Four takeaways from an eventful 2021 WNBA season

The 2021 WNBA season came to a close on Sunday afternoon as the Chicago Sky completed their impressive run through the playoffs with their first championship in franchise history. Here are four takeaways to wrap up the 2021 season.

Brianne Spiker

Sky defeat Mercury to capture first WNBA title

Candace Parker returned home to bring Chicago a championship. She did just that leading the Sky to the franchise’s first title. Allie Quigley scored 26 points and Parker added 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and Chicago beat the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 on Sunday in Game 4.

Sky defeat Mercury to capture first WNBA title

Sky's Copper named WNBA Finals MVP

Forward Kahleah Copper was named WNBA Finals MVP on Sunday after helping lead the Chicago Sky to their first title.

Wade says WNBA Finals win is 'for every young Black kid that comes up behind me that you pre-judge'

James Wade said he wasn't going to cry Sunday. But after winning a WNBA championship in his third year as coach and general manager of the Chicago Sky, the occasion called for a few tears of joy, pride and gratitude, as he delivered a message he hopes will inspire other Black coaches.

Mechelle Voepel

Vandersloot orchestrates Sky to brink of first WNBA title

Courtney Vandersloot remembers wondering during her second WNBA season if there would be a third. Then 23 and coming off a solid-enough rookie year after being drafted No. 3 overall in 2011, her numbers improved in 2012 -- but her confidence didn't.

Mechelle Voepel

Taurasi hopeful to keep playing at least through 2022 season

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi said Saturday that she plans to at least finish her current contract, which runs through the 2022 season. But she will wait until after the 2021 WNBA Finals are over and see how she feels during this offseason before making a decision on whether to retire.

Mechelle Voepel

Sky one win away from first WNBA title after Game 3 rout of Mercury

Kahleah Copper scored 20 of her 22 points in the first half and Chicago used a dominant defensive effort to reach a record rout of the Phoenix Mercury 86-50 on Friday night, moving the Sky one victory away from the franchise's first WNBA title.

Mercury's Taurasi says she was unaware she pushed an official during WNBA Finals scuffle

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi said Friday that she didn't initially realize the person she pushed in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals against the Chicago Sky was a referee.

Mechelle Voepel

Why Parker took a chance on a Chicago homecoming

Last fall Candace Parker started thinking about what she wanted to change. There was something that said she needed to look for ways to keep growing, especially toward the end of her career. Embrace change, not comfort. Leaving her routine in L.A. to make something entirely new in Chicago felt like the right challenge.

- Ramona Shelburne
Why Parker took a chance on a Chicago homecoming

Sun's Jones the only unanimous selection in balloting for All-WNBA first team

Connecticut Sun forward and league MVP Jonquel Jones was the only unanimous selection for the All-WNBA First Team on Friday.

Kelly Cohen

Mercury's Taurasi fined $2,500 for contact with official in Game 2 of WNBA Finals

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi has been fined $2,500 for making inappropriate contact with a game official during Game 2 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday. The fine was announced Thursday night by Bethany Donaphin, head of WNBA league operations.

Mechelle Voepel

Mercury even WNBA Finals with OT win over Sky

Brittney Griner dunked while scoring 29 points, Diana Taurasi had eight of her 20 points in overtime and the Phoenix Mercury evened the WNBA Finals with a 91-86 win over the Chicago Sky on Wednesday night in Game 2.

Storm's Stewart undergoes minor surgery on Achilles

Storm forward Breanna Stewart underwent surgery for a minor repair and reinforcement of the Achilles tendon in her left leg, the team announced Thursday.

The next chapter of the WNBA, according to players and coaches

Many best-of lists have been written to celebrate the WNBA's first 25 years: Best players, best jerseys, best teams, best moments. There is much for the league to celebrate today. At the same time, coaches and players, current and former, are looking to the future, what the next quarter-century should look like for the league.

