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WNBA Recordigami

Pioneering wins and losses in the regular season.

In 2016, Jon Bois introduced the concept of scorigami for the NFL. He defined it as the "art of achieving a final score that has never happened before." I'd like to build on that idea and add recordigami to the lexicon. Recordigami is the art of achieving a regular season team record that has never happened before.

For example, the historic 1998 Houston Comets achieved recordigami by being the first team to reach a 27-3 final record. However, along the way, they notched several other recordigamis, like being the first team to start 20-1. Their entire regular season was an unprecedented path. To learn more about the Season Triangle graph I used, visit my previous article. And to see how recordigami has evolved through WNBA seasons, scroll below.

On June 21, 1997, the New York Liberty beat the Los Angeles Sparks 67-57 in the first WNBA game. This produced the league's original recordigami pair - the first team to go 1-0 and the first team to go 0-1.

In 1997, the WNBA regular season topped out at 30 games. That year alone produced 160 recordigamis, or about 30% of the all time total. The now defunct Houston Comets and Utah Starzz finished with the best and worst seasons, respectively.

From 1998 - 2000, the league expanded from 8 to 16 teams. Helping this 3-year period reach its 235 recordigamis was Sheryl Swoopes' Comets team of 1998. Finishing 27-3, they set 22 recordigamis in a row, meaning about 73% of their season was unprecedented.

By the end of 2001 - 2003, the WNBA reached its modern 34 game season. An excellent few years from the Los Angeles Sparks, a championship 2003 Detroit Shock season, and a forgettable 2002 Detroit Shock season contributed to this era's 80 recordigamis.

The next years from 2004 - 2006 saw 35 more recordigamis spread across a variety of teams. The Connecticut Sun, though, was the regular season powerhouse during this era. They were the first to hit 26-8, doing so in the consecutive seasons of 2005 & 2006.

By the 2007 - 2009 seasons, most easy recordigamis had been achieved. The clear-cut, (un)remarkable team of this era was the newly formed 2008 Atlanta Dream. They had the worst start in WNBA history at 0-17. And their difficulties that year led to 8 of the 10 recordigamis from this 3-year stretch.

The 2010 - 2012 stretch built on both the positive and negative margins of possible records with 23 recordigamis. On the plus side was the 2010 Seattle Storm. They reached new heights, finishing the season at 28-6. On the flip side, the 2011 Tulsa Shock reached new lows, finishing at 3-31.

In 2014, the Phoenix Mercury, led by Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, glided through the regular season to a best-ever 29-5 record. The Mercury won its third franchise championship and achieved the only 3 recordigamis of the 2013 - 2015 window.

On the way to their 5th of 6 Finals appearances, the 2016 Minnesota Lynx jumped out to the best start in WNBA history: 13-0. Though they lost that year, the Maya Moore-led Lynx won 4 titles between 2011 and 2017. They also posted the only 3 recordigamis of the 2016 - 2018 period.

Due to COVID-19, the 2019 - 2021 span still has 0 recordigamis. The 2020 season would have had 36 games, but was shortened to 22. Similarly, 2021 is being shortened to 34 games due to the Olympics' postponement, although we could still see recordigami this summer. Regardless, by the next normal season, there should be at least 36 games, giving a 100% certainty of witnessing more recordigami as the schedule expands.

Now that we've caught up to the present day, keep scrolling down and see how your favorite team has contributed to this history of recordigami.