A number of teams will reach some round numbers in 2019
To close out the series on 2019 WNBA milestones, following player statistics and coaching totals, we finish with a broader look at each of the league’s franchises and their totals over the past 22 seasons.
With each franchise having been a part of the league for over a decade now — and most since the early 2000s — there are some big numbers in sight for nearly every team.
Three of the WNBA’s original teams remain part of the league today in Los Angeles, New York, and Phoenix. The original Utah Starzz relocated to San Antonio and are now in Las Vegas in their second year as the Aces. Of course then they each lead the league in games played, but several teams have some big numbers coming in 2019:
The Los Angeles Sparks lead the league all-time in wins, 65 ahead of the New York Liberty. Of active franchises, they also sports the WNBA’s highest win percentage at 60.68%. Of every team in league history, they trail only the Houston Comets, who won 61.79% of their regular season games.
The Sparks’ seventh win this season will make them the first WNBA franchise with 450 regular season wins. They also hold the record with 12 20-win seasons and are tied with the New York Liberty at 14 winning seasons each, so they have a shot at extending those totals this year as well.
The Liberty and the Mercury enter 2019 with identical records (378-352 since 1997), so both are within reach of 400 total wins this summer if they can get at least 22 wins.
At least 21 wins would get the Seattle Storm to 350 regular season wins since they joined the league in 2000. The Fever would need to finish the 2019 season undefeated to get there, so keep it in mind for next summer.
The Wings are in their fourth year in Dallas, and their eighth win this season will be the 50th for the team overall. Combined with their time as the Shock in Tulsa and Detroit, they won their 300th game as a franchise in 2018. In 1998, the league also expanded into the Washington, D.C. area with the Mystics, who are five wins away from 300 entering the 2019 season.
Two teams are on the verge of their 200th wins this summer: the Chicago Sky are just eight wins away, and the Atlanta Dream need 17 wins to get to 200.
The two newest teams (Dallas and Las Vegas) are also looking for their first winning season in their current locations. Every other team in the league has had at least three winning seasons and at least two 20-win seasons each.
There are a few things to note as teams make their regular season runs to secure a spot in the 2019 Playoffs:
- The Minnesota Lynx tied the Houston Comets with their fourth title in 2017. This year, the Seattle Storm, Phoenix Mercury, and Los Angeles Sparks each have a chance to tie that total as well.
- The Indiana Fever and Phoenix Mercury are tied all-time with 13 appearances in the Playoffs each. In fact, the Fever hold the record for consecutive years in the Playoffs, with 12 seasons (2005-2016). That record won’t be touched this year, but the Fever’s total of 13 Playoff appearances is currently tied with the Mercury, so the Mercury could break the tie this summer.
- Half of the active franchises have yet to win a title: New York, Las Vegas, Washington, Connecticut, Atlanta, and Chicago. As a team, the Wings have also not won a title, though the franchise has three trophies from its time in Detroit (2003, 2006, and 2008). Washington and Atlanta would have to lead that pack as potential teams to win their first championship this year.
Love our 24/7 women’s basketball coverage? Join our Patreon now and support this work, while getting extra goodies and subscriber-only content for yourself.