The Associated Press is a U. S.-based not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a unincorporated association, its members are U. S. newspapers and broadcasters. Its Statement of News Values and Principles spells out its practices; the AP has earned 52 Pulitzer Prizes, including 31 for photography, since the award was established in 1917. The AP has counted the vote in U. S. elections since 1848, including national and local races down to the legislative level in all 50 states, along with key ballot measures. AP collects and verifies returns in every county, parish and town across the U. S. and declares winners in over 5,000 contests. The AP news report, distributed to its members and customers, is produced in English and Arabic. AP content is available on the agency's app, AP News. A 2017 study by NewsWhip revealed that AP content was more engaged with on Facebook than content from any individual English-language publisher; as of 2016, news collected by the AP was published and republished by more than 1,300 newspapers and broadcasters.
The AP operates 263 news bureaus in 106 countries. It operates the AP Radio Network, which provides newscasts twice hourly for broadcast and satellite radio and television stations. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributing members of the cooperative; as part of their cooperative agreement with the AP, most member news organizations grant automatic permission for the AP to distribute their local news reports. The AP employs the "inverted pyramid" formula for writing which enables the news outlets to edit a story to fit its available publication area without losing the story's essentials. Cutbacks at rival United Press International in 1993 left the AP as the United States' primary news service, although UPI still produces and distributes stories and photos daily. Other English-language news services, such as the BBC, Reuters and the English-language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.
The Associated Press was formed in May 1846 by five daily newspapers in New York City to share the cost of transmitting news of the Mexican–American War. The venture was organized by Moses Yale Beach, second publisher of The Sun, joined by the New York Herald, the New York Courier and Enquirer, The Journal of Commerce, the New York Evening Express; some historians believe. The New York Times became a member shortly after its founding in September 1851. Known as the New York Associated Press, the organization faced competition from the Western Associated Press, which criticized its monopolistic news gathering and price setting practices. An investigation completed in 1892 by Victor Lawson and publisher of the Chicago Daily News, revealed that several principals of the NYAP had entered into a secret agreement with United Press, a rival organization, to share NYAP news and the profits of reselling it; the revelations led to the demise of the NYAP and in December 1892, the Western Associated Press was incorporated in Illinois as The Associated Press.
A 1900 Illinois Supreme Court decision —that the AP was a public utility and operating in restraint of trade—resulted in AP's move from Chicago to New York City, where corporation laws were more favorable to cooperatives. When the AP was founded, news became a salable commodity; the invention of the rotary press allowed the New York Tribune in the 1870s to print 18,000 papers per hour. During the Civil War and Spanish–American War, there was a new incentive to print vivid, on-the-spot reporting. Melville Stone, who had founded the Chicago Daily News in 1875, served as AP General Manager from 1893 to 1921, he embraced the standards of accuracy and integrity. The cooperative grew under the leadership of Kent Cooper, who built up bureau staff in South America, Europe and, the Middle East, he introduced the "telegraph typewriter" or teletypewriter into newsrooms in 1914. In 1935, AP launched the Wirephoto network, which allowed transmission of news photographs over leased private telephone lines on the day they were taken.
This gave AP a major advantage over other news media outlets. While the first network was only between New York and San Francisco AP had its network across the whole United States. In 1945, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Associated Press v. United States that the AP had been violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by prohibiting member newspapers from selling or providing news to nonmember organizations as well as making it difficult for nonmember newspapers to join the AP; the decision facilitated the growth of its main rival United Press International, headed by Hugh Baillie from 1935 to 1955. AP entered the broadcast field in 1941. In 1994, it established a global video newsgathering agency. APTV merged with WorldWide Television News in 1998 to form APTN, which provides video to international broadcasters and websites. In 2004, AP moved its world headquarters from its longtime home at 50 Rockefeller Plaza to a huge building at 450 West 33rd Street in Manhattan—which houses the New York Daily News and the studios of New York's public television station, WNET.
