When Breanna Stewart left the University of CT after winning an unprecedented four straight NCAA titles, coach Geno Auriemma said that she might be the best of a long list of former UConn icons who have become WNBA All-Stars, Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers.
James, of course, knows how it is to be on the other end of a championship loss and wanted to recognize the Mystics for their season.
Joining Stewart (195 points) and Taurasi (179) on the All-WNBA First Team are Dallas Wings center Liz Cambage (190), Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (184) and Atlanta Dream guard Tiffany Hayes (138).
As bedlam burst and champagne poured, Breanna Stewart stood tall inside the cramped, plastic-lined visitor's locker room and allowed herself a smile of gratification. It was another six years before she was back in the finals winning another title.
Seattle has won Wednesday for the third time in its history, the american League professional basket female (WNBA), beating Washington three wins to zero.
Toliver, seated next to the first-team All-WNBA player, chimed in, "I'm going to need a lot tonight". After going up 2-0 against Phoenix, Seattle needed five games to close out a feisty Mercury squad. The Mystics went on a 14-3 run to open the fourth and cut the lead to five.
"Before the year, nobody picked us to win a title and I'm not sure if we were even thinking about that", said Alysha Clark, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. The now WNBA champions won the battle of the boards, 39-28, and shot a ridiculous 13-for-26 from beyond the arc.
Stewart scored and scored and scored in this series, capping her first Finals appearance with 30 points - a career high in the playoffs - eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Bird returned from a broken nose suffered 48 hours earlier for masked heroics, in which she took over in the clutch while scoring 14 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter of a decisive Game 5 win in the semis. I didn't know if I'd be playing at this point. Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner were not with the team for those two games due to their participation in the WNBA playoffs, but did join them for the trip to France.
For Stewart, she claimed the Finals MVP to add to her league MVP award. "We're already onto the next thing".
Despite the misfires, Washington rallied from down 18 points to trailing 72-67 with 6:49 remaining. The team trounced the Washington Mystics 98-82 in a sweep of the WNBA finals.
"It didn't feel like my first WNBA finals closeout game", the poised Stewart said.
"We can really create something here, and I think we've really grown this fan base", said Delle Donne.