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Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks 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. Seattle’s 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 Comet’s 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.


Votes Player Team
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


Year Player Team
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 Seattle’s 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.