2002 WNBA Finals
TeamCoachWins
Los Angeles Sparks Michael Cooper 2
New York Liberty Richie Adubato 0
DatesAugust 29 – August 31
MVPLisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks)
Eastern FinalsNew York defeated Washington, 2–1
Western FinalsLos Angeles defeated Utah, 2–0
WNBA Finals

The 2002 WNBA Finals was the championship series of the 2002 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Los Angeles Sparks, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the New York Liberty, top-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, two games to none in a best-of-three series. This was Los Angeles' second title.

As of 2020, this is the last time a WNBA franchise has won back to back championships. Coincidentally 2 months before the finals, the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA would win their 14th title by sweeping a New York Metro team, the New Jersey Nets 4-0.

The Liberty made their fourth appearance in the Finals in franchise history. The Sparks made their second straight Finals appearance.

The Sparks went into the series as defending champions. 2002 marked their second WNBA championship. (The Houston Comets hold the record with four championships won.)

The Sparks had a 25–7 record (.781), good enough to receive home-court advantage over the Liberty (18–14).

To date, this is the last time the New York Liberty have reached the WNBA Finals.

Road to the finals

Los Angeles Sparks New York Liberty
25–7 (.781)
1st West, 1st overall
Regular season 18–14 (.562)
1st East, 4th overall
Defeated the (4) Seattle Storm, 2–0 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (4) Indiana Fever, 2–1
Defeated the (3) Utah Starzz, 2–0 Conference Finals Defeated the (3) Washington Mystics, 2–1

Regular season series

The teams had split the regular season series:

May 25
New York Liberty 64, Los Angeles Sparks 72
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles
July 18
Los Angeles Sparks 59, New York Liberty 72

Game summaries

All times listed below are Eastern Daylight Time.

Game 1

August 29
7:30pm
"Game 1". Archived from the original on 2002-11-26. Retrieved 2011-09-14.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
Los Angeles Sparks 71, New York Liberty 63
Scoring by half: 35–35, 36–28
Pts: Mabika 20
Rebs: Byears 11
Pts: Hammon 18
Rebs: Weatherspoon 7

Game 2

August 31
3:30pm
"Game 2". Archived from the original on 2002-11-26. Retrieved 2011-09-14.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
New York Liberty 66, Los Angeles Sparks 69
Scoring by half: 24–31, 42–38
Pts: Johnson, Whitmore 17
Rebs: Phillips 8
Pts: Leslie 17
Rebs: Byears 11
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles

Nikki Teasley hit a series-winning three pointer with 2.1 seconds left. Teresa Weatherspoon tried to repeat history by trying to make a halfcourt heave at the buzzer, but the shot was blocked, and the Sparks won their second consecutive title.

Awards

Rosters

2002 Los Angeles Sparks Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
C 41 Germany Askamp, Marlies 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 198 lb (90 kg) Germany
F 00 United States Byears, Latasha 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 206 lb (93 kg) DePaul
F 14 Brazil DeSouza, Erika 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Brazil
G 21 United States Dixon, Tamecka 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 148 lb (67 kg) Kansas
F 17 Croatia Grgin-Fonseca, Vedrana 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 160 lb (73 kg) Croatia
C 9 United States Leslie, Lisa 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 170 lb (77 kg) USC
F 4 Democratic Republic of the Congo Mabika, Mwadi 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 165 lb (75 kg) Democratic Republic of the Congo
G 10 United States McCrimmon, Nicky 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 125 lb (57 kg) USC
F 8 United States Milton, Delisha 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 172 lb (78 kg) Florida
G 42 United States Teasley, Nikki 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 165 lb (75 kg) North Carolina
G 13 United States Witherspoon, Sophia 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 145 lb (66 kg) Florida
Head coach
Assistant coaches
  • United States Glenn McDonald
  • United States Karleen Thompson




Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured
    Injured
2002 New York Liberty Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
C 42 United States Cooper, Camille 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 176 lb (80 kg) Purdue
F 31 United States Frohlich, Linda 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 183 lb (83 kg) University of Nevada, Las Vegas
G 25 United States Hammon, Becky 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) 136 lb (62 kg) Colorado State
G 7 Croatia Hlede, Korie 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Duquesne
G 55 United States Johnson, Vickie 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Louisiana Tech
C 50 Democratic Republic of the Congo Ngoyisa, Bernadette 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Democratic Republic of the Congo
F 24 United States Phillips, Tari 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 200 lb (91 kg) University of Central Florida
F 3 United States Robinson, Crystal 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Southeastern Oklahoma State University
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
Head coach
Assistant coaches




Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured
    Injured