Prolific scorers like Diana Taurasi, Lisa Leslie, and Sue Bird have dominated the WNBA with ease.
People are paying increased attention to the WNBA’s top talent as the league continues to grow both financially and in its reputation. The league’s all-time leading scorers, though, aren’t as recognizable as leaders in other sports.
Let’s try to change that and look at the greatest scorers in WNBA history.
WNBA leading scorers are much different than NBA scorers
The same can’t be said for the WNBA. Las Vegas Aces forward A’Ja Wilson currently leads her league with 21 points per game. Dallas point guard Arike Ogunbowale is the only other player averaging over 20 points a night; Ogunbowale is at 20.2 PPG.
Consider this stat: There have only been seven instances of a WNBA player averaging over 23 points per game, and all have been since 2001.
Through August 12, 2020, 16 NBA players averaged over 23 points per game this year alone. That doesn’t include Raptors star Pascal Siakam, who averaged 22.9 points per game through that date.
Toronto closes the regular season on August 14 against the Denver Nuggets.
Many women’s basketball legends are top-10 scorers
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Because the WNBA only began play in 1997, some of the league’s more recognizable faces rank highly on the all-time scoring chart.
Five Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers, including longtime Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie, rank in the top-10. San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, who ranks 12th, will likely join the Hall of Fame in the coming years.
The same goes for Maya Moore, the Minnesota Lynx small forward-turned-activist. Moore, 31, is currently on sabbatical and hasn’t retired yet.
Sherryl Swoopes, who currently ranks 24th, entered the Hall of Fame in 2017. Veteran Los Angeles Sparks guard Alana Beard is currently 16 points shy of surpassing Swoopes.
Who is the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer?
Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi began her career in 2004, a few weeks after LeBron James completed his rookie year with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While LeBron isn’t the NBA’s all-time leading scorer just yet, Taurasi has held the WNBA’s scoring record since June 2017.
Taurasi has 8,693 points to her name through August 12, 2020. That’s over 1,200 more than Tina Thompson, the previous record-holder. Indiana Fever general manager Tamika Catchings, who played from 2001-16, is third all-time with 7,380 points.
Those three are the only ones who have scored over 7,000 points, although Fever forward Candice Dupree, who has 6,575 points, is closing in fast.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.