In 2009, AP had more than 240 bureaus globally. Its mission—"to gather with economy and efficiency an accurate and impartial report of the news"—has not changed since its founding, but digital technology has made the distribution of the AP news report an interact
The Seattle Center Arena, known colloquially as KeyArena after a previous naming rights sponsorship, is a temporarily-defunct multi-purpose arena in Seattle, Washington, under redevelopment. It is located north of downtown in the 74-acre entertainment complex known as Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World's Fair, the Century 21 Exposition, it was used for entertainment purposes, such as concerts, ice shows and sporting events. The redeveloped arena, estimated to cost $850 million, is anticipated to open in the spring of 2021. KeyArena had a seating capacity of 17,072 for basketball games, 15,177 for ice hockey games and ice shows, 16,641 for end-stage concerts, 17,459 for center-stage concerts and boxing. Risers held 7,440 on the upper level and up to 7,741 on the lower level, with luxury suites adding another 1,160 seats; the arena was most home to the Seattle University Redhawks men's basketball team from 1963–1980 and 2009–2018, the Seattle Storm of the WNBA from 2000–2018. From 2013 to 2018, it played host to the Pac-12 Conference's women's basketball tournament.
The Rat City Roller Derby league of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association were tenants from 2009–2018. KeyArena was the home of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics and two minor professional hockey teams: the Seattle Totems of the original Western Hockey League and Central Hockey League, the Seattle Thunderbirds of the current Western Hockey League. In July 2008, the Oklahoma City-based ownership group of the SuperSonics reached a settlement deal with the city of Seattle, releasing the team from the last two years of their lease with the city and allowing the team to relocate to Oklahoma City for the 2008–09 season. After 41 seasons in Seattle, the team became the Oklahoma City Thunder and the owners agreed to leave the SuperSonics name and colors in Seattle for a possible future NBA franchise; the Thunderbirds left in 2008 for the ShoWare Center in Kent, a suburb southeast of Seattle. KeyArena was the first publicly financed arena in the area to be supported by earned income from the building.
Arena finances were bolstered for several years by a payment following the 2008 Sonics settlement, but the current level of activity and revenue leaves little reserve beyond basic building maintenance. A naming rights deal with KeyCorp ended on December 31, 2010, but the building maintained the KeyArena name until its closure in October 2018; the redeveloped arena referred to as the New Arena at Seattle Center, will feature a new interior and entrance atrium while retaining the existing roof and three exterior walls. It is planned to seat 18,600 for basketball, 17,400 for ice hockey, 16,940 for end-stage concerts and events, 19,125 for center-stage concerts and boxing; the Storm will return as tenants following construction, the Redhawks are expected to return as well. In December 2018, the NHL approved a franchise expansion to Seattle, the team will begin play in the new arena for the 2021–22 NHL season; the facility was named Washington State Pavilion, Washington State Coliseum, Seattle Center Coliseum and KeyArena at Seattle Center.
The arena opened in 1962 as the Washington State Pavilion for the Century 21 Exposition, the work of architect Paul Thiry. After the close of the Exposition, the Pavilion was purchased by the city of Seattle for $2.9 million and underwent an 18-month conversion into the Washington State Coliseum, one of the centerpieces of the new Seattle Center on the former Exposition grounds. When the newly renovated Coliseum opened, the Seattle University men's basketball team became the arena's first major tenant. In 1964, the facility was renamed the Seattle Center Coliseum; the Coliseum became home to the Seattle SuperSonics beginning with their inaugural season in 1967 and remained throughout most of the team's lifetime. The Coliseum in this incarnation hosted two NBA Finals, in 1978 and 1979, both between the Washington Bullets and SuperSonics; the Bullets won in 1978. The Sonics retaliated the following year, winning in Game 5 on the Bullets' home court, thus capturing the franchise's only championship.
Upon the opening of the new Kingdome in 1976, which first hosted the NFL's Seahawks and NASL's Sounders followed by MLB's expansion Mariners in 1977, the Sonics would begin playing a small number of home games at the stadium. For the championship 1978-79 season, the basketball club moved into the Kingdome full time, they would call it home through the 1984-85 season. During those 7 years, the Sonics would play home playoff games at the Coliseum or Hec Edmundson Pavilion to not interfere with the Mariners' regular season home schedule, they would continue to play occasional games as the Kingdome through early 1990s. The arena hosted the NBA All-Star Game once, in 1974; the NBA All-Star Game itself for 1987 in Seattle was held at the Kingdome. The arena hosted the basketball competitions of the Goodwill Games in 1990. Additionally, the arena has hosted concerts by many famous artists, spanning many different genres; the Beatles performed at the arena twice, first on August 21, 1964. Their 1966 show on August 25 was the final stage performance of their career at an enclosed indoor venue.
