The Houston Comets were a Womens National Basketball Association team based in Houston, United States. Formed in 1997, the team was one of the original eight WNBA teams, the Comets were the first dynasty of the WNBA and won more championships than any other team in the WNBA. The team was folded and disbanded by the league in 2008 because new ownership could not be found, the Comets were known for courting great womens basketball stars. The team had among its members Cynthia Cooper and national team standout Sheryl Swoopes, Kim Perrot, who succumbed to cancer in 1999, the Comets were one of the founding teams in the WNBA. They capped off the inaugural season in 1997 with a win over the New York Liberty in the WNBA championship game to win the WNBAs first championship. When the league expanded the season, the Comets were moved from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference. In 1998, they put together a win record of 27-3 for a.900 winning percentage – a WNBA record that still stands. They went on to repeat as champions, defeating the Phoenix Mercury in the first-ever WNBA Finals that year due to the game being extended into a three-game championship series.
In 2000, the Comets went all the way to the Finals again,2000 was the Comets last championship and last WNBA Finals appearance in franchise history. After Cooper retired in 2001, Houston clinched the playoffs with a 19-13 record, but lost in the first round in a sweep to the 2001 eventual champion Los Angeles Sparks. In 2002, when Swoopes was injured most of the year with a torn ACL, the Comets were able to qualify for the playoffs with a 24-8 record, but lost to the Utah Starzz in 3 games. In 2003, they qualified to the playoffs for the 7th straight year and they missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a record of 13-21 in 2004, but returned to the playoffs with a 19-15 record, finishing 3rd. Houston would return to the playoffs with an 18-16 record,2006 was the last playoff appearance for the Houston Comets. After the Comets season ended in 2006, the Comets underwent major changes during the off-season. In October 2006, team owner Leslie Alexander announced he was selling the Comets, on January 31,2007, the WNBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the team to Hilton Koch, a Houston-based mattress and furniture businessman.
Two weeks later, Comets assistant coach Karleen Thompson was named to become the teams new Head Coach, for the 2007 season, they would miss the playoffs for the second time in franchise history after starting the season 0-10, resulting in a 13-21 record. On December 12,2007, team owner Hilton Koch announced that the Comets would be moving from the Toyota Center to Reliant Arena for the 2008 WNBA season and this resulted in a loss of fans. The Compaq Center drew 13,000 fans, but the Reliant Arena could only house 7,200, in 2008, the Comets final year, they only drew an average 6,000 fans per game and sold out four games
The Connecticut Sun is an American professional womens basketball team based in Uncasville, Connecticut that competes in the Eastern Conference of the Womens National Basketball Association. Along with the Minnesota Lynx, the club was established in 1999 as part of the expansion from ten to twelve teams. The Miracle, the previous moniker, originated that year in Orlando. The derivative of the name comes from its affiliation with Mohegan Sun. The Sun is considered by many to be the most successful franchise in the WNBA yet to have won a championship, the Sun has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in eight of its fourteen years in Connecticut. In 2004 and 2005, the Sun went to the WNBA Finals but fell short to Seattle and Sacramento, before the franchise relocated to Connecticut in 2003, the team operated as the Orlando Miracle. The Miracle played their games at TD Waterhouse Centre in Orlando, Florida. The Miracle placed reasonable records in their four years of existence and earned the seed in the 2000 WNBA playoffs.
