Lauren Jackson Wins Title, MVP Honors

Sep 17 2010 2:12AM
If there�s such a thing as a perfect season, Lauren Jackson had just that.

The Seattle Storm forward/center picked up her third Most Valuable Player trophy this season, then capped off the year with her second WNBA championship and a Finals MVP honor. The thing is, Jackson is so modest, she doesn�t even believe that this was her best season on record.

�I don�t think individually I had the best season I�ve ever had,� Jackson said following the Storm�s Game 3 win. �But the reason that I got those awards was because of my teammates and the people around and the fact that we were winning games.�

Jackson and the Storm won the franchise's second title on Thursday at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. Seattle swept the Atlanta Dream in the best-of-five series and didn�t lose a single game in three playoff series. Their 35 wins in 2010 was a WNBA record.

�I don�t think I�ve been part of a team that I�ve enjoyed as much as this,� said Jackson, whose parents, Gary and Maree, were in town for the Finals from Australia.

The Aussie native, who along with Sue Bird, are the only remaining players from Seattle�s 2004 championship, credits her teammates for her personal accomplishments and the ultimate reward of a championship. �I did not expect to have this sort of season but it was my teammates,� Jackson said. �I would�ve never achieved any of it without the great players that we have on our team.�

Jackson is the fourth player to win MVP and Finals MVP in the same season, joining Cynthia Cooper (1997 and 1998), Lisa Leslie (2001) and Diana Taurasi (2009).

In 2010, Jackson finished fourth in the league in scoring (20.5 ppg), sixth in rebounds (8.3 rpg) and fifth in blocks (1.19 bpg). For being 6-foot-5, Jackson also knows how to shoot the three � her 54 made were 11th best among all WNBA players � and compiled one of the league�s best free throws percentage (91 percent). That type of performance garners nothing but praise from Storm head coach Brian Agler.

�Lauren is a great person, a great player, All Star, Olympian,� Agler said, adding that no one plays her position better.

In 2000, 2004 and 2008, Jackson led Australia to the gold medal game against the United States in the Olympics. Here native country, however, took silver each time, including the last two tries with Bird on the opposing bench.

Another key to Jackson�s success in 2010 was health. The 29-year-old was unable to take part in Seattle�s postseasons the last two years with ailments. Finally, injury free, Jackson�s performance in the playoffs, especially the Finals, is what really helped Seattle achieve a trophy.

�I don't know if I'll ever be part of a team that's been as good or be at the end of a season and feel like I wish it would all start again because it's been so much fun,� said Jackson, who averaged 22.3 points and eight rebounds against Atlanta.

Jackson is unlike most WNBA superstars. Her resume features both winning and personal accolades � the textbook qualities you look for in that near-flawless player.

The one who put together the perfect season.
Series Info
Game 1: SEA 79, ATL 77: Box | Recap | Photos | Video
Game 2: SEA 87, ATL 84: Box | Recap | Photos | Video
Game 3: SEA 87, ATL 84: Box | Recap | Photos | Video

Gm 1: SEA 82, PHX 74
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: SEA 91, PHX 88
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: SEA 79, LAS 66
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: SEA 81, LAS 66
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: PHX 106, SAN 93
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: PHX 92, SAN 73
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: ATL 81, NYL 75
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: ATL 105, NYL 93
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: ATL 95 WAS 90
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: ATL 101 WAS 77
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: NYL 85, IND 73
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: IND 75, NYL 67
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 3: NYL 77, IND 74
Box | Recap | Photos