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|2010 WNBA season|
|League||Women's National Basketball Association|
|Duration||May 15 – September 16|
|Number of games||34|
|Number of teams||12|
|TV partner(s)||ABC, ESPN, NBA TV|
|Top draft pick||Tina Charles|
|Picked by||Connecticut Sun|
|Season MVP||Lauren Jackson (Seattle)|
|Eastern champions||Atlanta Dream|
|Eastern runners-up||New York Liberty|
|Western champions||Seattle Storm|
|Western runners-up||Phoenix Mercury|
|Finals champions||Seattle Storm|
|Finals MVP||Lauren Jackson (Seattle)|
The 2010 WNBA season was the 14th season of the Women's National Basketball Association. The regular season began with a televised (ESPN2) meeting between the defending champion Phoenix Mercury and the Los Angeles Sparks in Phoenix, Arizona on May 15. The Connecticut Sun hosted the 10th Annual All-Star Game which was broadcast live on ESPN on July 10. This year, it was a contest between Geno Auriemma's USA Basketball team and a single team of WNBA All-Stars. The Finals was a series between the Seattle Storm and the Atlanta Dream which Seattle won 3-0.
2009/2010 WNBA offseason
- The new television deal with ESPN continued during the 2010 season (runs 2009–2016). For the first time ever, teams will be paid rights fees as part of this deal.
- As of the 2009 season, the maximum roster size per team was reduced from 13 to 11. Any team that falls below nine players able to play due to injury, pregnancy or any other factor outside of the control of the team will, upon request, be granted a roster hardship exception allowing the team to sign an additional player or players so that the team will have nine players able to play in an upcoming game or games. As soon as the injured (or otherwise sidelined) player(s) is able to play, the roster hardship player(s) – not any other player on the roster—must be waived.
- On September 29, 2009, Nolan Richardson was named head coach and general manager of a potential Tulsa, Oklahoma franchise.
- On October 20, 2009, the Detroit Shock announced that the franchise would relocate to Tulsa as well as move to the Western Conference.
- On November 20, 2009, the Sacramento Monarchs folded.
- On December 3, 2009, the New York Liberty announced that previously interim head coach Anne Donovan would be named head coach.
- On December 8, 2009, Cheryl Reeve was named head coach of the Minnesota Lynx.
- A dispersal draft was held on December 14, 2009 for all non-free agent Sacramento Monarchs players.
- On January 7, 2010, the Los Angeles Sparks named former player Jennifer Gillom head coach.
- On February 25, 2010, Sandy Brondello was named head coach of the San Antonio Silver Stars when Dan Hughes stepped aside from the position.
Sacramento Monarchs dispersal draft
On December 14, 2009, the Sacramento Monarchs dispersal draft was held. Three former Monarchs players, Kara Lawson, Hamchetou Maiga-Ba and Ticha Penicheiro were free agents and therefore not eligible for this draft. Teams selected based inversely on their 2009 season finish.
The top picks were:
Four of the twelve teams making selections waived their picks.
2010 WNBA Draft
The WNBA Draft lottery was held on November 5, 2009. The lottery teams were the Sacramento Monarchs, Minnesota Lynx (from N.Y.), Minnesota Lynx, Connecticut Sun and Chicago Sky. The top pick was awarded to Minnesota. Since Sacramento folded after the lottery, all the teams following Sacramento in the draft simply moved up a pick. Minnesota subsequently traded the first overall pick to Connecticut.
The top picks were:
- Tina Charles, Connecticut Sun
- Monica Wright, Minnesota Lynx
- Kelsey Griffin, Minnesota Lynx
- Epiphanny Prince, Chicago Sky
- Jayne Appel, San Antonio Silver Stars
|Washington Mystics x||22||12||.647||–||13–4||9–8||13–9|
|New York Liberty x||22||12||.647||–||13–4||9–8||14–8|
|Indiana Fever x||21||13||.618||1.0||13–4||8–9||13–9|
|Atlanta Dream x||19||15||.559||3.0||10–7||9–8||10–12|
|Connecticut Sun o||17||17||.500||5.0||12–5||5–12||9–13|
|Chicago Sky o||14||20||.412||8.0||7–10||7–10||7–15|
|Seattle Storm x||28||6||.824||–||17–0||11–6||20–2|
|Phoenix Mercury x||15||19||.441||13.0||9–8||6–11||13–9|
|San Antonio Silver Stars x||14||20||.412||14.0||8–9||6–11||11–11|
|Los Angeles Sparks x||13||21||.382||15.0||8–9||5–12||10–12|
|Minnesota Lynx o||13||21||.382||15.0||7–10||6–11||8–14|
|Tulsa Shock o||6||28||.176||22.0||4–13||2–15||4–18|
The 2010 WNBA All-Star Game was hosted by the Connecticut Sun on July 10 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Coverage of the game began at 3:30pm on ESPN. This marks the third time the Sun have hosted the annual event. Unlike in previous years, this game was a contest between Geno Auriemma's USA basketball team and a team of WNBA all-stars.
