San Antonio Silver Stars
San Antonio Stars
Las Vegas Aces (2018–present)
|Location||San Antonio, Texas|
|Team Colors||Black, white, silver|
|Owners||Spurs Sports & Entertainment|
|Conference titles||1 (2008)|
|Retired numbers||1 (25)|
The San Antonio Stars were a team in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) based in San Antonio, Texas. They were one of the original eight founding teams in the WNBA. Originally based in Salt Lake City, Utah under the name the Utah Starzz, the team moved to Texas in 2003 and became the San Antonio Silver Stars, then simply the San Antonio Stars in 2014. The Stars was the sister team of the San Antonio Spurs.
- 1 Franchise history
- 2 Season-by-season records
- 3 All-Time Notes
The Utah Starzz Years (1997–2002)
One of the eight original WNBA teams, the Utah Starzz (partially named after the old ABA team, the Utah Stars, but with the zz at the end like the Utah Jazz) never met the same success as their (former) counterpart in the NBA, the Utah Jazz. They held the distinction of having the worst record in the WNBA in 1997 and were the first team to select in the 1998 WNBA Draft. With their selection, they picked 7 ft. 2 in. center Margo Dydek, who easily became the tallest player in WNBA history. Unfortunately, the pickup of Dydek did little to help their cause and they again finished near the bottom of the league in the 1998 & 1999 seasons. The Starzz finally posted a winning record in 2000, but did not make the playoffs. In 2001, the Utah Starzz made it to the playoffs for the first time, but they were quickly swept in the first round by the Sacramento Monarchs. In 2002, the Starzz made it to the playoffs again, and this time beat the Houston Comets in the Western Conference Semifinals 2 games to 1. Their playoff run ended in the Western Finals, however, as they were swept aside by the eventual champs, the Los Angeles Sparks.
Relocation to San Antonio
When the NBA divested itself of all of its WNBA franchises at the end of the 2002 season, the Utah Jazz ownership did not wish to retain ownership of the Starzz. The Starzz then looked for local Utah potential buyers, but none were found, leaving the franchise with the choices of either being sold to out-of-town investor(s) or folding.
The Starzz avoided being folded when the franchise was sold to Peter Holt (the owner of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs) and relocated to San Antonio, Texas. The team's name was changed to the San Antonio Silver Stars and would change its team colors to the silver and black motif used by the Spurs.
The Stars Fall Short (2003–2006)
Immediately after moving, the new Silver Stars made major roster moves, as they traded star Natalie Williams along with Coretta Brown to the Indiana Fever in exchange for Sylvia Crawley and Gwen Jackson. After losing seasons in 2003 and 2004, the team then traded away star Margo Dydek.
For the first four seasons (2003–2006) after moving to San Antonio, the franchise was unable to change its old losing trend and did not make the playoffs, in sharp contrast to their current NBA counterpart, the San Antonio Spurs. From 1997-2002, the Utah Starzz had a record of 87-99. From 2003-2006, the San Antonio Silver Stars record was 41-88.
Picking Things Up (2007–2008)
The 2007 season brought a lot of change for the Silver Stars. They acquired stars Becky Hammon, Ruth Riley, and Sandora Irvin in trades, selected Helen Darling in Charlotte Sting's dispersal draft, drafted Camille Little in the second round, signed Erin Buescher during the off-season, and retained key players, such as Marie Ferdinand-Harris, Vickie Johnson, Shanna Crossley, Kendra Wecker, and Sophia Young. The new-look Silver Stars became an instant contender in the Western Conference. On August 4, 2007 the Silver Stars clinched their first playoff berth since the franchise relocated to San Antonio in 2003. In the first round, the Silver Stars were matched up against the Sacramento Monarchs. After losing game 1 in Sacramento, the Silver Stars would win games 2 and 3 to advance to the Western Finals. The Silver Stars faced off against a strong Phoenix Mercury team, which had the number 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Silver Stars would lose Game 1 at home 102-100 on a controversial call by ref Lisa Mattingly. Mattingly called a foul on Shanna Crossley with 2.1 seconds left in the game and the score tied at 100. Replay showed that Crossley made no contact with Phoenix's Cappie Pondexter. However, Pondexter was sent to the line and made both free throws and Crossley's half-court shot to win the game nearly went in. On September 1, 2007 the Silver Stars' season came to an end after the Stars lost Game 2 98-92 in Phoenix.
