ESPN staff4 Minute Read
Driven by WNBA Finals MVP A’ja Wilson‘s 24-point, 16-rebound effort in Game 4, the Aces are the WNBA’s first back-to-back champions in over two decades.
“There was a lot of years that we weren’t so super, but you can’t build a superteam in a couple of months. It takes years, and I’m really proud of this group,” Kelsey Plum said after the win.
The Lisa Leslie-led Los Angeles Sparks were the last team to accomplish the feat, in 2001 and 2002. The Sparks acknowledged the 21-year gap since the last occurrence of a repeat champion in the WNBA and congratulated the Aces.
Before that, the Houston Comets set the mark by capturing the WNBA’s first four titles from 1997 to 2000, with Cynthia Cooper taking home Finals MVP honors every time.
The newly minted repeat champion and Finals MVP reached out to former Comets star Sheryl Swoopes for pointers on how to run it back. It appears the advice paid off, as the Aces accomplished a feat that hasn’t been seen much across American professional sports since 2000.
Here are the other teams that won it all in back-to-back seasons since the turn of the century.
The Lakers opened the millennium on a high note with one of the best duos in NBA history: Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Under coach Phil Jackson, they earned the league’s fifth three-peat, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since.
In his first NBA Finals victories without O’Neal, Bryant earned Finals MVP honors in both years.
It’s tough to have a conversation about the modern NBA era without mentioning “The Heatles.” The trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh appeared in four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and came out with two Larry O’Brien Trophies.
Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green ensured that the Warriors earned dynasty status with Golden State’s third NBA title in four seasons. Their most recent championship series was the first sweep in the Finals since 2007.
Only seven franchises have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in back-to-back years. With Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm, the Patriots are the only team to accomplish it this millennium.
Winning multiple World Series titles is tough, but the Yankees made the cut, courtesy of their “Core Four” of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.
Led by Sidney Crosby, the Penguins became the first team in 20 years to win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons. Crosby earned the Conn Smythe Trophy in both victories, becoming just the third player in NHL history to notch consecutive MVP honors in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
As a result of the pandemic altering the NHL’s schedule, the Lightning have the distinction of hoisting the Stanley Cup twice in one calendar year by earning two consecutive championships in 10 months.
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