The crowd always knows. They know the meaning of the moment unfolding before their eyes. They know that they are watching the ink dry on a new chapter in WNBA history. So, the crowd rises to their feet, claps, stomps and showers the court with love and joy in celebration.
History happened for Sue Bird on July 22 as she played in her 500th career game. By taking the court against the Atlanta Dream, Bird became the WNBA’s all-time leader in games played and passed Delisha Milton-Jones.
History happened for Liz Cambage when she scored 53 points earlier this season, setting a new record for WNBA points in a game. Cambage followed up that game by scoring 35 points two days later, giving her a new WNBA-record for points in a two-game span.
In fact, history has happened a lot this WNBA season. All across the league, history is being made as records fall and the boundaries of the sport are pushed further than anyone thought they could be.
Let’s take a look back at some of the historic moments to happen so far this season.
Maybe the biggest news from the WNBA so far this season came when Cambage put up a new WNBA-record 53 points in a win over the New York Liberty on July 17.
Cambage was dominant and efficient, going 17-22 from the field on the evening. She even found time to grab 10 rebounds and block five shots between scoring basket after basket after basket.
Liz Cambage put up a historic stat-line today, with 53 POINTS (including 4 threes), 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks to become the record leader in most points in a single #WNBA game!
— WNBA (@WNBA) July 17, 2018
Early on this WNBA season, Taurasi hit two major milestones. First, she scored her 1,000th career three-pointer on the opening night of WNBA action, becoming the first WNBA player ever to hit that mark.
— WNBA (@WNBA) May 19, 2018
Taurasi finished that night with 26 points in the Phoenix Mercury’s season-opening 86-78 win over the Dallas Wings, draining 5-of-8 from deep.
Then, just a few games later, Taurasi became the first WNBA player to reach 8,000 points.
These accomplishments come on the heels of passing Tina Thompson as the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer last season and the litany of other records and awards Taurasi has amassed during her WNBA career.
The Las Vegas Aces center is off to one of the best starts ever for a rookie in the WNBA. Earlier this month, she was named to her first WNBA All-Star Game and was the only rookie to make the roster, which puts into perspective just how dominant and groundbreaking Wilson has been.
In June, Wilson made history by adding her name to the list of WNBA players to score 300+ points in their first 15 games in the league. She joined Seimone Augustus, Cappie Pondexter, Cynthia Cooper and Ruthie Bolton to hit that distinct milestone.
Wilson is also just the second rookie ever to record a 35-point, 10-rebound game, which came on June 12 against the Indiana Fever.
Next on Wilson’s wish-list is helping Las Vegas make the playoffs in the team’s first season in their new city. The Aces are 12-13 at the All-Star Break, but are 7-3 in their last 10 games and certainly trending towards playoff contention.
The Minnesota Lynx’s Brunson has already accomplished a lot in her WNBA career, being the only five-time WNBA champ. On July 5, she added another bullet point to that impressive resume – she’s the WNBA’s All-Time Leading Rebounder.
Brunson started the game in third place with 3,306 rebounds. First, she passed WNBA legend Lisa Leslie (3,307). Then, she overtook Tamika Catchings (3,316) in the fourth quarter to plant her flag firmly atop the WNBA’s leaderboard.
In an ensuing media timeout, the home crowd in Minneapolis recognized Brunson’s accomplishment. The Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks that night, 83-72 – the cherry on top of a record-breaking night.
Just two days later, more history was made against the Sparks. Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault notched his 300th career win against Los Angeles on July 7.
Thibault was already the winningest coach in WNBA history. Now, he can say he’s the first to hit the 300-win milestone. The Mystics took to social media to share their excitement for their head coach.
— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) July 8, 2018
Elena Delle Donne
Accumulating 3,000 points on the basketball court is an impressive accomplishment for a career. Elena Delle Donne is redefining the meaning of the feat as she reached 3,000 points at just 28-year-old.
Earlier this season, the Washington Mystics star became the fastest player in WNBA history (148 games) to achieve 3,000 points.
The moment came on July 15, when Delle Donne was playing against the Atlanta Dream. Check out this highlight to watch Delle Donne reach 3k.
Delle Donne is well on her way to a historic career – the 28-year-old has already been named an All-Star five times, mostly recently during this WNBA season.
Stricklen had one of those rare shooting nights where the basket looks as big as the ocean on July 22. Playing against the Dallas Wings, Stricklen shot the lights out and made eight-three pointers – tying the WNBA’s single-game record.
Stricklen scored 24 points and finished 8 of 11 from 3-point range, meaning she scored all her points from beyond the arc. They were all needed to help the Connecticut Sun beat the Dallas Wings 92-75 on Sunday.
The Connecticut Sun star matched the record set by Taurasi, who has made eight 3-pointers three times, and Riquna Williams, who has done it once.
Last but not least, Sue Bird recently made history – on July 22, she became the All-Time Games Played leader in the WNBA with 500 (and counting) career games played.
After reaching the milestone, Bird took the time to thank her fans in a social media post.
Quick thank you for all the messages & support. 500x I’ve gone to war with some amazing teammates & coaches, against some amazing competition, and in front of some amazing fans. Thank you to all of you 👏🏼👏🏼 https://t.co/QmV3xCa5Cg
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) July 22, 2018
Bird also already knows what it is like to reset history – she is the all-time WNBA assists leader, breaking that record last September.
Moore has already dominated and set records in the WNBA regular and postseason, so now she’s extended her reach into the WNBA All-Star Game’s record books.
On Saturday, Moore set the WNBA record for most career points in WNBA All-Star History with 110.
She passed Tamika Catchings, who had 108, and Lisa Leslie, who had 102, while helping Team Parker to a 119-112 victory. Moore finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists on the afternoon.