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Bird, Jackson Named to All-Decade Team

June 13, 2006

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- The WNBA announced today that Storm All-Stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson have been named to the WNBA’s All-Decade Team. The All-Decade Team, part of the league’s season-long celebration of the WNBA’s 10th Anniversary, is comprised of the 10 best and most influential players from the league’s first 10 years of play.

Chosen from among 30 nominees by fans, a panel of national and WNBA-market media and the league’s current players and coaches, the WNBA All-Decade Team honors those players who have contributed the most to the overall success of the WNBA. Consideration was given to on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service, as well as to their contribution to team success and to the growth of women’s basketball.

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Having played just four full seasons in the league, Bird is the shortest-tenured WNBA player to earn All-Decade honors. Bird’s résumé boasts a WNBA Championship along with an Olympic gold medal from the 2004 summer games in Athens. Bird holds the distinction of being the first guard ever selected with the top pick in a WNBA Draft and is one of just two players in WNBA history to earn All-WNBA First Team honors following each of her first four seasons in the league. Bird is the reigning WNBA assist champion after averaging a league-best 5.9 assists per game last year. She has yet to finish a season ranked lower than second in the league in assists per game.

“I’m so honored to have been named to the WNBA All-Decade Team,” Bird said. “When you look at the list of nominees, the amount of talent is incredible, and that includes Lauren Jackson, who has helped make me the player I am today.”

Jackson, the WNBA’s MVP in 2003, is the youngest player on the All-Decade roster and the only international player named to the team. The native Australian ranks second in league history in career scoring average with 18.5 points per game. Jackson owns the WNBA record for most field goals in a game (17 vs. Los Angeles on Aug. 6, 2003) and received the ESPY Award for “Best WNBA Player” following both the 2003 and 2004 seasons. A four-time league All-Star, Jackson led the Storm to the WNBA Championship in 2004. She recently became the 11th WNBA player to reach the 3,000-point mark for her career, doing so in fewer games (162) and at a younger age (25) than any other player in league history.

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In Minnesota, Bird, Jackson and Coach Anne Donovan spoke about the honor of being named to the All-Decade Team.
“I’m both honored and excited to be named to the WNBA All-Decade Team,” Jackson said. “It also means a lot to share this special honor with Sue. She’s not only a great teammate, she’s a great friend.”

The WNBA All-Decade Team will be brought together for the first time and formally honored at the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game set to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on July 12. The game will be televised live on ESPN at 4:30 p.m. (PDT).

Below, listed in alphabetical order, is a list of the 10 players named to the WNBA All-Decade Team along with five players who received Honorable Mention

WNBA All-Decade Team

NameWNBA Team (Current/Last Team)
Sue Bird Seattle Storm (2002-Current)
Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever (2001-Current)
Cynthia Cooper*Houston Comets (1997-2000, 2003)
Yolanda GriffithSacramento Monarchs (1999-Current)
Lauren JacksonSeattle Storm (2001-Current)
Lisa LeslieLos Angeles Sparks (1997-Current)
Katie SmithDetroit Shock (2005-Current)
Dawn StaleyHouston Comets (2005-Current)
Sheryl SwoopesHouston Comets (1997-Current)
Tina ThompsonHouston Comets (1997-Current)

Honorable Mention

NameWNBA Team (Current/Last Team)
Ruthie Bolton*Sacramento Monarchs (1997-2004)
Chamique HoldsclawLos Angeles Sparks (2005-Current)
Ticha PenicheiroSacramento Monarchs (1998-Current)
Diana TaurasiPhoenix Mercury (2004-Current)
Teresa Weatherspoon*Los Angeles Sparks (2004)

* - Retired