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In the closest MVP tally in WNBA history, Swoopes edged Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson for the league’s most prestigious award by two points, 327 to 325. Swoopes received 16 first place votes and Jackson received 20. Swoopes, however, finished with 15 second place, seven third place and nine fourth place votes, while Jackson ended with 15 second place, one third place, three fourth place and six fifth place votes. The voters consisted of a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Sheryl Swoopes with WNBA President Donna Orender
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Rounding out the top five were: Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings, the 2005 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (238 points); Sacramento Monarch center Yolanda Griffith, an All-Defense First Team member (149 points); and Connecticut Sun forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin, the 2005 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship recipient (128 points).
Swoopes, a five-time All-Star, three-time Defensive Player of the Year and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, has the distinction of being the league’s first three-time MVP (2005, 2002, 2000). Swoopes, the 2005 WNBA All-Star MVP, joins Los Angeles center Lisa Leslie as the only players to win both the All-Star and league MVP (2001) in the same season.
Swoopes this season led Houston back to the playoffs as the Comets posted a 19-15 regular season record. She led the league in scoring (18.6 ppg) and ranked second in steals (2.65 spg), ninth in assists (4.3), eighth in free throw percentage (.850) and 15th in three-point field-goal percentage (.360). The nine-year veteran also paced the WNBA in minutes per game (37.1 mpg).
Swoopes became the first player to reach the 500-steal plateau. She ranks second all-time in scoring (3,894), seventh in assists (775), 17th in rebounding (1,134), 12th in blocked shots (188) and fifth in total minutes (7,789).
In conjunction with the award, Swoopes will receive $15,000 from the league.
Below are the results of the 2005 WNBA Most Valuable Player voting and past recipients:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER 2005 VOTING RESULTS
|327||Sheryl Swoopes||Houston Comets|
|325||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|238||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever|
|149||Yolanda Griffith||Sacramento Monarchs|
|128||Taj McWilliams-Franklin||Connecticut Sun|
|41||Nykesha Sales||Connecticut Sun|
|21||Lisa Leslie||Los Angeles Sparks|
|18||Deanna Nolan||Detroit Shock|
|17||Chamique Holdsclaw||Los Angeles Sparks|
|17||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|11||Lindsay Whalen||Connecticut Sun|
|7||Becky Hammon||New York Liberty|
|1||Sue Bird||Seattle Storm|
PREVIOUS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER WINNERS
|2005||Sheryl Swoopes||Houston Comets|
|2004||Lisa Leslie||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2003||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|2002||Sheryl Swoopes||Houston Comets|
|2001||Lisa Leslie||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2000||Sheryl Swoopes||Houston Comets|
|1999||Yolanda Griffith||Sacramento Monarchs|
|1998||Cynthia Cooper||Houston Comets|
|1997||Cynthia Cooper||Houston Comets|
The WNBA continues to enjoy a successful season entering Game 3 of the Finals. Including Game 2 of the Championship series, the WNBA Playoffs on ESPN2 saw viewership increase +30 percent. Game 3 airs today on ABC at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. Game 4 will air on Tuesday on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. For more information, go to WNBA.com.