Heading into in 2008, the Silver Stars were regarded as a premiere contender and did not disappoint. After an average start, the Stars seized control of the Western Conference and rode to the best record in the West, and the #1 seed in the playoffs. In the first round, the Silver Stars once again faced off against the Sacramento Monarchs. Unlike 2007, the Stars won Game 1 on the road, 85-78. But the Monarchs would prove pesky, spoiling a potential clinch in Game 2 crushing the Silver Stars at home 84-67. Now the Silver Stars had to win game 3 or face an offseason of disappointment. In the Game, the Silver Stars would secure a 14 point lead and it seemed over. But a late rally by the Monarchs, including the last seven points in regulation, sent the game into overtime. In overtime, the Silver Stars clamped down and proved they were the better team, defeating the Monarchs 86-81, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the second season in a row. In the West Finals, the Stars faced the resurgent Los Angeles Sparks team. In Game 1 in LA, the Stars took an early lead, but an 11-0 run by the Sparks into the half changed the tempo of the game and the Sparks took Game 1 85-70. In Game 2, the Silver Stars blew a fourteen point lead in the final quarter, as the Sparks took a one point lead with 1.3 seconds left. The Stars season was over unless there would be a miracle. Fortunately for the Stars, Sophia Young delivered with a 14-foot turnaround shot to lift the Silver Stars to a 67-66 game 2. It came down to Game 3, with a trip to the WNBA Finals on the line. The two teams battled down the stretch, but the stellar play of Becky Hammon, who had 35 points and 4 crucial free throws, would lift the Silver Stars to their first WNBA Finals, defeating the Sparks 76-72. In the WNBA Finals, the Silver Stars faced the Detroit Shock, who were making their third WNBA Finals appearance in a row. In Game 1 at home, the Silver Stars fell behind early, but would tie the game at 69 with 2:15 left in the 4th quarter. But from there the Shock took control once again and won the game 77-69.
Struggling Stars (2009–10)
By the time the 2009 season opened, San Antonio were already on a struggling basis, being stuck in fourth place in the West throughout the year. However, the Silver Stars eventually started to rise a bit and later clinched a playoff berth, despite a sub-500 record of 15-19. After winning the first game against the Phoenix Mercury, the Silver Stars were unable to recover and lost the remaining two games to lose the series 2-1.
The 2010 season was not much different for the Stars. They finished with an unimpressive 14–20 record but sneaked into the third seed of the playoffs in a below-average Western Conference. The Silver Stars were swept in the first round of the playoffs by Phoenix and it was clear that some changes were needed
Stars align in San Antonio (2011–2017)
In early 2011, it was announced that the Silver Stars would host the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game.
The Silver Stars started the 2011 season with a 7–3 record, led by the return of former head coach Dan Hughes. Along with the quality play from Becky Hammon and Sophia Young, three rookies made the Silver Stars' roster in 2011. Danielle Robinson, Danielle Adams, and Porsha Phillips were all drafted in 2011. Adams' play was so good that she was awarded the honor of being named Rookie of the Month for June, beating out top draft picks Maya Moore and Liz Cambage.
In the 2012 playoffs, the Silver Stars lost in the first round to the Los Angeles Sparks. The team would miss the playoffs in 2013. In the 2014 playoffs, the Stars would lose in the first round to the Minnesota Lynx.
Due to renovations at AT&T Center, the Stars played at Freeman Coliseum for the 2015 season. For the 2016 season, the Stars moved back to the AT&T Center after the renovations to the arena were completed.
Relocation to Las Vegas
The NBA and WNBA approved the sale of the Stars to MGM Resorts International on October 17, 2017, with the intention of relocating the team to Las Vegas and playing at the Mandalay Bay Events Center starting in the 2018 season.
- 1997–2002: At home, white with blue and purple trim. Starzz logo test is on the chest in purple. Away from home, teal with white Starzz logo text on the chest and blue trim on the sides. Starzz logo "U" is on the right leg of the shorts.
- 2003–2006: At home, silver with black trim. Stars logo text is on the chest in black. Away from home, black with silver trim. Stars logo text is on the chest in white.
- 2007–2010: At home, silver with black stars down the side. Stars logo text is on the chest in black. Away from home, black with silver stars down the side. San Antonio text is on the chest in white. Player's names are beneath their numbers on the back of the uniform.
