Back in the late 90′s and early 2000′s there were many players in the WNBA that helped pave the way for current WNBA stars like Maya Moore and Candace Parker, and in 1998 two of the pioneers in the league were featured in the Eastbay catalog. Lisa Leslie, who was one of the original players, that helped make the announcement of the WNBA’s formation in 1996, and Cynthia Cooper, one of the most popular players in the history of the league.
Leslie, playing for the Los Angeles Spark, and Cooper, playing for the Houston Comets, racked up a total of 5 WNBA MVP Awards between the two of them (3 for Leslie, 2 for Cooper). Leslie led the Spark to two WNBA titles, while Cooper led the Comets to 3, alongside Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson. Leslie and Cooper not only helped launch the WNBA but also laid the foundation for women’s basketball shoes from Nike Basketball, wearing silhouettes like the Air Run ‘em Up and the Total Air 9.