On Sunday, the WNBA released its “W25” or its 25 best players of all time. Of the players on the list, three wore Washington Mystics uniforms at some point in their careers. Two of them are current Mystics players Elena Delle Donne and Tina Charles.
It’s no surprise that Delle Donne and Charles are on this list. Delle Donne is the 2013 Rookie of the Year, two-time 2015 WNBA MVP for the Chicago Sky and 2019 for the Mystics when they won the championship. Delle Donne was also on the USA Basketball Women’s National Team for the 2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup cycles, where the Americans won the gold medal. She has been a member of the All-WNBA team most often and is one of the league’s most recognizable superstars.
For Charles, she was the 2010 Rookie of the Year and the 2012 WNBA MVP when she played for the Connecticut Sun. Currently this season, Charles leads the WNBA with 24.8 points per game for Washington. Charles has also been on the USA Basketball Women’s National Team for three Olympic cycles (2012, 2016, 2020) and three World Cup cycles (2010, 2014, 2018), winning a gold medal each time. .
Katie Smith is the third W25 player to wear a Mystics uniform. She played a season for Washington in 2010 when the Mystics first held first place in the Eastern Conference. His best seasons in the WNBA, however, were with the Minnesota Lynx (1999-2004) and the Detroit Shock (now Dallas Wings) from 2005 to 2009. Smith would later play for the Seattle Storm and New York Liberty. She averaged 13.4 points per game during her WNBA career from 1999 to 2013. Smith also played on the United States Women’s National Basketball Team for three Olympics (2000, 2004 , 2008) and three World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006), winning a gold medal each time, with the exception of the 2006 World Cup where the Americans won bronze. .
Since his retirement, Smith has become an assistant coach of Liberty (2014-17), head coach of Liberty (2018-19) and now assistant head coach of the Lynx (2020-present).
Kudos to Delle Donne, Charles and Smith for being named to the WNBA’s Top 25 List.