The 2021 Chicago Sky were built to win, but didn’t quite live up to the hype in the regular season. They won just 16 of 32 games, good for sixth in the league.

But chemistry grew quickly when the lights were at their brightest as they won back-to-back win-or-go-home games, upset the No. 1 seed Connecticut Sun in four contests, then finished off the Mercury to win their first-ever title.

Here’s what their historic run means:

  • Candace Parker is in the GOAT conversation. She was always going to go down as one of the best basketball players of all time, but whew, a second championship with a different team — her hometown one — means that much more. And the 35-year-old isn’t done yet

  • Courtney Vandersloot is the best passer in the world. The six-time leader in assists set the tempo, saw plays before they happened, and found open teammates when they didn’t even know a path to the basket existed. She’s in her prime

  • Kahleah Copper is a winner. No opponent in these playoffs touched her athleticism, bursts to the rim or finishing ability through traffic. Guess that Elena Delle Donne trade was OK after all. The Finals MVP is just getting started 

  • Allie Quigley’s the ultimate shooter. Sometimes her spacing was used as a decoy, leaving room for other slashers like Copper and Parker to do what they do best. But to win Game 4, her shooting prevailed as she rained in five 3-pointers for 26 points 

  • The Chicago Sky are on the map. Winning their first championship in franchise history is a turning point. Finally, we won’t be talking about Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles forcing trades elsewhere. Sky Town is a place legends want to win

The Takeaway

The 2021 WNBA playoffs ruled because of their unpredictability, big moments and starpower. It was the most-watched Finals series since 2017, with momentum building so big that Game 3 became the most-viewed non-title clinching third game of a Finals since 2007. This is just the beginning for the most competitive women’s basketball league in the world.

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