The Atlanta Dream is a professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia, playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded before the 2008 WNBA season began. The team is owned by Dream Too LLC, which is composed of two Atlanta businesswomen: Mary Brock, and Kelly Loeffler. Like some other WNBA teams, the Dream has the distinction of not being affiliated with an NBA counterpart.
The Dream has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in three of its four years in Atlanta, and has reached the WNBA Finals twice. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as University of Louisville standout Angel McCoughtry, former Finals MVP Betty Lennox, and Brazilian sharpshooter Izi Castro Marques. In 2010, the Dream went to the WNBA Finals but fell short to Seattle. They lost to the Minnesota Lynx in the 2011 WNBA Finals.
Even before the success of the United States women's basketball team in the 1996 Olympic Games, the American Basketball League had interest in placing a women's professional basketball team in Atlanta. Plans were made to place a women's pro team in Atlanta as early as 1995. Eight of the twelve Olympians would play on ABL teams when the league began play in October 1996. The Atlanta Glory played at Forbes Arena and would last two seasons before folding before the start of the 1998–99 season, which would be the ABL's final.
The Dream for a New TeamEdit
Atlanta had been mentioned as a possible future city for WNBA expansion, but efforts did not come together until the beginning of 2007. An organizing committee with Atlanta businessmen and politicians began the effort to attract an expansion team. The inability of the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA to draw crowds was a concern of the WNBA, and the committee kicked off an effort in February 2007 to gain volunteers and petition signatures, as well as pledges for season tickets.
Philips Arena, the Gwinnett Arena and Alexander Memorial Coliseum were candidates for venues. By May 2007, the committee had over 1,000 pledges for season tickets, although the goal was 8,000 season tickets in ninety days. By July the committee had 1,200 commitments. The next step was to find an owner for the team.
On October 16, 2007 word broke that Ron Terwilliger, an Atlanta businessman and CEO of a national real estate company would be the future owner of an Atlanta franchise. The next day, at a news conference at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park, WNBA president Donna Orender made the announcement that Atlanta would officially be granted a WNBA expansion franchise.
Building the DreamEdit
On November 27, 2007 Atlanta named Marynell Meadors the first head coach/general manager in franchise history. For Meadors, a coach with extensive experience at the college level, this was her second role as a coach/general manager in the WNBA. Meadors had been one of the WNBA's first eight coaches as the head coach/general manager of the Charlotte Sting when that team began in 1997. Afterwards, Meadors had served as a scouting director for the Miami Sol and had been an assistant coach under Richie Adubato and Tree Rollins for the Washington Mystics.
Former NBA player Dennis Rodman volunteered his name as head coach for the Dream. Terwilliger declined, stating that he wanted someone with more coaching experience and he felt that the head coach should be a woman, as the WNBA was a women's league.)
On December 5, 2007, an online contest was announced for people to choose the team name and team colors – the final choice would rest with owner Ron Terwilliger. The names offered as choices were "Dream", "Flight", "Surge" and "Sizzle". There were also options for team colors such as lime green or hot pink. Voters had four different names and four different colors from which to choose.
Atlanta's WNBA franchise announced that the team name will be the Dream on January 23, 2008. The name was inspired, in part, by the famous speech of Atlanta native Martin Luther King, Jr. The team colors would be sky blue, red, and white.
Atlanta held their expansion draft on February 6, 2008 when they selected one player from each of the thirteen teams in the league. Atlanta traded Roneeka Hodges and their number four pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft to the Seattle Storm for Izi Castro Marques and Seattle's eighth pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft. Also, the Dream traded the 18th pick and LaToya Thomas to the Detroit Shock for Ivory Latta.
Living the Dream (2008–present)Edit
From May 17, 2008 with a season opening loss against the Connecticut Sun to July 3, 2008 with a home loss against the Houston Comets, the Dream lost 17 consecutive games, setting the WNBA all-time record for both consecutive losses and losses from opening day. The 2006 Chicago Sky had previously lost 13 consecutive games, and the 2002 Detroit Shock had opened their season 0–13. (The Portland Fire had lost 14 straight games over two seasons, ending the 2001 season with 11 straight losses and opening 2002 with three straight losses.) They later finished with a 4–30 record.
On July 5, 2008, the Dream earned their first win in Atlanta against the Chicago Sky, ending the losing streak. They beat the Sky 91–84.
The 2008/2009 offseason was a busy one. Head coach/general manager Marynell Meadors did not want a repeat of 2008. She made key moves by acquiring players such as Sancho Lyttle, Nikki Teasley, Chamique Holdsclaw, Angel McCoughtry, and Michelle Snow.
In 2009, Atlanta reached the playoffs at 18–16, exceeding their previous record by 14 wins. Despite being in the playoffs, the Dream ended their season in disappointment and lost in the first round to the 2008 champion Detroit Shock in a sweep. After the season, their coach, Marynell Meadors, was awarded the Coach of the Year Award.
