1999 WNBA Championship

1999 WNBA Championship

The 1999 WNBA Championship was the championship series of the 1999 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Houston Comets, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the New York Liberty, top-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, two games to one in a best-of-three series. This was Houston's third title.

The Comets made their third appearance in the Finals in franchise history. The Liberty made their second Finals appearance.

Going into the series, no other team except the Houston Comets had ever won a WNBA championship (1997 and 1998).

The Comets had a 26-6 record (.813), good enough to receive home-court advantage over the Liberty (18-14).

Road to the finals

Houston Comets New York Liberty
26–6 (.813)
1st West, 1st overall
Regular season 28–14 (.563)
1st East, 4th overall
Received a bye Conference Semifinals Received a bye
Defeated the (2) Los Angeles Sparks, 2–1 Conference Finals Defeated the (3) Charlotte Sting, 2–1

Regular season series

The Comets and the Liberty split the regular season series:

Game summaries

All times listed below are Eastern Daylight Time.

Game 1

September 2
Recap
Houston Comets 73, New York Liberty 60
Scoring by half: 29-20, 44-40
Pts: Cooper (29)
Rebs: Thompson (7)
Asts: Cooper (6)
Pts: Witherspoon (18)
Rebs: Wicks (11)
Asts: Weatherspoon (10)
Madison Square Garden, New York
Attendance: 17,113
Referees:
  • Sally Bell
  • Derek Collins
  • Gary Zielinski

Game 2

September 4
Recap
New York Liberty 68, Houston Comets 67
Scoring by half: 23-37, 45-30
Pts: Robinson (20)
Rebs: Hampton (9)
Asts: Weatherspoon (5)
Pts: Thompson (16)
Rebs: Swoopes, Tzekova (6)
Asts: Cooper (6)
Compaq Center, Houston
Attendance: 16,285
Referees:
  • June Corteau
  • Courtney Kirkland
  • Jason Phillips

With Houston leading 67-65 over New York and the Liberty out of timeouts with only 2.4 seconds remaining on the clock after Tina Thompson's jumper, New York would have to go the length of the court if they had any hope of winning. Kym Hampton inbounded the ball to Teresa Weatherspoon who took a couple dribbles and let the ball fly 50 feet away from the basket. To the awe and ire of the Houston fans, the ball smacked off the backboard and banked into the basket and the Liberty won the game 68-67. The lasting image of this moment is Weatherspoon falling over on the ground smiling as her teammates mob her from the bench.

Game 3

September 5
Recap
New York Liberty 47, Houston Comets 59
Scoring by half: 25-33, 22-26
Pts: Wicks (11)
Rebs: Wicks (9)
Asts: Robinson (3)
Pts: Cooper (24)
Rebs: Jackson (11)
Asts: Henning (2)
Compaq Center, Houston
Attendance: 16,285
Referees:
  • Sally Bell
  • Stan Gaxiola
  • Michael Price

Quotes

Liberty out of timeouts. They've got to go the length of the floor. Weatherspoon at the buzzer a three...OHHHHHHHHHH! She put it in! She put it in! And the Liberty win game two! What a finish! Unbelievable here at the Compaq Center! One of the most amazing finishes in the WNBA! And there will be a game three tomorrow afternoon. This crowd is absolutely stunned.
Mike Breen, calling Weatherspoon's game winning shot in Game 2.

Awards

Rosters

1999 Houston Comets Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
F 4 Brazil Arcain, Janeth 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) 147 lb (67 kg) Brazil
G 14 United States Cooper, Cynthia 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Southern California
G 34 United States Henning, Sonja 5 ft 7 in (1.7 m) 143 lb (65 kg) Stanford
F 23 United States Jackson, Tammy 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Florida
C 40 United States Lamb, Monica (IN) 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 206 lb (93 kg) Southern California
F 24 Israel Nikolich, Mila 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 183 lb (83 kg) Israel
G 21 United States Rizzotti, Jennifer 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) 146 lb (66 kg) Connecticut
F 22 United States Swoopes, Sheryl 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 145 lb (66 kg) Texas Tech
F 7 United States Thompson, Tina 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 178 lb (81 kg) Southern California
C 15 Bulgaria Tzekova, Polina 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 189 lb (86 kg) Bulgaria
F 13 Spain Valdemoro, Amaya 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 160 lb (73 kg) Spain
C 52 United States Wolters, Kara 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 227 lb (103 kg) Connecticut

1999 New York Liberty Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
G 25 United States Hammon, Becky 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) 136 lb (62 kg) Colorado State
C 34 United States Hampton, Kym 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Arizona State
G 55 United States Johnson, Vickie 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Louisiana Tech
G 12 United States Jones-Young, Carolyn (IN) 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Auburn
C 5 United States Lacy, Venus 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 234 lb (106 kg) Louisiana Tech
C 50 United States 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Connecticut
F 3 United States Robinson, Crystal 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Southeastern Oklahoma State University
C 31 United States VanGorp, Michele 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 187 lb (85 kg) Duke
G 4 United States Washington, Coquese 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) 138 lb (63 kg) Notre Dame
G 11 United States Weatherspoon, Teresa 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 161 lb (73 kg) Louisiana Tech
F 44 United States Whitmore, Tamika 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Memphis
F 23 United States Wicks, Sue 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 174 lb (79 kg) Rutgers
G 13 United States Witherspoon, Sophia 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 145 lb (66 kg) Florida

External links