NEW YORK, August 29, 2000
-- Comets fans assembled in downtown Houston today to witness an event that has become an annual ritual in that city, the WNBA Championship victory parade. The Comets battled in overtime on Sunday, August 27 to complete a two-game sweep of Eastern Conference rival New York and earn their fourth consecutive WNBA title. The Comets claimed the crown and silenced the skeptics who had pegged them as postseason underdogs.
"I thought the first (championship) was the sweetest," said Houston coach Van Chancellor. "I pretty well always have worn that first ring, but I'm going to switch to the fourth one, because all of this time they've been crowning the Los Angeles Sparks or Sacramento or somebody besides the Comets."
Houston was once again led by the battle-tested trio of Cynthia Cooper (22.5 ppg in championship), Sheryl Swoopes (21.5 ppg) and Tina Thompson (13.0 ppp, 8.0 rpg), who confounded the Liberty at both ends of the court. Cooper earned MVP honors for the fourth time, and Swoopes' 31 points in Game 2 set a new championship record.
"We've won four in as many years, and I think that's very special," said Thompson. "None of us would have imagine accomplishing the things we have in this sport and in the four young years of the WNBA. And every one has been very special and they've all had different meanings, but this one is very special."
The New York Liberty showed the hard-nosed grit that has characterized their season. Down by as much as 10 points in both games, they battled back to bring the games within reach in the final minutes. And in both contests, the irrepressible Cooper was the thorn in New York's side in the closing seconds. In the end, the Liberty, who were led by Tari Phillips (22.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg), could not muster the offense to overcome the Houston hurdle.
"I couldn't be prouder of a basketball team than my team tonight," said New York coach Richie Adubato after Game 2. "They had a 12-2 start on us. I've seen them do that to other people and I've seen other people fold their tents. We fought back tremendously."
** From WNBA News, August 29, 2000