Since Magic ownership was no longer interested in retaining the rights to the Miracle and no local partnership was reached, on January 28,2003, it was announced that the Miracle would immediately move to Uncasville and change its nickname to the Sun. The Suns nickname, color scheme and logo are similar to that of another defunct Florida-based franchise, the Miami Sol, which folded at the same time as the Miracles relocation to Connecticut. General manager Chris Sienko named Mike Thibault, a veteran with two NBA titles as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, as the first head coach for the franchise. Despite making essential acquisitions and creating depth in the roster, the Sun was projected to finish towards the end of the Eastern Conference standings. On May 24,2003, the Sun hosted the first regular-season game of its season, which was shown on ABC. The Sun yielded to the defending champion Sparks before a sellout crowd of 9,341. At the conclusion of the 2003 season, the Sun surprised spectators by finishing with an 18–16 record, the Sun swept the second-seeded Sting in the first round of the playoffs, and was slated to face Detroit in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Shock was victorious in all four games against the Sun in the regular season, the Sun would succumb to the eventual league champion Detroit in two enduring games. The 2003 playoffs would be the first of numerous postseason encounters that Connecticut and Detroit would share prior to the Shocks relocation to Tulsa, the Shocks sweep of the arduous series did nothing to diminish what the Sun accomplished in its first season in Connecticut. Among other accomplishments in the 2003 season, both Nykesha Sales and Shannon Johnson achieved milestones by reaching the 2, 000-point plateau in their careers
Lisa Deshaun Leslie is a former American professional basketball player who played in the Womens National Basketball Association. She is a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medal winner, Leslie was the first player to dunk in a WNBA game. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history, in 2015, she was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Leslie is the daughter of Christine Lauren Leslie, who stood 6 ft 3 in, and Walter Leslie, Christine started her own truck driving business to support her three children. Walter left the family when her mother was four months pregnant with her, Leslie has two sisters, who is five years older, and Tiffany, who is eight years younger. She has a brother, who is now the Carondelet high school basketball coach, Lisa played basketball on an all-boys basketball team in middle school. She played on a team with the record 33-1. By the time Leslie was in school in California, she had grown to over 61 but never participated in athletic activities besides tetherball.
Her dream was to be a weather reporter. During the first few weeks of high, a classmate begged Leslie to help out the basketball team. On her first day of tryouts, team members were told to split into two groups for layup drills and righties. Leslie was the only lefty in the group, so from on and that decision worked to her advantage, as she became ambidextrous. In eighth grade, she transferred to a high school without a girls basketball team. Her success there contributed to her confidence in her playing abilities, Leslie continued her education in 1986 by enrolling at Morningside High School in Inglewood, California. She made an impact on the basketball program, starting every game for the girls varsity team. She found time to join the team and compete in track. She ended up being a state qualifier in the 400-meter run, by the time she was a sophomore in high school, she was able to dunk the ball in the open court, even though she was not able to palm the ball. She was her teams leading scorer and rebounder and led them to the 1989 California state championship, Leslie was so talented that she was invited to participate in the USAs Junior World Championship team
2001 WNBA Championship
The 2001 WNBA Championship was the championship series of the 2001 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the seasons playoffs. The Los Angeles Sparks, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, defeated the Charlotte Sting, fourth-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference and this was Los Angeles first title. The Sparks made their first appearance in the Finals in franchise history, the Sting made their first Finals appearance. Going into the series, no other team except the Houston Comets had ever won a WNBA championship, the Sparks had a 28-4 record, good enough to receive home-court advantage over the Sting. It did not matter, however, as the Sparks swept the Sting, the Sparks won the regular season series, All times listed below are Eastern Daylight Time. 2001 WNBA Champion, Los Angeles Sparks Finals MVP, Lisa Leslie
Swintayla Marie Swin Cash Canal is an American retired professional basketball player who played professionally in the Womens National Basketball Association. A prolific scorer and rebounder, as well as a ball handler and defender. In her second WNBA season, she led the Detroit Shock to their first ever WNBA title, in 2015, she was named a studio analyst for MSG Networks covering the New York Knicks pre-games and post-games as well as the weekly coaches show. In 2017, Cash was named the Director of franchise development for the New York Liberty, Cash was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of McKeesport and raised by her mother, Cynthia. She has two brothers named Stephen and Kevin Menifee and one sister, Angelique Menifee and she holds basketball camps and clinics under her company, Swin Cash Enterprise LLC, and is involved in charity events through the WNBA. Swin Cash married longtime boyfriend Steve Canal in Atlanta, Cash attended McKeesport Area High School in McKeesport, where she participated in many activities.
She tried her hands at baseball and cheerleading, but her passion was entertainment. Cash is best known for her skills, which earned her a place on the national WBCA All-American. She participated in the WBCA High School All-America Game where she scored fourteen points, Cash was an All-American at the University of Connecticut. She won the NCAA Womens Division I Basketball Championship with the UConn Huskies in 2000 and 2002 and she helped lead UConn to an undefeated 39-0 season in 2002. Swin was a member of the class of inductees to the University of Connecticut womens basketball Huskies of Honor recognition program. Cash was selected by the Detroit Shock in the 2002 WNBA Draft, after leading the Shocks resurgence in the second half of her rookie season, she led the Detroit Shock to their first WNBA Championship title in 2003. She played in the 2003 WNBA All-Star Game and won the medal with the U. S. womens basketball team at the 2004 Olympic Games. Swin appeared in the movie Bring It On, All or Nothing, Cash received the Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year award in April 2007.
