The WNBA has announced the 2022 All-WNBA First Team and Second Team.
There was a shift in the process this season. In years past, voters were tasked with selecting two guards, two forwards and a center on each team. The W dropped the positional requirements this year, opening the door for voters to select the 10 best players (or the 10 best individual seasons, if that distinction matters to you).
Las Vegas Aces star A'ja Wilson and the Seattle Storm's Breanna Stewart headline the First Team. Wilson, of course, became the fifth player in WNBA history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Stewart was incredible in her own right, leading The W in scoring (21.8 points per game) and doing a little bit of everything defensively. Wilson and Stewart were the only unanimous selections for the First Team.
Joining them are Aces guard Kelsey Plum, Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith (hope everything's okay) and Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker.
The positionless ballot gave us a wonky-but-talented Second Team. New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu was the only guard selected. She's joined by two forwards — the Connecticut Sun's Alyssa Thomas and the Los Angeles Sparks' Nneka Ogwumike — and two centers, Thomas' teammate Jonquel Jones, and the legendary Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx.
You can view the voting results below:
- A 56-person panel voted on the All-WNBA teams, which means someone left Plum off their ballot entirely. She finished third in MVP voting, so I'm not exactly sure what the argument is against her having a top-10 campaign this year.
- Similar to the All-Defensive Team selection, I'm both happy for Fowles getting her flowers on the way out and a little confused on her making the Second Team. There was room for another Ace (Jackie Young) or Sky (Kahleah Copper, Emma Meesseman) in her spot, in my opinion. Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne was certainly better on a per-minute basis, and was arguably the biggest snub on the list. I, a man without voting privileges, didn't have EDD on my fake ballot because of the games she missed. She's absolutely one of the 10 best players on the planet, and was higher on my list than Fowles was despite the gap in games (and total possessions) played.
- Parker and Thomas being eight points apart signifies how good they were, how close their campaigns were collectively, and, again, how much of a sham it is that Parker didn't make an All-Defensive Team. I'm still not over that.
- This is a regular-season honor, and the votes were due on the last day of the regular season. We know this, or should know this. But boy is Chelsea Gray's exclusion from this list going to look funny in hindsight. She lit things up during the second half of the season, and has carried that over into ridiculously good postseason play.