- 2011–2013: As part of the move to Adidas's Revolution 30 technology, the Silver Stars made subtle changes such as rounded numbers and team nickname on both uniforms. In the 2013 season, the numbers were slightly modified.
- 2014–2017: Uniform sponsor H-E-B was added, and the 'Stars' script was updated.
|Season||Team||Conference||Regular season||Playoff Results||Head coach|
|2001||2001||West||3rd||19||13||.594||Lost Conference Semifinals (Sacramento, 0–2)||Williams/Harvey|
|2002||2002||West||3rd||20||12||.625||Won Conference Semifinals (Houston, 2–1)
Lost Conference Finals (Los Angeles, 0–2)
|San Antonio Silver Stars|
|2007||2007||West||2nd||20||14||.588||Won Conference Semifinals (Sacramento, 2–1)
Lost Conference Finals (Phoenix, 0–2)
|2008||2008||West||1st||24||10||.706||Won Conference Semifinals (Sacramento, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (Los Angeles, 2–1)
Lost WNBA Finals (Detroit, 0–3)
|2009||2009||West||4th||15||19||.441||Lost Conference Semifinals (Phoenix, 1–2)||Dan Hughes|
|2010||2010||West||3rd||14||20||.412||Lost Conference Semifinals (Phoenix, 0–2)||Sandy Brondello|
|Regular season||201||257||.439||1 Conference Championship|
|Playoffs||9||17||.346||0 WNBA Championships|
- Denise Taylor (1997)
- Frank Layden (1998)
- Frank Williams (1999–2001)
- Candi Harvey (2001–2003)
- Shell Dailey (2003), interim
- Dee Brown (2004)
- Vonn Read (2004), interim
- Shell Dailey (2004), interim
- Dan Hughes (2005–2010)
- Sandy Brondello (2010)
- Dan Hughes (2011–2016)
- Vickie Johnson (2016–2017)
- Danielle Adams (2011–2015)
- Chantelle Anderson (2005–2007)
- Shyra Ely (2005–2006)
- Jennifer Azzi (2000–2003)
- Elena Baranova (1997–1999)
- Edna Campbell (2005)
- Sylvia Crawley (2003)
- Margo Dydek (1998–2004)
- Marie Ferdinand (2003–2007)
- Adrienne Goodson (1999–2004)
- Dena Head (1997–1998)
- Chamique Holdsclaw (2010)
- Shannon "Pee Wee" Johnson (2004–2006)
- Vickie Johnson (2006–2009)
- Wendy Palmer-Daniel (1997–1999, 2005)
- Semeka Randall (2002–2004)
- Olympia Scott (1998–1999)
- Michelle Snow (2010)
- Kate Starbird (2000–2002)
- LaToya Thomas (2004–2006)
- Ann Wauters (2008–2009)
- Adrian Williams (2004)
- Natalie Williams (1999–2002)
All-Time Draft Picks
- 2003 Miami Sol/Portland Fire Dispersal Draft: LaQuanda Barksdale (12)
- 2003: Coretta Brown (11), Ke-Ke Tardy (25), Brooke Armistead (40)
- 2004 Cleveland Rockers Dispersal Draft: LaToya Thomas (3)
- 2004: Cindy Dallas (21), Toccara Williams (34)
- 2005: Kendra Wecker (4), Shyra Ely (14), Catherine Kraayeveld (27)
- 2006: Sophia Young (4), Shanna Crossley (16), Khara Smith (30)
- 2007 Charlotte Sting Dispersal Draft: Helen Darling (4)
- 2007: Camille Little (17), Nare Diawara (30)
- 2008: Chioma Nnamaka (21), Alex Anderson (39)
- 2009 Houston Comets Dispersal Draft: Selection Waived
- 2009: Megan Frazee (14), Sonja Petrovic (26), Candyce Bingham (39)
- 2010 Sacramento Monarchs Dispersal Draft: Laura Harper (5)
- 2010: Jayne Appel (5), Alysha Clark (17), Alexis Rack (29)
- 2011: Danielle Robinson (6), Danielle Adams (20), Porsha Phillips (30)
- 2003: Marie Ferdinand
- 2004: Shannon Johnson
- 2005: Marie Ferdinand
- 2006: Sophia Young
- 2007: Becky Hammon, Sophia Young
- 2008: No All-Star Game
- 2009: Becky Hammon, Sophia Young
- 2010: Jayne Appel, Becky Hammon, Michelle Snow, Sophia Young