- Kelly Cohen and Vritti Rashi Goel
The next chapter of the WNBA, according to players and coaches

Taurasi won't cite fatigue after Mercury lose Game 1 of WNBA Finals

Guard Diana Taurasi had every reason to claim fatigue took a toll on her after the Phoenix Mercury's 91-77 loss Sunday to the Chicago Sky in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.

Mechelle Voepel

Sky open WNBA Finals with win over Mercury

Kahleah Copper scored 22 points, Allie Quigley added 18 and the hot-shooting Chicago Sky opened the WNBA Finals with a 91-77 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.

Battle of the underdogs: Mercury, Sky clash in WNBA Finals

The No. 5 and No. 6 seeds playing for the WNBA championship seems difficult to believe at first sight. However, it’s fitting that the two hottest teams in the league will face off in the Finals as the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky are set to battle in a rematch of the 2014 WNBA Finals, the last time the Mercury won a title.

- Brianne Spiker
Battle of the underdogs: Mercury, Sky clash in WNBA Finals

Mercury star Taurasi flies home in time for birth of daughter

Diana Taurasi made it back home in time to see her wife Penny Taylor give birth to a baby girl -- the couple's second child. Taurasi flew back to Phoenix from Las Vegas immediately after helping the Mercury beat the Las Vegas Aces in Game 5 of their semifinal series.

Mercury beat Aces to advance to WNBA Finals

Diana Taurasi scored 14 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter, and Brittney Griner had 28 points and nine rebounds as the Phoenix Mercury beat the Las Vegas Aces 87-84 Friday night to advance to the WNBA Finals.

William E. Ricks

Mercury's Nurse (ACL) out for remainder of the season

If the Phoenix Mercury are going to win the WNBA Championship, it will be without Kia Nurse. The team announced on Friday that the Hamilton, Ont. native is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in her right knee.

Aces rout Mercury to even WNBA semifinals; Nurse hurt

Chelsea Gray scored 22 points and the Aces used a massive third quarter run to beat the Phoenix Mercury 93-76 on Wednesday night, evening the WNBA semifinals at 2-all.

Liberty's Onyenwere named WNBA's 2021 Rookie of the Year

Michaela Onyenwere helped the New York Liberty clinch their first WNBA playoff berth since 2017, and her efforts in doing so did not go unnoticed. The 6-foot-0 forward has been named the league's 2021 Rookie of the Year.

Kelly Cohen

Copper lifts Sky to win over Sun and 2-1 series lead

Kahleah Copper scored 26 points and Allie Quigley added 21 to help the Chicago Sky edge the top-seeded Connecticut Sun 86-83 in Game 3 of a WNBA semifinals on Sunday.

Mercury to host Game 4 at Footprint Center after Suns-Lakers tip-off moved up

The Phoenix Mercury will finally get to play a playoff game on their home court. The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers agreed to move up their preseason game Wednesday by a few hours so the Mercury could host the Las Vegas Aces on their home court at the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix in Game 4 of the WNBA semifinals.

Josh Weinfuss

Record night for Taurasi, Mercury in rout over Aces

Diana Taurasi scored a playoff career-high 37 points and the Phoenix Mercury overwhelmed the Las Vegas Aces 117-91 on Thursday night to even the best-of-five WNBA semifinal series at a game apiece.

Thomas leads Sun to win over Sky to even series 1-1

Alyssa Thomas worked hard for eight months rehabbing her torn Achilles' tendon to be able to provide a spark for the Connecticut Sun in the playoffs. The Sun's "engine" did just that, scoring 15 points and providing a defensive presence to help the team even their best-of-five series with the Chicago Sky at one win apiece with a 79-68 victory Thursday night.

Aces' Plum wins WNBA Sixth Player of Year Award

As the Las Vegas Aces enter Game 2 of the 2021 WNBA semifinals with a 1-0 lead against the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN App), they have more than one reason to be in high spirits: Kelsey Plum, who helped lead Las Vegas to the Game 1 victory with 25 points, has won the 2021 Sixth Player of the Year award.

