The task of ranking some of the greatest WNBA players is both enjoyable and challenging. How do we compare players like Breanna Stewart, who at 27 already had two championships and grew up with the WNBA as a dream, to someone like four-time champ Cynthia Cooper, who was 34 at the time the league started and only played a few seasons? Former superstars, as well as active players, are both included in our rating.
Taurasi hasn’t taken home the most titles or MVP awards. But her continuous excellence on offense and her endurance distinguishes her from her contemporaries.
Others have “performed better” for shorter periods or during concentrated periods of domination, but Taurasi is unique in that she has consistently ranked among the best players. In 2004, during her first year, she received her first All-WNBA honor. Her most recent was in 2020, 16 years later. By a significant margin, Taurasi has the most remarkable offensive win share total.
Cynthia Cooper is one of the league’s all-time leading scorers and introduced the elite pick-and-roll to WNBA. She was an eager passer and could make plays off the dribble and inside against bigger players. Her numbers rank her among the best of all time, but she significantly impacted professional women’s basketball more than her scores. She altered the rules of the women’s game and the expectations placed on players in her position. Having spent so much time playing abroad, Coop, who was 34 when she debuted in the WNBA, had a well-honed game when she arrived.
Sue Bird has started and participated in most games compared to other WNBA players. And throughout that time, she cemented her reputation as one of the best point guards to pick up the ball. She started as a point guard in all four of Seattle’s championship victories. Eighteen seasons of playing, and she still isn’t dried out! She continues to provide high-quality contributions and consistently demonstrates why she should be on this list. Her active legend status and independent mythology make her unique.