The WNBA begun play in 1997. Just like the NBA, the WNBA decides their league champions with a playoff.
In 1997 the first playoff featured only four teams. Each series was decided with just one game. The following season, the playoffs still featured only four teams, but the WNBA went with a best of three game format in both rounds.
In 1999 the playoffs expanded to six teams. The top seeds received a bye into the conference finals, but four teams played a one game series to move on to the conference finals. After that, each series was a best of three games.
In 2000 the WNBA once again were expanded. Now eight teams were in the playoffs. Each series was a best of three series.
In 2001 the WNBA Finals were altered to a best of five games format. This is the same format used today.
|1997||Houston Comets||New York Liberty||65-61||Cynthia Cooper|
|1998||Houston Comets||Phoenix Mercury||2-1||Cynthia Cooper|
|1999||Houston Comets||New York Liberty||2-1||Cynthia Cooper|
|2000||Houston Comets||New York Liberty||2-0||Cynthia Cooper|
|2001||Los Angeles Sparks||Charlotte Sting||2-0||Lisa Leslie|
|2002||Los Angeles Sparks||New York Liberty||2-0||Lisa Leslie|
|2003||Detriot Shock||Los Angeles Sparks||2-1||Ruth Riley|
|2004||Seattle Storm||Connectict Sun||2-1||Betty Lennox|
|2005||Sacramento Monarchs||Connectict Sun||3-1||Yolanda Griffith|
|2006||Detriot Shock||Sacramento Monarchs||3-2||Deanna Nolan|
|2007||Phoenix Mercury||Detriot Shock||3-2||Cappie Pondexter|
|2008||Detriot Shock||San Antonio Silver Stars||3-0||Katie Smith|
|2009||Phoenix Mercury||Indiana Fever||3-2||Diana Taurasi|
|2010||Seattle Storm||Atlanta Dream||3-0||Lauren Jackson|
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