- Kelly Cohen
Aces' Plum wins WNBA Sixth Player of Year Award

Sky survive Sun in thrilling double OT Game 1 victory

Courtney Vandersloot had the second triple-double in WNBA playoff history with 12 points, a league playoff-record 18 assists and 10 rebounds to help the Chicago Sky beat the Connecticut Sun 101-95 in two overtimes Tuesday night in the opener of their best-of-five semifinal series.

Sky survive Sun in thrilling double OT Game 1 victory

Plum, Aces hold off Mercury in Game 1 of WNBA semifinals

Kelsey Plum scored 20 of her 25 points in the second half, and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Phoenix Mercury 96-90 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the WNBA semifinals.

Sun's Jones named WNBA MVP heading into semifinals

Connecticut heads into the WNBA semifinals Tuesday as not only the top seed but the team with the league MVP in Jonquel Jones, coach of the year Curt Miller and most improved player of the year Brionna Jones.

Mechelle Voepel

Mercury take on Aces, Sky meet favoured Sun in WNBA semifinals

The excitement level of the WNBA playoffs was cranked up a notch in the second round. The postseason now shifts to a best-of-five format with the No. 1 Connecticut Sun taking on the Chicago Sky while the No. 2 Las Vegas Aces draw the Phoenix Mercury.

Brianne Spiker

WNBA playoffs give Aces' Wilson chance to cement her status as an icon

When A'ja Wilson stepped into the Las Vegas Aces' meeting room in the WNBA bubble in Bradenton, Florida, she thought she was attending a meeting with referees ahead of the 2020 WNBA Finals.

Katie Barnes

Stewart expects to return to Storm in free agency

Injured Seattle forward Breanna Stewart wishes she could have helped the Storm prevent the end of their season in the WNBA playoffs Sunday. But she indicated she expects to be back in Seattle next season to help the franchise pursue its fifth WNBA title.

Mechelle Voepel

Vandersloot leads balanced Sky past Lynx

Courtney Vandersloot led a balanced offense with 19 points and the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky raced past the third-seeded Minnesota Lynx 89-76 in the second-round, single elimination WNBA playoff game on Sunday night.

Three Canadians in WNBA playoffs second round hope to move the needle on TSN

The second round of the WNBA playoffs has all three Canadians in action. Kia Nurse and the Phoenix Mercury will battle the Seattle Storm with Natalie Achonwa and Bridget Carleton and the Minnesota Lynx facing the Chicago Sky. Both games can be seen Sunday on TSN5 and streaming on TSN.ca, the TSN App and TSN Direct with coverage beginning at 3pm ET/12 pm PT.

- Brianne Spiker
Three Canadians in WNBA playoffs second round hope to move the needle on TSN

Cunningham, Turner lead Mercury to win over Liberty

Sophie Cunningham hit 6 of 9 3-pointers for a career-high 21 points and Brianna Turner made the winning free throw with less than a second to play, giving the Phoenix Mercury an 83-82 win over the New York Liberty in a first-round WNBA playoff game on Thursday night.

Cooper, Parker help Sky hold off Wings in playoff opener

Kahleah Copper scored 23 points, Candace Parker had a double-double and the Chicago Sky beat the Dallas Wings 81-64 in a first-round WNBA playoff game on Thursday night.

WNBA's greatest players of all time: Ranking the 25 best in league history

Picking the top 25 players in WNBA history for the 25-year anniversary of the league is an exercise that is equal parts fun and difficult.

WNBA's greatest 25 players of all time - Snubs and overrated players

ESPN's ranking of the 25 greatest players in WNBA history will likely spark much debate long after the WNBA's 25th anniversary season is over.

