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Seattle Storm
Seattle Storm logo
League/Conference information
League WNBA
Conference Western Conference
Team information
Formed 2000 (active 18 years)
History Seattle Storm
(2000–present)
Location Seattle, Washington
Arena KeyArena
Team colors Yellow, green, grey
              
Personnel
Owner Force 10 Hoops LLC
General
manager
Alisha Valavanis
Head Coach Dan Hughes
Championships and titles
Championships 3 (2004, 2010, 2018)
Conference
titles
3 (2004, 2010, 2018)
Retired number 1 (15)

The Seattle Storm are a professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded before the 2000 season began. The team is owned by Force 10 Hoops LLC, which is composed of three Seattle businesswomen: Dawn Trudeau, Lisa Brummel, and Ginny Gilder.

The Storm has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in eight of its eleven years in Seattle. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as all-star point guard Sue Bird, sharp-shooter and 2004 Finals MVP Betty Lennox, former UConn star Swin Cash, and Australian power-forward Lauren Jackson. In 2004, 2010 and 2018 the Storm went to the WNBA Finals; they won each time, beating Connecticut in 2004, the Atlanta in 2010 and Washington in 2018.

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 (The Train)" 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 theme song for Storm home games is AC/DC's Thunderstruck; and its newsletter is called Stormwatch.

The Storm was the sister team of the Seattle SuperSonics until February 28, 2008, when the team was sold to an independent ownership group in Seattle.[1]

Franchise history

A gloomy start (2000–2002)

The Storm's predecessor was the Seattle Reign, a charter member of the American Basketball League (ABL), operating from 1996 through December 1998, when the league folded. Luckier than most localities that had an ABL team, Seattle was quickly awarded a WNBA franchise and began play less than two years later.

The Seattle Storm would tip off their first season (the 2000 WNBA 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, however, 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.

Sue Bird's arrival and the road to the WNBA Finals

File:WNBA Sue Bird cropped.jpg

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 (with Bird injured for much of the year), and the Storm missed the playoffs.

The 2004 Storm posted a then franchise-best 20–14 record. In the playoffs, the Storm made quick work of the Minnesota Lynx, sweeping them in the first round. The Storm then 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.

A consistent postseason contender (2005–2009)

Key players from the Storm's championship season were not on the team in 2005. Vodichkova, Tully Bevilaqua, and 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 (17–17), good enough to make the playoffs in a weak Western Conference. The Storm would be quickly swept out of the playoffs by the Phoenix Mercury.

On November 30, 2007, Anne Donovan resigned as head coach, and was replaced by Brian Agler on January 9, 2008.[2][3]

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, also 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, and 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.

A second championship (2010)

In the 2010 season, the Storm were almost 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, and Western Conference Player of the Month three times, on her way to being named WNBA MVP for the third time. Agler was also named Coach of the Year.

In the playoffs, the Storm dramatically reversed their fortunes from the previous five seasons. They started with a sweep of the Sparks, the team that previously knocked them out of the playoffs every time they met. Then they swept Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury in the conference finals, and the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA Finals. With two league championships, the Storm became Seattle's most successful pro sports team by that measure.

Off-court activity

2006 and 2008 sales

Following disagreements between the Basketball Club of Seattle (the former owners of the Sonics and Storm) and the city of Seattle concerning the need to renovate the KeyArena, the Seattle SuperSonics and the Seattle Storm were sold to an Oklahoma City group led by Clay Bennett on July 18, 2006.[4] Bennett made it clear that the Sonics and Storm would move to Oklahoma City at some point after the 2007–08 NBA season, unless an arena for the Sonics was approved by Seattle leaders before October 31, 2007. During this period of uncertainty, the Storm announced that they would play their 2008 WNBA season in Seattle at KeyArena.[5]

On January 8, 2008, Bennett sold the team to a Seattle group of women called Force 10 Hoops, LLC.[6] The sale was given unanimous approval from the WNBA Board of Governors on February 28, 2008.[7] This keeps the team in Seattle and disconnected it from the Sonics, which was dissolved with the 'new' basketball franchise and assets relocated to Oklahoma City.

Uniform sponsor

On April 21, 2010, the Storm and the WNBA announced a sponsor agreement with Bing, a search engine from Microsoft, to place the company's logo on their jerseys for the 2010 season.[8][9]

Championship ring for President

SeattleStorm BarackObama

June 29, 2011: Barack Obama holds up his championship ring with Seattle Storm basketball players Sue Bird, (left) and Swin Cash (right). The President welcomed the 2010 WNBA Champion Seattle Storm at the Rose Garden of the White House.

In June 2011, President of the United States Barack Obama invited the 2010 WNBA champion Seattle Storm to the White House. He stated that the franchise provided a good example for young girls with big dreams. He praised the Storm for the community service they perform and stated that being champions did not end when they step off the court. The Storm presented the President with a championship ring.[10]

Season-by-season records

Players

Current roster

Template:Seattle Storm roster

Former players

Coaches and staff

Owners

General managers

Directors of player personnel

Assistant coaches

  • Kathy Anderson (2000–2001)
  • Missy Bequette (2000–2001)
  • Carrie Graf (2002)
  • Gary Kloppenburg (2002)
  • Jenny Boucek (2003–2005, 2011–present)
  • Jessie Kenlaw (2003–2006)
  • Heidi VanDerveer (2006–2007)
  • Shelley Patterson (2007–2009)
  • Nancy Darsch (2008–2013)
  • Shaquala Williams (2014)
  • Rob Fodor (2015)
  • Ryan Webb (2015–2017)
  • Leah Drury (2016)
  • Crystal Robinson (2018–present)

Media coverage

Template:For

Currently, some Storm games are broadcast on KONG, which is a local television station for the area of Seattle. More often than not, NBA TV will pick up the feed from the local broadcast, which is shown nationally. Broadcasters for the Storm games are Dick Fain and Adia Barnes.

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 Storm 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 Storm, as well as other teams in the league.[11]

All-time notes

Regular season attendance

  • A sellout for a basketball game at KeyArena is 17,072.
Regular season all-time attendance