Comets forward wins by narrowest margin in league history

Swoopes Named 2005 WNBA MVP

NEW YORK, Sept. 18 – Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes has won the 2005 WNBA Most Valuable Player Award, the WNBA announced today.

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
Media participating in the voting were asked to select their top five choices for the award, with 10 points awarded for a first place vote, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

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

VotesPlayerTeam
327Sheryl SwoopesHouston Comets
325Lauren JacksonSeattle Storm
238Tamika CatchingsIndiana Fever
149Yolanda GriffithSacramento Monarchs
128Taj McWilliams-FranklinConnecticut Sun
41Nykesha SalesConnecticut Sun
21Lisa LeslieLos Angeles Sparks
18Deanna NolanDetroit Shock
17Chamique HoldsclawLos Angeles Sparks
17Diana TaurasiPhoenix Mercury
11Lindsay WhalenConnecticut Sun
7Becky HammonNew York Liberty
1Sue BirdSeattle Storm

PREVIOUS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER WINNERS

YearPlayerTeam
2005Sheryl SwoopesHouston Comets
2004Lisa LeslieLos Angeles Sparks
2003Lauren JacksonSeattle Storm
2002Sheryl SwoopesHouston Comets
2001Lisa LeslieLos Angeles Sparks
2000Sheryl SwoopesHouston Comets
1999Yolanda GriffithSacramento Monarchs
1998Cynthia CooperHouston Comets
1997Cynthia CooperHouston 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.

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