The Atlanta Dream are 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 for the 2008 WNBA season. The team is owned by Dream Too LLC, which is composed of two Atlanta businesswomen: Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler. Although the Dream share the Atlanta market with the National Basketball Association's Hawks, the Dream is not affiliated with their NBA counterpart. The Dream play at the Gateway Center Arena in College Park, Georgia.
|Founded||October 17, 2007|
|Arena||Gateway Center Arena|
|Location||College Park, Georgia|
|Team colors||Red, dark grey, light grey, white, light blue|
|General manager||Chris Sienko|
|Head coach||Nicki Collen|
|Ownership||Dream Too LLC|
|Conference titles||3 (2010, 2011, 2013)|
The Dream has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in nine of its 12 years in Atlanta and has reached the WNBA Finals three times. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as University of Louisville standouts Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel, 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 and 2013 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 as early as 1995. Eight of the twelve Olympians played on ABL teams when the league began play in October 1996. The Atlanta Glory played at Forbes Arena and lasted two seasons before folding before the start of the 1998–99 season, which would be the ABL's final.
Atlanta had been mentioned as a possible future city for WNBA expansion, but efforts did not come together until the beginning of 2007 when 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. Philips Arena (now State Farm Arena), the Gwinnett Arena (now Infinite Energy Arena) and Alexander Memorial Coliseum (now McCamish Pavilion) 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 and began searching for an owner.
On October 16, 2007, it was reported 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.
On November 27, 2007, Atlanta named Marynell Meadors, a coach with extensive experience at the college level, the first head coach and general manager in franchise history. This was Meadors' second role as a coach/general manager in the WNBA following a stint with the Charlotte Sting. 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 vote on the team name and team colors, while the final choice rested 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. On January 23, 2008, the team name was announced as the Dream, inspired by the famous speech of Atlanta native Martin Luther King Jr., and the team colors were sky blue, red, and white.
Atlanta held their expansion draft on February 6, 2008 when they selected one player from each of the 13 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.
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. On July 5, the Dream earned their first win in Atlanta 91–84 against the Chicago Sky, ending the losing streak. They later finished with a 4–30 record.
Not wanting a repeat of 2008, head coach and general manager Marynell Meadors acquired players such as Sancho Lyttle, Nikki Teasley, Chamique Holdsclaw, Angel McCoughtry, and Michelle Snow in the 2008–2009 offseason. In 2009, Atlanta reached the playoffs at 18–16, exceeding their previous record by 14 wins, but 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 under the business entity Dream Too, LLC.
The 2010 season saw further improvement, finishing in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Dream then made it through the first two rounds of the playoffs and 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. Seattle completed the sweep and won the series in Atlanta. 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 addition, the Dream struggled to open the season, starting with a 2–7 record due to an injury that sidelined Angel McCoughtry and overseas commitments by Sancho Lyttle. The team then went on a 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. However, they lost to the 27–7 Minnesota Lynx in three games.
During the 2011 season, Betty sold Dream Too LLC to local investors Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler.
The Dream started the 2012 season with a 12–12 record and fired head coach and general manager Meadors during a dispute with league-leading scorer Angel McCoughtry. Meadors was replaced by Fred Williams, finished with a 19–15 record, and lost in the first round.
Michael Cooper was then hired for the 2014 season. He lead the team to the playoffs in 2014 and 2016, but was fired after failing to make the playoffs in 2017.
The Dream played at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta, shared with the Atlanta Hawks from 2008 to 2016. In 2013, the team qualified for the WNBA Finals, but a scheduling conflict forced them to play home games at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in suburban Duluth. Due to renovations to Philips Arena during the Hawks' 2017 and 2018 offseasons, the Dream played home games at McCamish Pavilion on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The team returned to renovated Philips Arena, under the new sponsored name of State Farm Arena, for the 2019 season. Following the conclusion of the 2019 WNBA regular season, team officials indicated that the Dream would not be returning to State Farm Arena for the 2020 season, citing disagreements with the Hawks' management. The team announced on October 18, 2019, coinciding with their rebranding, they would move to the new Gateway Center Arena in nearby College Park for the 2020 season, sharing the arena with the Hawks' NBA G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks.
