WNBA GMs Predict Los Angeles Sparks to Win Third WNBA Title in 2008 WNBA.com GM Survey

- GMs Select Sparks’ Lisa Leslie as MVP,
Teammate Candace Parker as Rookie of the Year -

NEW YORK, May 13, 2008 – WNBA general managers predict the Los Angeles Sparks to win their third WNBA title in franchise history during the 2008 season. Sparks center Lisa Leslie will win her league record fourth MVP, while teammate and first pick of the WNBA Draft Candace Parker will earn Rookie of the Year honors, according to respondents of the Sixth Annual WNBA.com GM Survey.

Providing fans with an inside look into the minds of WNBA decision-makers on the 2008 WNBA season, the Sparks received 42 percent of the GMs’ votes to win the WNBA Finals. The Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm finished tied for second with 17 percent of the votes.

Leslie received 36 percent of the GMs’ votes to win the 2008 MVP award. Other MVP candidates included the Storm’s Lauren Jackson (27 percent), who finished second, while the San Antonio Silver Stars’ Becky Hammon and Mercury’s Diana Taurasi (18 percent) finished tied for third.

Parker garnered 75 percent of the votes to win Rookie of the Year this season while the Chicago Sky’s Sylvia Fowles received the remaining 25 percent. Despite finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting, Fowles was voted as the rookie most likely to develop into the best player in five years with 67 percent of the votes. Parker finished second with 25 percent.

The WNBA.com GM Survey also revealed that last season’s MVP, Jackson garnered 54 percent of the votes as the best power forward in the WNBA while her Storm teammate Sue Bird earned 42 percent of votes as best point guard. The Sparks’ Leslie was voted the best center in the WNBA with 75 percent of the votes while 33 percent of GMs believe that the Mercury’s Taurasi is the best small forward. The Detroit Shock’s Deanna Nolan received 42 percent of votes as the WNBA’s best shooting guard.

Additionally, Jackson received 92 percent of the votes for the being best international player in the WNBA.

Additional results of the WNBA.com GM Survey include:
· Detroit Shock winning the Eastern Conference.
· Mike Thibault, Connecticut Sun best head coach (50 percent)
· Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever winning Defensive Player of the Year (32 percent)
· Phoenix Mercury most fun team to watch in 2008 (42 percent)
· Deanna Nolan, Detroit Shock most athletic player (67 percent)
· Shanna Crossley, San Antonio Silver Stars best pure shooter (25 percent)
· Katie Douglas, Indiana Fever acquisition that will make biggest impact in 2008 (29 percent)
· Lindsay Whalen, Connecticut Sun best at making her teammates better (27 percent)

Click here to see the complete results of the 2008 WNBA.com GM Survey

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Video

Fever vs. Sparks

Nneka Ogwumike scores 21 points and Alana Beard adds 17 to help the Sparks beat the Fever, 77-73.

Sky vs. Shock

Odyssey Sims scores 24 points to lead the Shock to a win over the Sky, 79-69.

Lynx vs. Sun

Maya Moore scores 17 points to help the Lynx beat the Sun, 76-65.

Dream vs. Mystics

Ivory Latta scores 21 points and Kara Lawson adds14 as the surging Mystics beat the Dream, 77-67.

Liberty vs. Mercury

Diana Taurasi records 15 points and 10 assists, Britney Griner adds 18 points as the Mercury roll to their 15th straight win.