Ogunbowale, Wings keep Sparks from playoffs, Liberty in

Arike Ogunbowale scored 20 points and the Dallas Wings closed the WNBA regular season on Sunday with an 87-84 win over Los Angeles, which kept the Sparks out of the playoffs, giving the No. 8 seed to the New York Liberty.

Powers scores 27, Lynx keep Mystics out of playoffs

Aerial Powers scored 27 points and the Minnesota Lynx made four free throws in the final 30 seconds to knock the Washington Mystics out of playoff contention with an 83-77 win on Sunday, the final day of the WNBA season.

Rapinoe, Bird among 500 women athletes urging Supreme Court to protect abortion rights

A group of prominent women athletes including soccer star Megan Rapinoe and basketball standouts Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to protect abortion rights in a case involving Mississippi's Republican-backed bid to ban the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Plum, Young lift Aces over Mercury

Kelsey Plum scored 23 points, Jackie Young scored on a putback with 4.3 seconds left and Ji-Su Park blocked a final shot as the Las Vegas Aces defeated the Phoenix Mercury 84-83 on Sunday in a regular-season finale.

Sun win 14th straight, defeat Dream

Natisha Hiedeman scored 16 points off the bench, Brionna Jones had a double-double and the Connecticut Sun closed out the WNBA regular season with a 14-game winning streak, topping the Atlanta Dream 84-64 on Sunday.

DeShields scores 30 as Sky pulls away, beat Fever

Diamond DeShields scored a season-high 30 points and Chicago used a 14-4 run to pull away as the Sky beat the Indiana Fever 98-87 on Sunday night in the regular-season finale.

2021 WNBA playoffs: Which teams are in, who can clinch next

With the 2021 WNBA regular season ending Sunday, one playoff berth remains to be claimed. But we know now which four teams will have byes to start the playoffs: the Connecticut Sun, Las Vegas Aces, Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm.

Mechelle Voepel

Loyd ties WNBA record as Storm beat Mercury

Jewell Loyd tied a WNBA record with 22 points in the first quarter and finished with a career-high 37 to help the Seattle Storm secure a first-round bye in the WNBA playoffs with a 94-85 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Friday night.

Liberty beat Mystics, keep alive playoff hopes

Natasha Howard scored 24 points, Sabrina Ionescu added 22 and the New York Liberty keep alive their playoff hopes with a 91-80 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night.

Aces beat Sky to clinch second playoff seed

Riquna Williams scored 22 points, Kelsey Plum added 20 and the Las Vegas Aces used a big run to close the first half to rout the Chicago Sky 103-70 on Friday night and clinch the second seed for the WNBA playoffs.

Fowles leads Lynx past Fever, secures playoff bye

Sylvia Fowles scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and the Minnesota Lynx pulled away in the second half for a 92-73 win over the Indiana Fever on Friday night, clinching a first-round bye in the WNBA playoffs.

WNBA Power Rankings - Wings clinch playoff berth; Sun lock up No. 1 seed

With just one week left in the 2021 WNBA regular season, the Dallas Wings became the seventh team to secure a playoff berth amid a chaotic scramble for the final postseason spots.

Kelly Cohen

Hammon set to have No. 25 raised to rafters by Aces

Becky Hammon never played for the Las Vegas Aces. But the fact they are honoring her at halftime of Monday's game by raising her No. 25 to the rafters in Las Vegas sends a good sign to her about the team and the WNBA as a whole.

- Mechelle Voepel

Storm's Stewart out for rest of regular season

Seattle forward Breanna Stewart, the MVP of last year's WNBA Finals, will miss the Storm's last two regular-season games and be reevaluated prior to the start of the playoffs, the team said Friday.

Mechelle Voepel

Mercury guard Taurasi (ankle) to miss second-straight game

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi will miss her second game in a row with a left ankle injury, the team announced Friday. Taurasi last played in the Mercury's Sept. 6 game, finishing with 11 points and six assists.

Kelly Cohen