|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)
|2012||2012||East||3rd||19||15||.559||Lost Conference Semifinals (Indiana, 1–2)||M. Meadors (12–12)|
F. Williams (7–3)
|2013||2013||East||2nd||17||17||.500||Won Conference Semifinals (Washington, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (Indiana, 2–0)
Lost WNBA Finals (Minnesota, 0–3)
|2014||2014||East||1st||19||15||.559||Lost Conference Semifinals (Chicago, 1–2)||Michael Cooper|
|2015||2015||East||5th||15||19||.441||Did not qualify||Michael Cooper|
|2016||2016||East||4th||17||17||.500||Won First Round (Seattle, 1–0)
Lost Second Round (Chicago, 0–1)
|2017||2017||East||5th||12||22||.353||Did not qualify||Michael Cooper|
|2018||2018||East||1st||23||11||.676||Conference Finals (Washington, 2–3)||Nicki Collen|
|2019||2019||East||6th||8||26||.235||Did not qualify||Nicki Collen|
|Regular season||191||217||.468||3 Conference Championships|
|Playoffs||17||21||.447||0 WNBA Championships|
Atlanta Dream roster
- Izi Castro Marques (2008–2011)
- Érika de Souza (2008–2015), now a member of the San Antonio Stars
- Katie Feenstra-Mattera (2008)
- Lindsey Harding (2011–2012)
- Chamique Holdsclaw (2009)
- Ivory Latta (2008–2009), now a member of the Washington Mystics
- Shalee Lehning (2009–2011), later an assistant coach at Kansas State and Northern Colorado
- Betty Lennox (2008)
- Camille Little (2008), now a member of the Phoenix Mercury
- Kristen Mann (2008)
- Coco Miller (2009–2011)
- DeLisha Milton-Jones (2014–2015), now the head coach at Pepperdine
- Shoni Schimmel (2014–2015)
- Michelle Snow (2009)
- Nikki Teasley (2008)
Coaches and staff
- Ron Terwilliger (2008–2009)
- Kathy Betty (2010)
- Dream Too LLC, composed of Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler (2011–present)
|Atlanta Dream head coaches|
|Atlanta Dream statistics|
Currently, some Dream games are broadcast on Fox Sports Southeast (FS-SE) and FOX Sports South (FS-S), which are regional cable television networks covering 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 through the 2018 season were 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 attendance
- A sellout for a basketball game at State Farm Arena has differed slightly throughout its history:
- 18,729 from 2008–2011
- 18,371 in 2012
- 18,238 in 2013
- 18,118 in 2014
- 18,047 in 2015 and 2016
- 16,600 in 2019
- A sellout for a basketball game at McCamish Pavilion has been 8,600 since 2012, before the Dream temporarily moved in for 2017 and 2018.
|Regular season all-time attendance|
- 2008 Expansion Draft: Carla Thomas, Érika 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)
- 2012: Tiffany Hayes (14), Isabelle Yacoubou (32, ineligible)
- 2013: Alex Bentley (13), Anne Marie Armstrong (31)
- 2014: Shoni Schimmel (8), Inga Orekhova (18), Cassie Harberts (20)
- 2015: Samantha Logic (10), Ariel Massengale (29), Lauren Okafor (34)
- 2016: Bria Holmes (9), Rachel Hollivay (13), Courtney Walker (16), Niya Johnson (28)
- 2017: Brittney Sykes (7), Jordan Reynolds (19), Oderah Chidom (31)
- 2018: Monique Billings (15), Kristy Wallace (16), Mackenzie Engram (27)
- 2019: Brianna Turner (11), Maite Cazorla (23), Li Yueru (35)
- 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 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 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.
- February 19, 2013: The Dream traded the 7th and 19th pick in the 2013 Draft to the Washington Mystics in exchange for Jasmine Thomas and second-round pick in 2013 Draft.
- March 12, 2014: The Dream traded Alex Bentley and the 32nd pick in the 2014 Draft to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for Matee Ajavon and the 18th pick in the 2014 Draft from the Washington Mystics.
- May 7, 2014: The Dream traded Courtney Clements to the Chicago Sky in exchange for Swin Cash.
- July 9, 2014: The Dream traded Swin Cash to the New York Liberty in exchange for DeLisha Milton-Jones.
- April 16, 2015: The Dream traded Jasmine Thomas to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for Brittany Hrynko.
- July 27, 2015: The Dream traded Érika de Souza to the Chicago Sky in exchange for Damiris Dantas, Reshanda Gray, and a first-round pick in 2016 Draft from the Minnesota Lynx. Minnesota received Sylvia Fowles and a second-round pick in 2016 Draft from Chicago as part of this trade.
- February 3, 2016: The Dream traded the 4th pick in the 2016 Draft to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for Elizabeth Williams.
- May 2, 2016: The Dream traded Shoni Schimmel to the New York Liberty in exchange for second-round pick in 2017 Draft.
- January 26, 2017: The Dream traded Reshanda Gray to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for Aneika Henry-Morello.
- April 12, 2018: The Dream receive 15th pick in 2018 WNBA Draft and a second round pick in 2019 WNBA draft in exchange for Bria Holmes.
