The Houston Comets won the first-ever WNBA championship and then went on to win the next three. Houston was led by the big three of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson. Those three women were unstoppable when they played together. In their first four years together, the Comets had a win-loss record of 98-24.

Houston Comets

In 1998, Houston went 27-3 and had a .900 winning percentage. The Comets were coached by Van Chancellor, who won three straight Coach of the Year awards from 1997-99. Houston was the first women’s sports team to visit the White House and also produced the first women to have a major shoe deal. The Comets had great role players, but it was the big three that was the driving force.

Cynthia Cooper

Cynthia Cooper signed with the Houston Comets at the age of 34 and went on to lead the WNBA in scoring for three straight seasons. Cooper won the WNBA MVP in 1998 and 1999. She averaged 21.0 points per game on 45% shooting from the field and 37% from behind the arc in her career. Cooper was an outstanding scorer in Houston. She could shoot from outside and take you off the dribble with quickness. The former Houston star was the first WNBA player to score 500, 1,000, 2,000, 2,500 career points. Cooper won WNBA Finals MVP in all of the Comets four championships and is also a member of the WNBA Top 20 at 20.

Sheryl Swoopes

Sheryl Swoopes played just nine games in 1997 because she was pregnant and came back only six weeks after giving birth to her son. Swoopes was an excellent two-way player. She was the first player to win three WNBA MVP and three Defensive Player of the Year awards. In her third year with the Comets Swoopes started dominating the league. She went on to average 18.5 points in 1999 and 20.5 points in 2000. Once Swoopes came into her own, she was unstoppable, scoring the basketball and locking up the opposing team’s best players.

Tina Thompson

Tina Thompson was the physical presence for the Comets. Thompson was drafted number one overall in the first-ever WNBA Draft in 1997. The power forward won All-Star Game MVP in 2000 and made seven All-WNBA Teams. Thompson could score in the post, shoot from the outside, and rebound. She brought toughness to the Comets and was willing to do whatever was needed to win.

If you didn’t get the chance to see these three outstanding women play, I advise you to go to YouTube and look up those old Comets teams. Cooper, Swoopes, and Thompson were great for the WNBA, and all three are in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Follow me on Twitter @raiderway83 and read other great articles on Belly Up Sports.

About Author

Lamarr Fields

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *