WNBA picks 30 finalists for top 15

NEW YORK -- Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper and Diana Taurasi lead the list of 30 current and former players announced Tuesday night as finalists for the WNBA's top 15 players of all time.

The nominees, selected by a panel of media members and basketball experts, also include: Seattle's Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and Katie Smith; Los Angeles' Candace Parker and Tina Thompson; Indiana's Tamika Catchings; New York's Cappie Pondexter; and retired greats Dawn Staley, Yolanda Griffith and Teresa Weatherspoon.

"The women who comprise the list of nominees are an extraordinary combination of ground-breaking pioneers and present-day stars. Each has made a unique contribution to the game, but all share an unsurpassed passion for women's basketball and for the WNBA," league president Laurel Richie said in a statement. "It is through their efforts, collectively, that the WNBA has become -- and will continue to be -- the destination point for the most talented female basketball players in the world."

Fans can vote on wnba.com through July 14, and voting also will be conducted among select national media as well as current players and coaches. The top 15 will be announced at the All-Star Game July 23 in San Antonio.

The finalists

• Seimone Augustus
• Sue Bird
• Ruthie Bolton
• Swin Cash
• Tamika Catchings
• Cynthia Cooper
• Katie Douglas
• Cheryl Ford
• Yolanda Griffith
• Becky Hammon
• Chamique Holdsclaw
• Lauren Jackson
• Shannon Johnson
• Lisa Leslie
• Taj McWilliams-Franklin
• Delisha Milton-Jones
• Deanna Nolan
• Candace Parker
• Ticha Penicheiro
• Cappie Pondexter
• Nykesha Sales
• Katie Smith
• Tangela Smith
• Dawn Staley
• Sheryl Swoopes
• Diana Taurasi
• Penny Taylor
• Tina Thompson
• Teresa Weatherspoon
• Natalie Williams

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.