This is a given to someone who shows excellence to the Pittsburgh area. She was honored with Sidney Crosby and Dan Rooney, Cash left Detroit for the 2008 season after struggling to build a consistent relationship with Detroit Shock head coach Bill Laimbeer. On February 19,2008 Cash was traded to the Seattle Storm for the rights of No.4 pick in the 2008 WNBA draft. The Shock selected Alexis Hornbuckle with their draft pick, Cash along with Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson helped the Storm win their second championship in 2010
The Detroit Shock was a Womens National Basketball Association team based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. They were the 2003,2006, and 2008 WNBA champions, debuting in 1998, it was one of the leagues first expansion franchises. It was the first WNBA expansion franchise to win a WNBA Championship, the team was the sister team of the Detroit Pistons and from 2002 to the 2009 season was coached by Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer. On October 20,2009, it was announced that the Shock would be moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma to play in the new downtown arena, former mens college coach Nolan Richardson was named the teams new head coach. The Shock roster and history was retained along with the Shock name, but the colors were changed to black, red. The franchise is known as Dallas Wings. The Shock were one of the first WNBA expansion teams and began play in 1998, the Detroit Shock - named after the Shock absorber, a car piece like the Pistons - quickly brought in a blend of rookies and veterans. The Shocks first coach was hall of famer Nancy Lieberman, the Shock would start out their inaugural season 0-4, but would put together an amazing expansion season, and finish 17-13, missing out on the postseason by one game.
In 1999, the Shock finished 15-17, in a three way tie for the playoffs with the Orlando Miracle and the Charlotte Sting, the Shock and Sting played a one-game playoff, which the Shock would lose 60-54. In 2000, the Shock would finish with a 14-18 record and this time, the Shock would lose the tiebreaker and not qualify, losing to the Washington Mystics. Lieberman was fired after the season and replaced by Greg Williams, after the season in the 2001 WNBA Draft, the Shock would draft Deanna Nolan with the #6 pick. She would develop into the team star, the 2001 Shock would finish the season with a 10-22 record, this time tying three teams for last place in the Eastern Conference. The 2002 Shock started the season 0-10, at which point Williams was fired and replaced by former Detroit Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer. After massive changes to the roster, Laimbeer predicted before the 2003 season that the Shock would be league champions, the Shock would tear up the East in the regular season, posting a 25-9 record and winning the #1 seed by 7 games.
In the playoffs, the Shock would defeat the Cleveland Rockers 2-1 for their first playoff win in franchise history. In the Conference Finals, the Shock swept the Connecticut Sun 2-0 to reach the WNBA Finals, despite the achievements, the Shock were viewed as huge underdogs to the two time defending champion Los Angeles Sparks, who were looking for a three-peat. The Shock would emerge victorious in the series, winning a thrilling Game Three 83-78 and that game would draw the largest crowd ever in WNBA history. Detroit, much like the 1991 Minnesota Twins in baseball, became the first team in WNBA history to make it from last place one season to WNBA champions the next season
DeLisha Lachell Milton-Jones, née DeLisha Lachell Milton, is an American retired professional basketball player and current head coach of Pepperdine Waves womens basketball. Milton-Jones played college basketball for the University of Florida, in her sixteen-season WNBA career, she has played for the Washington Mystics, the Los Angeles Sparks, the San Antonio Stars, and the New York Liberty. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a two-time WNBA champion, Milton-Jones was born in Riceboro, Georgia in 1974. According to a DNA analysis, she descended, from Yoruba people and she attended Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, where she played high school basketball for the Bradwell Tigers. Milton-Jones graduated from Bradwell in 1993 and she was a four-year letterman, and led the Lady Gators to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Milton-Jones was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a Gator Great in 2007, Milton-Jones represented the USA at the 1997 World University Games held in Marsala, Italy in August 1997.