The Cleveland Cavaliers referred to as the Cavs, are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the team began play as an expansion team in 1970, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Buffalo Braves. Home games were first held at Cleveland Arena from 1970 to 1974, followed by the Richfield Coliseum from 1974 to 1994. Since 1994, the Cavs have played home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland, shared with the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. Dan Gilbert has owned the team since March 2005; the Cavaliers opened their inaugural season losing their first 15 games and struggled in their early years, placing no better than sixth in the Eastern Conference during their first five seasons. The team won their first Central Division title in 1976, which marked the first winning season and playoff appearance in franchise history, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The franchise was purchased by Ted Stepien in 1980. Stepien's tenure as owner was marked by six coaching changes, questionable trades and draft decisions, poor attendance, leading to $15 million in financial losses; the Cavs went 66–180 in that time and endured a 24-game losing streak spanning the 1981–82 and 1982–83 seasons. George and Gordon Gund purchased the franchise in 1983. During the latter half of the 1980s and through much of the 1990s, the Cavs were a regular playoff contender, led by players such as Mark Price and Brad Daugherty, advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1992. After the team's playoff appearance in 1998, the Cavs had six consecutive losing seasons with no playoff action. Cleveland was awarded with the top overall pick in the 2003 draft, they selected LeBron James. Behind James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cavaliers again became a regular playoff contender by 2005, they made their first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007 after winning the first Eastern Conference championship in franchise history.
After failing to return to the NBA Finals in the ensuing three seasons, James joined the Miami Heat in 2010. As a result, the Cavaliers finished the 2010–11 season last in the conference, enduring a 26-game losing streak that, as of 2017, ranks as the longest in NBA history for a single season and second overall. Between 2010 and 2014, the team won the top pick in the NBA draft lottery three times, first in 2011 where they selected Kyrie Irving, again in 2013 and 2014. LeBron James led the team to four straight NBA Finals appearances. In 2016, the Cavaliers won their first NBA Championship, marking Cleveland's first major sports title since 1964; the 2016 NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors marked the first time in Finals history a team had come back to win the series after trailing three games to one. The Cavaliers have made 22 playoff appearances, won seven Central Division titles, five Eastern Conference titles, one NBA title; the Cavaliers began play in the 1970–71 NBA season as an expansion team.
They set losing records in each of their first five seasons before winning their first division title in 1976. That team was led by Austin Carr, Bobby "Bingo" Smith, Jim Chones, Dick Snyder, Nate Thurmond, head coach Bill Fitch, was remembered most for the "Miracle at Richfield", in which the Cavaliers defeated the Washington Bullets 4–3 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, they won Game 87 -- 85, on a shot by Snyder with four seconds to go. The Cavaliers moved on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time, but were without Chones after he broke his foot in a practice right before the series opener; as a result, the Cavaliers went on to lose 4–2 to the Boston Celtics. They made playoff appearances in the following two seasons before going on a six-year playoff hiatus; the early 1980s were marked by Ted Stepien's ownership, who had a disastrous run as owner and de facto general manager between 1980 and 1983. During Stepien's reign, the Cavaliers made a practice of trading future draft picks for marginal veteran players.
His most notable deal sent a 1982 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Dan Ford and the 22nd overall pick in 1980. As a result of Stepien's dealings, the NBA introduced the "Stepien Rule", which prohibits teams from trading first-round draft picks in successive seasons; the Cavaliers went 66–180, dropped to the bottom of the league in attendance and lost $15 million during Stepien's three years as the owner. The Cavs went through six coaches including four during the 1981 -- 82 season; the team finished 15–67, between March and November 1982, the team had a 24-game losing streak, which at the time, was the NBA's longest losing streak. George and Gordon Gund purchased the Cavaliers from Stepien in 1983; the Cavaliers made the playoffs ten times between 1984–85 and 1997–98. In 1988–89, the Cavaliers had their best season to date, finishing the regular season with 57–25 record behind the likes of Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Ron Harper and Larry Nance, head coach Lenny Wilkens.
