Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparkes Named the 2004 WNBA Most Valuable Player Presented by General Motors
NEW YORK, October 8 The WNBA announced today that Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks has been named the recipient of the 2004 WNBA Most Valuable Player Award presented by General Motors.
In conjunction with the award, Leslie will receive $15,000 from the league and a new 2005 GMC Yukon compliments of General Motors. An inaugural league partner, General Motors has sponsored the WNBA MVP Award since 1997 and has awarded the winner a new General Motors vehicle each season.
Leslie received 425 points and 33 of a possible 48 first-place votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Seattles Lauren Jackson, the 2003 WNBA MVP, finished second with 351 points, while 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and the Houston Comets Tina Thompson tied for third with 126 points. 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.
Lisa Leslie led Los Angeles to a league-best 25-9 record and played her best basketball following the Olympic break, averaging 22.8 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting 59.1 percent from the field. Leslie led the WNBA in rebounding (9.9), blocked shots (2.88) and double-doubles (17), while ranking third in scoring (17.6) and field-goal percentage (49.4).
General Motors is active with the WNBA all season long as the sponsor of the Player of the Game award for all nationally televised games. GM donates $1,000 to the Make-A-Wish foundation on behalf of each winner.
On September 9, Leslie became only the third player in WNBA history to record a triple-double as she finished with a game-high 29 points, 15 rebounds and a WNBA record-tying 10 blocked shots against the Detroit Shock. This season, Leslie became the first player in WNBA history to reach the 4,000 point and 2,000 rebound plateaus. She currently ranks first in the league in all-time scoring (4,215) and rebounding (2,292), second in blocks (564), ninth in steals (309) and 16th in assists (550).
Below are the complete results of the 2004 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by General Motors vote and a list of past recipients.MOST VALUABLE PLAYER PRESENTED BY GENERAL MOTORS: 2004 VOTING RESULTS
|425||Lisa Leslie||Los Angeles Sparks|
|351||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|126||Tina Thompson||Houston Comets|
|126||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|55||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever|
|40||Swin Cash||Detroit Shock|
|38||Nykesha Sales||Connecticut Sun|
|34||Yolanda Griffith||Sacramento Monarchs|
|21||Katie Smith||Minnesota Lynx|
|12||Becky Hammon||New York Liberty|
|6||Taj McWilliams-Franklin||Connecticut Sun|
|6||Sue Bird||Seattle Storm|
|3||Dawn Staley||Charlotte Sting|
|3||Deanna Nolan||Detroit Shock|
|1||Nikki Teasley||Los Angeles Sparks|
|1||Alana Beard||Washington Mystics|
PREVIOUS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER WINNERS
|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 Finals will be shown exclusively on ESPN2 beginning on Friday, October 8 at 7:30 P.M. from Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Arena. Game 2 will be televised from Seattles Key Arena on Sunday, October 10 at 7 P.M. with Game 3, if necessary, being shown from Seattle on Tuesday, October 12 at 9 P.M.