2001 WNBA Championship

The 2001 WNBA Championship was the championship series of the 2001 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Los Angeles Sparks, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the Charlotte Sting, fourth-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, two games to none in a best-of-three series. This was Los Angeles' first title.

The Sparks made their first appearance in the Finals in franchise history. The Sting also made their first Finals appearance.

Going into the series, no other team except the Houston Comets had ever won a WNBA championship (1997-2000).

The Sparks had a 28–4 record (.875), good enough to receive home-court advantage over the Sting (18–14). It did not matter, however, as the Sparks swept the Sting.

2001 WNBA Finals
2001 WNBA Finals logo
TeamCoachWins
Los Angeles Sparks Michael Cooper 2
Charlotte Sting Anne Donovan 0
DatesAugust 30-September 1
MVPLisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks)
Eastern FinalsCharlotte defeated New York, 2–1
Western FinalsLos Angeles defeated Sacramento, 2–1

Road to the finals

Los Angeles Sparks Charlotte Sting
28–4 (.875)
1st West, 1st overall
Regular season 18–14 (.562)
4th East, 8th overall
Defeated the (4) Houston Comets, 2–0 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (1) Cleveland Rockers, 2–1
Defeated the (2) Sacramento Monarchs, 2–1 Conference Finals Defeated the (2) New York Liberty, 2–1

Regular season series

The Sparks won the regular season series:

June 2
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived October 6, 2001)
Los Angeles Sparks 76, Charlotte Sting 67
June 19
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived December 14, 2001)
Charlotte Sting 69, Los Angeles Sparks 73

Game summaries

All times listed below are Eastern Daylight Time.

Game 1

August 30
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived October 6, 2001)
Los Angeles Sparks 75, Charlotte Sting 66
Scoring by half: 35-39, 40-27
Pts: Leslie (24)
Rebs: Leslie, Milton (8)
Asts: Milton (5)
Pts: Stinson (18)
Rebs: Feaster (5)
Asts: Stinson (5)
Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte
Attendance: 16,132
Referees:
  • Melissa Barlow
  • Michael Price
  • Gary Zielinski

Game 2

September 1
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived October 31, 2001)
Charlotte Sting 54, Los Angeles Sparks 82
Scoring by half: 30-38, 24-44
Pts: Sutton-Brown (12)
Rebs: Smith (8)
Asts: Staley (5)
Pts: Leslie (24)
Rebs: Leslie (13)
Asts: Dixon (7)
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles
Attendance: 13,141
Referees:
  • Patty Broderick
  • June Corteau
  • Bob Trammell

Awards

Rosters

2001 Los Angeles Sparks Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
F 00 United States Byears, Latasha 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 206 lb (93 kg) DePaul
G 21 United States Dixon, Tamecka 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 148 lb (67 kg) Kansas
G 5 United States Figgs, Ukari 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 142 lb (64 kg) Purdue
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) Southern California
G 40 United States Levandusky, Nicole 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 163 lb (74 kg) Xavier
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
C 51 United States Mapp, Rhonda 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) North Carolina State
G 10 United States McCrimmon, Nikki 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 125 lb (57 kg) Southern California
F 8 United States Milton, Delisha 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 172 lb (78 kg) Florida
G 20 United States Willits, Wendy 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) 141 lb (64 kg) Arkansas
Head coach
Assistant coaches
  • United States Glenn McDonald

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured
2001 Charlotte Sting Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
G 20 United States Anderson, Keisha 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) 125 lb (57 kg) Wisconsin
G 13 United States Edwards, Tonya 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 160 lb (73 kg) Tennessee
F 7 United States Enis, Shalonda 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Alabama
C 3 United States Erb, Summer 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 240 lb (109 kg) North Carolina State
F 21 United States Feaster, Allison 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 168 lb (76 kg) Harvard University
C 33 Mozambique Machanguana, Clarisse 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Old Dominion
G 8 United States Miller, Kelly 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 144 lb (65 kg) Georgia
F 23 United States Smith, Charlotte 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 148 lb (67 kg) North Carolina
G 5 United States Staley, Dawn 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) 134 lb (61 kg) Virginia
G 32 United States Stinson, Andrea 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 158 lb (72 kg) North Carolina State
C 55 Canada Sutton-Brown, Tammy 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 203 lb (92 kg) Rutgers
Head coach
Assistant coaches
  • United States Trudi Lacey
  • United States Cheryl Reeve

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