- July 9, 2018: The Dream receive Alex Bentley in exchange for Layshia Clarendon and a second round pick in 2019 WNBA draft.
- May 16, 2019: The Dream receive Dallas' third round pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft in exchange for Imani McGee-Stafford.
- 2008: No All-Star Game
- 2009: Érika de Souza, Sancho Lyttle
- 2010: Izi Castro Marques, Sancho Lyttle, Angel McCoughtry
- 2011: Angel McCoughtry
- 2012: No All-Star Game
- 2013: Angel McCoughtry, Érika de Souza
- 2014: Angel McCoughtry, Érika de Souza, Shoni Schimmel
- 2015: Angel McCoughtry, Shoni Schimmel
- 2016: No All-Star Game
- 2017: Layshia Clarendon, Tiffany Hayes, Elizabeth Williams
- 2018: Angel McCoughtry
- 2019: None Selected
- 2012: Angel McCoughtry, Érika de Souza (BRA)
- 2016: Angel McCoughtry
Honors and awards
- 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 and Armintie Price
- 2012 Peak Performer (Points): Angel McCoughtry
- 2012 All-Defensive First Team: Sancho Lyttle
- 2012 All-Defensive Second Team: Armintie Price
- 2012 All-Rookie Team: Tiffany Hayes
- 2013 All-WNBA Second Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2013 All-Defensive First Team: Angel McCoughtry and Armintie Price
- 2013 All-Rookie Team: Alex Bentley
- 2014 WNBA All-Star Game MVP: Shoni Schimmel
- 2014 All-Defensive First Team: Angel McCoughtry and Sancho Lyttle
- 2014 All-WNBA Second Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2015 All-Defensive First Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2015 All-Defensive Second Team: Sancho Lyttle
- 2015 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award: DeLisha Milton-Jones
- 2015 All-WNBA First Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2016 Most Improved Player Award: Elizabeth Williams
- 2016 All-Defensive First Team: Angel McCoughtry
- 2017 All-Rookie Team: Brittney Sykes
- 2018 Coach of the Year: Nicki Collen
- 2018 Executive of the Year: Chris Sienko
- 2018 All-Defensive First Team: Jessica Breland
- 2018 All-Defensive Second Team: Tiffany Hayes
- "Key Dates–Dream History" (PDF). 2019 Atlanta Dream Media Guide. WNBA Properties, Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
- "Atlanta Dream Unveil Bold New Brand". Dream.WNBA.com. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. October 18, 2019. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
- "Atlanta Dream Reproduction Guideline Sheet". WNBA Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
- "Women's Basketball Timeline: 1990s". Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "American Basketball League profile by Interbasket". Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Atlanta group launching effort to attract WNBA team". USA Today. February 19, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "WNBA-ATL website". From web.archive.org. Archived from the original on June 23, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Atlanta courts WNBA". Southern Voice. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Atlanta committee looking for potential owner for WNBA team". USA Today. May 30, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Atlanta lands WNBA's 14th team". USA Today. October 18, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Atlanta Franchise Names Marynell Meadors Head Coach and General Manager". WNBA. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "Atlanta WNBA owner says he's not interested in Rodman as coach". ESPN. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Names in the Game". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Atlanta Dream video at 13:15". Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
- "Atlanta's WNBA team named Atlanta Dream". WNBA. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Swartz, Kristi E. (October 29, 2009). "Atlanta businesswoman Kathy Betty to buy WNBA team". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on November 1, 2009. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
- Seattle @ Atlanta Game 3 Archived September 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "The Atlanta Dream Transfer Ownership From Kathy Betty To Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler". SB Nation. September 4, 2011.
- Voepel, Mechelle (August 27, 2012). "Sad time for Meadors, Dream". ESPN. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Voepel, Mechelle (August 24, 2012). "McCoughtry's absence is puzzling". ESPN. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- Fred Williams out as Dream head coach/GM
- Atlanta Dream won't renew coach Fred Williams' contract
- Associated Press (September 5, 2017). "Former Laker Michael Cooper fired by WNBA's Atlanta Dream". LA Times. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- "Atlanta Dream getting new logo, new home". 11Alive. WXIA TV. October 18, 2019.
- "Atlanta Dream Unveil 2019 Schedule". Atlanta Dream. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- Hummer, Steve (September 9, 2019). "Dream owners look to future that doesn't include State Farm Arena". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
- "WNBA Extends TV Rights Deal with ESPN and ABC". Sports Business. June 18, 2007. Archived from the original on November 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Article announcing new franchise
- Atlanta names Meadors Head coach/ General manager
- Atlanta announces Team Name
- Atlanta's expansion draft results
| WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2010 (First title)
2011 (Second title)
| WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2013 (Third title)