The USA team won all six games, earning the medal at the event. Milton-Jones averaged 10.3 points per game and recorded 14 steals, Milton-Jones was named to the U. S. national team in 1998. The national team traveled to Berlin, Germany in July and August 1998 for the FIBA World Championships, the U. S. team won a close opening game against Japan 95–89, won their next six games easily. In the semifinal game against Brazil, the U. S. team was behind as much as ten points in the first half, the gold medal game was a rematch against Russia. In the first game, the Americans dominated almost from the beginning, but in the rematch, with under two minutes remaining, the U. S. team was down by two points but the Americans responded, held on to win the gold medal 71–65. Milton-Jones averaged 7.1 points per game, Milton-Jones is well known for the unusual length of her arms, which give her an eighty-four inch wingspan—typical of that of a seven-foot person. In the WNBA, she played for the Los Angeles Sparks from 1999 to 2004 and she was traded to the Washington Mystics in exchange for Chamique Holdsclaw and a first-round draft pick in the 2004 off-season.
In 2003, she won the Euroleague Championship with team Ekaterinburg in Russia, in the 2005–06 season, she won the Euroleague with Gambrinus Brno of the Czech Republic and for the season 2006–07 she signed a two-year contract with Ros Casares Valencia of Spain. During the 2008–2009 WNBA off-season, Milton-Jones played for Ros Casares Valencia in Spain, for whom she played during the 2007-08 off-season. She is a two-time WNBA champion and has selected to the WNBA All Star Game multiple times. In her WNBA career, she has scored 3,944 career points, on April 22,2008, Milton-Jones was reacquired by the Los Angeles Sparks in a trade for Taj McWilliams-Franklin. She played for the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA in 2013 before being released, on July 9,2014, Milton-Jones was traded to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Swin Cash Currently she is playing for the Atlanta Dream
In basketball, an official is a person who has the responsibility to enforce the rules and maintain the order of the game. The title of official applies to the scorers and timekeepers, officials are usually referred to as referees, generally there is one lead referee and one or two umpires, depending on whether there is a two- or three-person crew. In the NBA, the official is called the crew chief. In FIBA-sanctioned play, two-man crews consist of a referee and an umpire, both classes of officials have equal rights to control almost all aspects of the game. In most cases, the lead official performs the jump ball to begin the contest, though NFHS, in American high school and college basketball, the officials generally wear black and white striped shirts with black side panels, black pants and black shoes. Some state high school association allow officials to wear shirts with black pin strips instead of the black. NBA officials wear shirts with black slacks and black shoes. The NBA shirt is grey with black colored shoulders and sleeves, the WNBA referee shirt is similar to the NBA referee shirt, except that its shoulder and sleeve colors are orange and the WNBA logo takes the place of the NBA logo.
FIBA officials wear a grey and black official referee shirt, black trousers, black socks, officials in competitions organized by Euroleague Basketball —the Euroleague and Eurocup—wear an orange referee shirt. Officials in the Israel Basketball Association generally wear the Euroleagues orange uniform shirt, most officials slacks are currently belt-less, while most officials shirts are collar-less, V-neck shirts. All officials wear a whistle that is used to play as a result of a foul or a violation on the court. In all instances of officiating, hand signals are used to indicate the nature of the infraction or to administer the game, in higher levels of college and professional ball, all officials wear a timing device on the belt-line called PTS. The device is used by on court officials to start and stop the clock in a timely manner, rather than waiting for the scoreboard operator to do so. The officials must ensure that the game runs smoothly, and this encompasses a variety of different responsibilities, from calling the game to player and spectator management.
They carry a duty of care to the players they officiate and to ensure that the court and all equipment used is in a safe and usable condition. Should there be an issue that inhibits the safe playing of the game, quite often, the job of an official surpasses that of the game at hand, as they must overcome unforeseen situations that may or may not have an influence on the game. There are two methods for officiating a basketball game, either two-person or three-person mechanics depending on how many officials are available to work the game. In two-person mechanics, each official works either the lead or the trail position, the lead position is normally along the baseline of the court, with the trail position having its starting point at the free throw line extended on the left side of the court facing the basket
Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L. A. is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California. With a census-estimated 2015 population of 3,971,883, it is the second-most populous city in the United States, Los Angeles is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the United States. The citys inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos, historically home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California. The city was founded on September 4,1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence, in 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4,1850, the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city.
The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California, nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, and sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles has an economy in culture, fashion, sports, education, medicine. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index, the city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields, and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area has a gross metropolitan product of $831 billion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. The city has hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984 and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and thus become the second city after London to have hosted the Games three times. The Los Angeles area hosted the 1994 FIFA mens World Cup final match as well as the 1999 FIFA womens World Cup final match, the mens event was watched on television by over 700 million people worldwide.
The Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva, a Gabrielino settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning poison oak place. Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2,1769, in 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. The Queen of the Angels is an honorific of the Virgin Mary, two-thirds of the settlers were mestizo or mulatto with a mixture of African and European ancestry. The settlement remained a small town for decades, but by 1820. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, during Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta Californias regional capital
Staples Center is a multi-purpose sports arena in Downtown Los Angeles. Live development, it is located next to the Los Angeles Convention Center complex along Figueroa Street, opening on October 17,1999, it is one of the major sporting facilities in the Greater Los Angeles Area. It is owned and operated by the L. A. Arena Company, Staples Center is host to over 250 events and nearly 4 million guests each year. The Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park will host both the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams beginning in 2019, Staples Center measures 950,000 square feet of total space, with a 94-foot by 200-foot arena floor. The arena seats up to 19,067 for basketball,18,340 for ice hockey, two-thirds of the arenas seating, including 2,500 club seats, are in the lower bowl. There are 160 luxury suites, including 15 event suites, the arenas attendance record is held by the fight between World WBA Welterweight Champion, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley with a crowd of 20,820 set on January 25,2009.
Star Plaza Outside the arena at the Star Plaza are statues of Wayne Gretzky and Magic Johnson, a third statue of boxer Oscar De La Hoya was unveiled outside Staples Center on December 1,2008. On April 20,2010 a fourth statue of the long time Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn. A fifth statue of the Laker legend Jerry West dribbling was unveiled on February 17,2011, a sixth statue of Lakers player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was unveiled on November 16,2012. A seventh statue of former Kings Hall of Fame left wing Luc Robitaille was unveiled on March 7,2015, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that they will honor Shaquille ONeal with a statue that was unveiled on March 24,2017. Construction broke ground in 1998 and Staples Center opened a year and it was financed privately at a cost of US$375 million and is named for the office-supply company Staples, Inc. which was one of the centers corporate sponsors that paid for naming rights. The arena opened on October 17,1999, with a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band concert as its inaugural event.
Staples Center was named Best New Major Concert Venue for 1999, on October 21,2009, Staples Center celebrated its 10th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the official web site nominated 25 of the arenas greatest moments from its first ten years with fans voting on the top ten. The venue opened in 1999 as the home of the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA joined in 2001, while the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League joined in 2006. It became home to the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League in 2000 until the teams discontinuation in 2008. Since its opening day, the Staples Center has hosted seven NBA Finals series with the Lakers, of the teams five NBA championships since moving to the venue, the Lakers have celebrated their 2000 and 2010 victories at Staples Center with series-winning victories at home. Prior to the 2006–07 NBA season, the lighting inside Staples Center was modified for Lakers games, the lights were focused only on the court itself, reminiscent of the Lakers early years at The Forum
Deanna Nicole Tweety Nolan is an American-Russian professional basketball player for UMMC Ekaterinburg of the Russian Premier League as well as the Russia womens national basketball team. Her primary position is shooting guard, but occasionally plays the point guard position and her original name was Deana, but was legally changed to Deanna in 2000. Nolan is the daughter of the late Phillip Murphy and Virginia Nolan and she has two older brothers Omar and Chris and one older sister Lekia. She lost her father a week before her first birthday, Nolan attended Flint Northern High School where she led her team to back to back Michigan state championships in 1994 and 1995, and was crowned as Michigans 1995 Miss Basketball. Her favorite basketball players are Allen Iverson and Rajon Rondo, Nolan graduated in December 2001 with a degree in child and family development from the University of Georgia. Overall she helped the Lady Bulldogs achieve an 86–12 record overall during her collegiate career, as a senior, Nolan earned 2001 All-SEC Tournament Team honors.
In the 2001 WNBA Draft, Nolan was selected by her home state team and she has been nicknamed Tweety, and is well known by fans for her amazing vertical leap. Nolan helped the Detroit Shock win their first championship in 2003, in 2006, she won another championship with Detroit and was named MVP of the 2006 WNBA Finals. In 2008, she helped the Shock win their third WNBA Championship, in 2007,2008 and 2009, she was named the Detroit Shock Player of the Year in voting by members of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. In the 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2012–13 WNBA off seasons and she obtained a Russian passport in order to not count against the teams allowed number of foreign players. She stated during 2008 that she hoped to play for the Russian Olympic team, WNBA Player Profile June 28,2005 WNBA chat transcript December 25,2005 WNBA chat transcript