They reached the Eastern Conference Finals that year. However, between 1998–99 and 2004–05, the Cavaliers failed to make a playoff appearance; the 2002–03 season saw the Cavaliers finish 17–65, tied for the worst record in the NBA. The Cavaliers' luck changed; the team selected heralded forward and future NBA MVP LeBron James, a native of nearby Akron who had risen to national stardom at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. In 2005, the team would be sold to businessman Dan Gilbert; that year, the
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Aubrey Kerr McClendon was an American businessman and the founder and chief executive officer of American Energy Partners, LP. He co-founded Chesapeake Energy, serving as its CEO and chairman, he was an outspoken advocate for natural gas as an alternative to oil and coal fuels, a pioneer in employing fracking. McClendon was a part-owner of the National Basketball Association's Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, was part of the ownership group that moved the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in 2008. On March 1, 2016, McClendon was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring "to rig bids for the purchase of oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma", he died March 2, 2016, in a single-vehicle collision. McClendon was born July 14, 1959, in Oklahoma City, the son of Carole Kerr and Joe Connor McClendon, he was the great-nephew of Robert S. Kerr, a governor of Oklahoma and U. S. senator from the state. He spent his childhood in Belle Isle, a neighborhood in Oklahoma City, attended Belle Isle Elementary School, a public school.
He graduated from Heritage Hall School in 1977 as co-valedictorian. As a teenager, he started a lawn mowing business, through which he had an early encounter with Shannon Self, who became a founding board member of Chesapeake Energy Corporation. McClendon graduated from Duke University in 1981 with a B. A. in history. His favorite area of study was the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He met his wife, the former Kathleen Upton Byrns, while at Duke, his first job after Duke was as an accountant. He was inspired to move from accounting to the energy business after reading a Wall Street Journal article about two men selling their Anadarko Basin well stake for $100 million, he worked as a landman at Jaytex Oil and Gas, a public company in Oklahoma City founded by his uncle, Aubrey M. Kerr, Jr. McClendon left Jaytex in November 1982 to pursue his own business in the oil and natural gas industry. In 1983, McClendon and Tom L. Ward "threw in together" in their initial venture into oil and natural gas.
Together, they co-founded Chesapeake Energy Corporation in 1989. McClendon and Ward were both 29 at the time. McClendon began as chairman and chief executive officer of Chesapeake, while Ward served as president and chief financial officer; the company began drilling its first two wells in Garvin County, Oklahoma, in May 1989. With Chesapeake, McClendon focused on drilling wells into unconventional reservoirs such as fractured carbonates and shales and was an early adopter of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques, which helped accelerate the company's fast early growth, his focus on these new and unconventional techniques led to him being called a "visionary leader" in the oil and natural gas industry. He took the firm public in 1993, in the following three years its stock was the most successful in the country, rising 274% in value from 1994–97, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 2005, Forbes Magazine named McClendon one of the country's top-performing executives for his role at Chesapeake.
A few years he was the highest paid CEO of all the S&P 500 companies in 2008, receiving a compensation package totaling $112 million. In 2008, McClendon was notified that his shares were no longer valuable enough to back a margin loan with Goldman Sachs and other banks. In response, McClendon was forced to sell a majority of his 31.5 million shares, comprising 94% of his stake in Chesapeake and 6% of the company. The following year, Chesapeake offered McClendon a five-year retention contract, including a $75 million bonus. In 2011, Forbes called McClendon "America's most reckless billionaire" in a cover story on his career; the profile noted his high risk tolerance and cited the sale of his shares in 2008 as a reckless move. The same year, the magazine named McClendon to its 20-20 Club, comprising the eight CEOs of public companies who had delivered annualized returns of more than 20% over a 20-year period. McClendon dismissed those. "If I wanted to always do the most popular thing I’d be a follower," he said in 2012.
"The funny thing is. A gambler is somebody who rolls the dice. We don’t do that". Chesapeake continued to grow its gas production under McClendon from 5 million to 2.5 billion cubic feet per day from 2009 to 2013. Chesapeake's discovery of large reserves of natural gas was reported to have helped reduce natural gas prices to consumers in the U. S. In a 2012 opinion piece discussing the development of the domestic oil and natural gas industry of the U. S. in the first decade of the 21st century, the former United States Secretary of Energy and Houston mayor Bill White described McClendon as "at the forefront of those heroes" of the American natural gas industry. According to allegations reported in Reuters in April 2012, McClendon took out more than $1 billion in personal loans, to finance drilling costs, from firms that were lenders to Chesapeake; this raised the potential for conflicts of interest and prompted questions on the corporate governance and business ethics of Chesapeake's senior management.