|USA 99, WNBA 72|
|Scoring by quarter: 29–19, 20–9, 26–16, 24–28|
|Pts: Fowles (23)
Rebs: Dupree, Fowles, Moore (8)
Asts: Pondexter (6)
|Pts: Douglas (15)|
Rebs: Harding (7)
Asts: Harding (4)
The following shows the leaders for each statistic during the 2010 regular season.
|Points per game||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury||22.6 PPG|
|Rebounds per game||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun||11.7 RPG|
|Assists per game||Ticha Penicheiro||Los Angeles Sparks||6.9 APG|
|Steals per game||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever||2.26 SPG|
|Blocks per game||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||2.59 BPG|
|Field goal percentage||Candice Dupree||Phoenix Mercury||66.4% (231–348)|
|Three point FG percentage||Leilani Mitchell||New York Liberty||48.6% (72–148)|
|Free throw percentage||Becky Hammon||San Antonio Silver Stars||96.0% (97–101)|
|Points per game||Team Stat||Phoenix Mercury||93.88 PPG|
|Least points allowed||Team Stat||Washington Mystics||73.27 PPG|
|Field goal percentage||Team Stat||Phoenix Mercury||47.3%|
|Least FG% allowed||Team Stat||Seattle Storm||41.3%|
Playoffs and Finals
Season award winners
Player of the Week award
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|May 15, 2010||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|May 22, 2010||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks|
|May 29, 2010||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|June 5, 2010||Cappie Pondexter||New York Liberty||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|June 12, 2010||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun||Seimone Augustus||Minnesota Lynx|
|June 19, 2010||Crystal Langhorne||Washington Mystics||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|June 26, 2010||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|July 3, 2010||Iziane Castro Marques||Atlanta Dream||Candice Dupree||Phoenix Mercury|
|July 10, 2010||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|July 17, 2010||Cappie Pondexter||New York Liberty||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|July 24, 2010||Cappie Pondexter||New York Liberty||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|July 31, 2010||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever||Lindsay Whalen||Minnesota Lynx|
|August 7, 2010||Cappie Pondexter||New York Liberty||Tina Thompson||Los Angeles Sparks|
|August 14, 2010||Cappie Pondexter||New York Liberty||Tina Thompson||Los Angeles Sparks|
Player of the Month award
|For games played||Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|May 2010||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|June 2010||Crystal Langhorne||Washington Mystics|
|July 2010||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever|
|August 2010||Cappie Pondexter||New York Liberty||Tina Thompson||Los Angeles Sparks|
Rookie of the Month award
|For games played||Player||Team|
|May 2010||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun|
|Most Valuable Player Award||Lauren Jackson||Forward||Seattle Storm||323 out of 1002|
|Finals MVP Award||Lauren Jackson||Forward||Seattle Storm|
|Rookie of the Year Award||Tina Charles||Center||Connecticut Sun||39 out of 39|
|Most Improved Player Award||Leilani Mitchell||Guard||New York Liberty||29 out of 39|
|Defensive Player of the Year Award||Tamika Catchings||Forward||Indiana Fever||30 out of 39|
|Sixth Woman of the Year Award||DeWanna Bonner||Guard/Forward||Phoenix Mercury||16 out of 39|
|Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award||Tamika Catchings||Forward||Indiana Fever||10 out of 38|
|Peak Performer: Points||Diana Taurasi||Guard/Forward||Phoenix Mercury||22.6 PPG|
|Peak Performer: Rebounds||Tina Charles||Center||Connecticut Sun||11.7 RPG|
|Peak Performer: Assists||Ticha Penicheiro||Guard||Los Angeles Sparks||6.9 APG|
|Coach of the Year Award||Brian Agler||Coach||Seattle Storm||17 out of 39|
|All-WNBA First Team||Cappie Pondexter||Diana Taurasi||Tamika Catchings||Lauren Jackson||Sylvia Fowles|
|All-WNBA Second Team||Sue Bird||Katie Douglas||Angel McCoughtry||Crystal Langhorne||Tina Charles|
|All-Defensive First Team||Cappie Pondexter||Tanisha Wright||Tamika Catchings||Angel McCoughtry||Sylvia Fowles|
|All-Defensive Second Team||Tully Bevilaqua
|Lindsey Harding||Sancho Lyttle||Rebekkah Brunson||Lauren Jackson|
|All-Rookie Team||Epiphanny Prince||Kalana Greene||Monica Wright||Kelsey Griffin||Tina Charles|
- Atlanta Dream: Marynell Meadors
- Chicago Sky: Steven Key
- Connecticut Sun: Mike Thibault
- Indiana Fever: Lin Dunn
- New York Liberty: Anne Donovan
- Washington Mystics: Julie Plank
- Los Angeles Sparks: Jennifer Gillom
- Minnesota Lynx: Cheryl Reeve
- Phoenix Mercury: Corey Gaines
- San Antonio Silver Stars: Sandy Brondello
- Seattle Storm: Brian Agler
- Tulsa Shock: Nolan Richardson