Kevin Pelton, stormbasketball.com | September 23, 2009
For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, Seattle Storm center Lauren Jackson headlines the All-WNBA First Team, announced by the league on Wednesday. A Second Team All-WNBA selection a year ago when she missed 13 games due to injury and National Team commitments, Jackson was somewhat surprised to learn she returned to the First Team despite sitting out eight games this season.
"Unexpected," she said after receiving the news. "I didn't even think about it, to be honest. That's awesome. I'm happy."
Before missing the season's final six games with a stress fracture in her lower back, Jackson ranked third in the league in scoring at 19.2 points per game. She also finished in the top 10 in rebounds per game, blocks per game and three-point percentage and was fourth in the league in Wins Above Replacement Player. The injury sidetracked Jackson's bid for a third MVP award, but she still finished second in All-WNBA voting with 179 points.
Jackson is joined on the All-WNBA First Team by Phoenix teammates Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi, Indiana's Tamika Catchings and Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars. The All-WNBA Second Team includes Detroit's Deanna Nolan and Indiana's Katie Douglas at guard, with San Antonio's Sophia Young joining Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker from the L.A. Sparks in the frontcourt.
One notable omission from the All-WNBA Teams: Jackson's teammate Sue Bird, a Second Team pick a year ago and a First Teamer every year from 2002 through 2005.
"Without Sue, we're not at all anywhere near the team that we are, so I think she should have been there," said Jackson. "She led the league in assists. Without Sue, we would not have the success that we had."
In honor of being named to the All-WNBA First Team, Jackson will receive a Tiffany & Co. designed trophy and $10,000.