On February 20, 2013, Dow Jones reported that a Chesapeake board review found no improper conduct, no improper benefit to McClendon and no increased cost to the company. On June 7, 2012, Reuters alleged that McClendon had used Chesapeake employees to perform $3 million of personal work, including engineering and accounting support and the repair of his house, in 2010, he had used corporate planes for non-business-related travel for the McClendons' family and friends. According to Chesapeake's proxy statem
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a professional basketball league in the United States. It is composed of twelve teams; the league was founded on April 24, 1996, as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association, league play started in 1997. The regular season is played from May to September with the All Star game being played midway through the season in July and the WNBA Finals at the end of September until the beginning of October. Five WNBA teams have direct NBA counterparts and play in the same arena: the Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Washington Mystics; the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Las Vegas Aces, New York Liberty, Seattle Storm do not share an arena with a direct NBA counterpart, although four of the seven share a market with an NBA counterpart, the Storm shared an arena and market with an NBA team at the time of its founding. The Dream, the Sky, the Sun, the Wings, the Aces, the Sparks, the Storm are all independently owned.
The creation of the WNBA was approved by the NBA Board of Governors on April 24, 1996, announced at a press conference with Rebecca Lobo, Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes in attendance. The new WNBA had to compete with the formed American Basketball League, another professional women's basketball league that began play in 1996; the WNBA began with eight teams: the Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Houston Comets and New York Liberty in the Eastern Conference. While not the first major women's professional basketball league in the United States, the WNBA is the only league to receive full backing of the NBA; the WNBA logo, "Logo Woman", was selected out of 50 different designs. On the heels of a much-publicized gold medal run by the 1996 USA Basketball Women's National Team at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the WNBA began its first season on June 21, 1997 to little fanfare; the first WNBA game featured the New York Liberty facing the Los Angeles Sparks in Los Angeles. The game was televised nationally in the United States on the NBC television network.
At the start of the 1997 season, the WNBA had television deals in place with NBC, the Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation joint venture channels, ESPN and Lifetime Television Network, respectively. Penny Toler scored the league's first point; the WNBA centered its marketing campaign, dubbed "We Got Next", around stars Rebecca Lobo, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes. In the league's first season, Leslie's Los Angeles Sparks underperformed and Swoopes sat out much of the season due to her pregnancy; the WNBA's true star in 1997 was Swoopes' teammate on the Houston Comets. The Comets defeated Lobo's New York Liberty in the first WNBA Championship game; the initial "We Got Next" advertisement ran before each WNBA season until it was replaced with the "We Got Game" campaign. Two teams were added in 1998 and two more in 1999, bringing the number of teams in the league up to twelve; the 1999 season began with a collective bargaining agreement between players and the league, marking the first collective bargaining agreement to be signed in the history of women's professional sports.
The WNBA announced in 1999 that it would add four more team for the 2000 season, bringing the league up to 16 teams, with WNBA President Val Ackerman discussing expansion: "This won't be the end of it. We expect to keep growing the league."In 1999, the league's chief competition, the American Basketball League, folded. Many of the ABL's star players, including several Olympic gold medalists and a number of standout college performers joined the rosters of WNBA teams and, in so doing, enhanced the overall quality of play in the league; when a lockout resulted in an abbreviated NBA season, the WNBA saw faltering TV viewership. On May 23, 2000, the Houston Comets became the first WNBA team to be invited to the White House Rose Garden. Before this invitation, only men's sports teams had traveled to the White House. At the end of the 2000 season, the Houston Comets won their fourth championship, capturing every title since the league's inception. Led by the "Big Three" of Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson, four-time Finals MVP Cynthia Cooper, the Comets dominated every team in the league.
Under head coach Van Chancellor, the team posted a 98–24 record through their first four seasons. After 2000, Cooper retired from the league and the Comets dynasty came to an end; the top contender in the 2001 season was the Los Angeles Sparks. Led by Lisa Leslie, the Sparks posted a regular-season record of 28–4, they advanced to their first WNBA Finals and swept the Charlotte Sting. Looking to repeat in 2002, the Sparks again made a strong run toward the postseason, going 25–7 in the regular season under head coach Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Lakers. Again, Leslie dominated opponents throughout the Playoffs, leading the Sparks to a perfect 6–0 record through all three rounds, beating the New York Liberty in the 2002 Finals. Teams and the league were collectively owned by the NBA until the end of 2002, when the NBA sold WNBA teams either to their NBA counterparts in the same city or to a third party, as a result of the dot-com bubble; this led to two teams moving: Utah moved to San Antonio, Orlando moved to Connecticut and became the first WNBA team to be
The Seattle Storm are a professional basketball team based in Seattle, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association. The team was founded by her husband Barry ahead of the 2000 season; the team is owned by Force 10 Hoops LLC, composed of three Seattle businesswomen: Dawn Trudeau, Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder. The Storm has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in twelve of its seventeen years in Seattle; the franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as former UConn stars Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Breanna Stewart. In 2004, 2010, 2018, the Storm went to the WNBA Finals. Of the teams that have been to the Finals, they are one of two; the team cultivates a fan-friendly, family environment at home games by having an all-kid dance squad, which leads young fans in a conga line on the court during time-outs, to the music of "C'mon N' Ride It" by the Quad City DJ's. Named for the rainy weather of Seattle, the team uses many weather-related icons: the team mascot is Doppler, a maroon-furred creature with a cup anemometer on its head.
