words // Brandon Richard
At the end of last month, Seattle Storm forward Tina Thompson announced that she’d be retiring from the WNBA after her 16th season in the league. Thompson was the first overall pick in the inaugural 1997 WNBA Draft and is the only player remaining from the league’s first season. She’s a 9-time All-Star and won four WNBA Championships with the Houston Comets dynasty between 1997-2000. After the Comets were disbanded in 2008, Thompson joined the Los Angeles Sparks, where, in August 2010, she became the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, passing Lisa Leslie. Thompson has played the last two seasons in Seattle after signing with the team in 2012.
Thompson’s retirement, the start of a brand new WNBA season and the arrival of the “Three To See” have us thinking about the earliest days of the WNBA, when the star power was off the charts. In today’s Eastbay Memory Lane, we’re taking a look back at a heavy lineup of Nike and Jordan women’s basketball shoes from 1998. This page from a Christmas ’98 catalog features two-time MVP Cynthia Cooper’s Nike Air Max Shake ‘Em Up, three-time MVP Lisa Leslie’s Nike Total Air 9 and three-time MVP Sheryl Swoopes’ Nike Air Swoopes IV. You’ll also notice the Women’s Air Jordan, an Air Jordan 13-inspired design that was the first Jordan shoe built exclusively for women.
What is your favorite women’s basketball shoe of all-time? Check out this week’s Memory Lane and let us know below.