Under the title of WNBA Tuesday, games are broadcast throughout the WNBA season on Tuesday nights on ESPN2.
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