The Storm was the sister team of the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA prior to February 28, 2008, when the team was sold to Force 10 Hoops LLC. The Storm's predecessor was the Seattle Reign, a charter member of the American Basketball League, operating from 1996 through December 1998, when the league folded. Luckier than most localities that had an ABL team, Seattle was awarded a WNBA franchise and began play less than two years later; the Seattle Storm would tip off their first season in typical expansion fashion. Coached by Lin Dunn and led by guard Edna Campbell and Czech center Kamila Vodichkova, the team finished with a 6–26 record; the low record, allowed the Storm to draft 19-year-old Australian standout Lauren Jackson. Though Seattle did not make the playoffs in the 2001 season, Jackson's impressive rookie performance provided a solid foundation for the franchise to build on. In the 2002 draft, the Storm drafted UConn star Sue Bird, filling the Storm's gap at the point guard position. With Bird's playmaking ability and Jackson's scoring and rebounding, the team made the playoffs for the first time in 2002, but were swept by the Los Angeles Sparks.
Coach Anne Donovan was hired for the 2003 campaign. In Donovan's first year, Jackson would win the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award, but the team had a disappointing season, the Storm missed the playoffs; the 2004 Storm posted a franchise-best 20–14 record. In the playoffs, the Storm made quick work of the Minnesota Lynx; the Storm squared off against an up-and-coming Sacramento Monarchs team in the West Finals. The Storm would emerge victorious, winning the series 2–1. In the WNBA Finals, the Storm would finish off the season as champions, defeating the Connecticut Sun 2 games to 1. Betty Lennox was named MVP of the Finals; the win made Anne Donovan the first female head coach in WNBA history to win the WNBA Championship. Key players from the Storm's championship season were not on the team in 2005. Vodichkova, Tully Bevilaqua, Sheri Sam moved on to other teams. In addition, the pre-season injury of Australian star and new acquisition Jessica Bibby hampered the team's 2005 season. While they matched their 2004 record and made the playoffs, the Storm's title defense was stopped in the first round by the Houston Comets, 2 games to 1.
In 2006, the Storm would finish 18–16, good enough to make the playoffs. The Storm put up a good fight in the first round against the Sparks, but would fall short 2–1. In 2007, the Storm would finish.500, good enough to make the playoffs in a weak Western Conference. The Storm would be swept out of the playoffs by the Phoenix Mercury. On November 30, 2007, Anne Donovan resigned as head coach, was replaced by Brian Agler on January 9, 2008. Although most of Seattle's major sports teams endured poor seasons during 2008, the Storm would be the only standout team in Seattle that year, posting a franchise-best 22–12 record and finishing with a 16–1 record at home a franchise-best, but the No. 2 seeded Storm lost to the #3 Los Angeles Sparks in the first round of the playoffs in three games, ended Seattle's season at 23–14 overall. In 2009, the Storm were 20–14 and finished second in the Western Conference for the second straight year. In the playoffs, the Storm again lost to the #3 Los Angeles Sparks in 3 games, which ended their season in the first round for the fifth consecutive season.
In the 2010 season, the Storm were unstoppable with a record-tying 28 wins and 6 losses in the regular season, including a perfect 17–0 at KeyArena. This was the most home wins in the history of the WNBA. Along the way, Lauren Jackson was named WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week five times, Western Conference Player of the Month three times, on her way to being named WNBA MVP for the third time. Agler was named Coach of the Year. In the playoffs, the Storm reversed their fortunes from the previous five seasons, they started with a sweep of the Sparks, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs every time they met. They swept Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury in the conference finals, the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA Finals. With two league championships, the Storm became Seattle's most successful p