The Dream's owner, Ron Terwilliger, announced in August that he wanted to give up his position as the primary owner of the Atlanta franchise. On October 29, 2009, Kathy Betty took control of the team.
The 2010 season proved even better for the Dream. Although finishing in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, the Dream sprinted through the first two rounds of the playoffs, On September 7, 2010, the Dream secured a trip to the WNBA Finals with a win over the New York Liberty, as they swept New York in two games in the Eastern Conference Finals. They eventually faced the best team in the league, the 28–6 Seattle Storm. Seattle took the first two games at home with two close wins. Atlanta needed to win game three in order to keep the series alive. Seattle was too much to handle as they completed the sweep and won the series. Even though they were swept, the Dream did not lose any game by a margin of more than three points.
Addressing arguably Atlanta's biggest concern, the team traded for All-Star point guard Lindsey Harding prior to the 2011 season. Despite the major addition, the Dream struggled to open the season, starting just 2–7 due to an injury that sidelined Angel McCoughtry and overseas commitments by Sancho Lyttle. The team did not give up, however, and went on an impressive run of 14 wins and 5 losses after the All Star break. They carried that momentum into the playoffs, sweeping the Connecticut Sun and defeating the Indiana Fever to return to the WNBA Finals. But, once again they would be denied, losing to the formidable 27-7 Minnesota Lynx in three games.
|Season||Team||Conference||Regular season||Playoff Results||Head coach|
|2008||2008||East||7th||4||30||.118||Did not qualify||Marynell Meadors|
|2009||2009||East||2nd||18||16||.529||Lost Conference Semifinals (Detroit, 0–2)||Marynell Meadors|
|2010||2010||East||4th||19||15||.559|| Won Conference Semifinals (Washington, 2–0)|
Won Conference Finals (New York, 2–0)
Lost WNBA Finals (Seattle, 0–3)
|2011||2011||East||3rd||20||14||.588|| Won Conference Semifinals (Connecticut, 2–0)|
Won Conference Finals (Indiana, 2–1)
Lost WNBA Finals (Minnesota, 0–3)
|Regular season||61||75||.449||2 Conference Championships|
|Playoffs||8||8||.500||0 WNBA Championships|
- Katie Feenstra-Mattera (2008)
- Chamique Holdsclaw (2009)
- Jennifer Lacy (2008–2009), now a member of the Tulsa Shock
- Ivory Latta (2008–2009), now a member of the Tulsa Shock
- Betty Lennox (2008), now a member of the Tulsa Shock
- Camille Little (2008), now a member of the Seattle Storm
- Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert (2008)
- Kristen Mann (2008)
- Ann Strother (2008)
- Nikki Teasley (2008)
- Kasha Terry (2008)
- Michelle Snow (2009), now a member of the Chicago Sky
Coaches and staffEdit
- Ron Terwilliger (2008–2009)
- Kathy Betty (2010)
- Dream Too LLC, composed of Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler (2011–present)
|Atlanta Dream head coaches|
- Marynell Meadors (2008–present)
- Katy Steding (2008)
- Fred Williams (2008–present)
- Sue Panek (2008–present)
- Carol Ross (2009–2011)
|Atlanta Dream statistics|
Currently, some Dream games are broadcast on Fox Sports South (FS-S) and SportSouth (SSO), which are local television stations for the Southern United States. More often than not, NBA TV will pick up the feed from the local broadcast, which is shown nationally. Broadcasters for the Dream games are Bob Rathbun and LaChina Robinson. Prior to the 2010 season, the Dream had a deal with Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS). Games on that station were called by Art Eckman and LaChina Robinson.
All games (excluding blackout games, which are available on ESPN3.com) are broadcast to the WNBA LiveAccess game feeds on the league website. Furthermore, some Dream games are broadcast nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The WNBA has reached an eight year agreement with ESPN, which will pay right fees to the Dream, as well as other teams in the league.
Regular season attendanceEdit
- A sellout for a basketball game at Philips Arena is 18,729.
|Regular season all-time attendance|
- 2008 Expansion Draft: Carla Thomas, Erika de Souza, Katie Feenstra, Roneeka Hodges, Ann Strother, LaToya Thomas, Kristen Mann, Ann Wauters, Jennifer Lacy, Kristin Haynie, Chantelle Anderson, Betty Lennox, Yelena Leuchanka
- 2008: Tamera Young (8), Morenike Atunrase (24), Danielle Hood (32)
- 2009 Houston Dispersal Draft: Sancho Lyttle (1)
- 2009: Angel McCoughtry (1), Shalee Lehning (25), Jessica Morrow (27)
- 2010 Sacramento Dispersal Draft: selection waived
- 2010: Chanel Mokango (9), Brigitte Ardossi (21), Brittainey Raven (33)
- 2011: Ta'Shia Phillips (8), Rachel Jarry (18), Kelsey Bolte (32)
- February 6, 2008: The Dream traded LaToya Thomas and the 18th pick in the 2008 Draft to the Detroit Shock in exchange for Ivory Latta.
- February 6, 2008: The Dream traded the fourth pick in the 2008 Draft and Roneeka Hodges to the Seattle Storm for Izi Castro Marques and the eighth pick in the draft.
- February 6, 2008: The Dream acquired the 24th pick in the 2008 Draft from the Indiana Fever in exchange for agreeing not to select specific unprotected Fever players in the expansion draft.
- April 9, 2008: The Dream traded Ann Wauters, draft rights to Morenike Atunrase, and the a second-round pick in the 2009 Draft to the San Antonio Silver Stars in exchange for Camille Little, draft rights to Chioma Nnamaka, and the a first-round pick in the 2009 Draft.
- June 22, 2008: The Dream traded Camille Little to the Seattle Storm in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2009 Draft.
- July 4, 2008: The Dream traded Kristen Mann to the Indiana Fever in exchange for Alison Bales.
- December 17, 2008: The Dream traded the 13th pick in the 2009 Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for the rights to Chamique Holdsclaw.
- January 21, 2009: The Dream traded Alison Bales to the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for the 18th pick in the 2009 Draft.
- April 9, 2009: The Dream traded the 18th pick in the 2009 Draft to the Detroit Shock in exchange for Ashley Shields.
- August 12, 2009: The Dream traded Tamera Young to the Chicago Sky in exchange for Armintie Price.
- March 11, 2010: The Dream traded Michelle Snow to the San Antonio Silver Stars in exchange for Dalma Ivanyi and the right to swap second-round picks in the 2010 Draft.
- April 11, 2011: The Dream traded Rachel Jarry and second-round pick in 2012 Draft to the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for Felicia Chester.
- April 11, 2011: The Dream traded Ta'Shia Phillips, Kelly Miller and first-round pick in 2012 Draft to the Washington Mystics in exchange for Lindsey Harding and second-round pick in 2012 Draft.
- 2008: No All-Star Game
- 2009: Erika de Souza, Sancho Lyttle
- 2010: Izi Castro Marques, Sancho Lyttle, Angel McCoughtry
- 2011: Angel McCoughtry
Honors and awardsEdit
- 2009 Rookie of the Year: Angel McCoughtry
- 2009 Coach of the Year: Marynell Meadors
- 2009 All-Defensive Second Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2009 All-Rookie Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2010 All-WNBA First Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2010 All-Defensive First Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2010 All-Defensive Second Team: Sancho Lyttle
- 2011 All-WNBA First Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2011 All-Defensive First Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2011 All-Defensive Second Team: Sancho Lyttle
- 2011 All-Defensive Second Team: Armintie Price
- ↑ "Women's Basketball Timeline: 1990s". http://womensbasketballonline.com/history/timeline1990s.html. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "American Basketball League profile by Interbasket". http://www.interbasket.net/players/usa/abl.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "Atlanta group launching effort to attract WNBA team". USA Today. 2007-02-19. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/wnba/2007-02-19-atlanta_x.htm?csp=34. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "WNBA-ATL website.". From web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2007-06-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20070623131127/http://www.wnba-atl.org/. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "Atlanta courts WNBA.". Southern Voice. http://www.southernvoice.com/2007/4-20/locallife/sports/6835.cfm. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "Atlanta committee looking for potential owner for WNBA team.". USA Today. 2007-05-30. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/wnba/2007-05-30-823826316_x.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "Atlanta lands WNBA's 14th team.". USA Today. 2007-10-18. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/wnba/2007-10-17-atlanta-franchise_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "Atlanta Franchise Names Marynell Meadors Head Coach and General Manager.". WNBA. http://www.wnba.com/atlanta/meadors_hiring_071127.html. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "Atlanta WNBA owner says he's not interested in Rodman as coach.". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3104918&type=HeadlineNews&imagesPrint=off. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "Names in the Game". International Herald Tribune. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/06/sports/Names-in-the-Game.php. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ "Atlanta Dream video at 13:15". http://www.wnba.com/dream/dream_080123.html. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
- ↑ "Atlanta's WNBA team named Atlanta Dream". WNBA. http://www.wnba.com/dream/dream_080123.html. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ Swartz, Kristi E. (October 29, 2009). "Atlanta businesswoman Kathy Betty to buy WNBA team". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-businesswoman-kathy-betty-177579.html. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
- ↑ Seattle @ Atlanta Game 3
- ↑ "WNBA Extends TV Rights Deal with ESPN and ABC". Sports Business. June 18, 2007. http://www.sportbusiness.com/news/162162/wnba-extends-tv-rights-deal-with-espn-and-abc. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Interview with J. Ronald Terwilliger
- Article announcing new franchise
- Atlanta names Meadors Head coach/ General manager
- Atlanta announces Team Name
- Atlanta's expansion draft results
|width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Indiana Fever |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2010 (First title)
2011 (Second title) |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Incumbent |- |}
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