Charlotte Sting

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Charlotte Sting
Charlotte Sting logo
Conference Eastern Conference
Founded 1997
Folded 2007
Arena Charlotte Coliseum (1997–2005)
Time Warner Cable Arena (2006)
City Charlotte, North Carolina
Team colors Orange, Blue, Silver, Black, White
Owner(s) Robert L. Johnson
Championships None
Conference titles 1 (2001)
Mascot Basketball Sting [1]
Official website

The Charlotte Sting was a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) franchise based in Charlotte, North Carolina and it was one of the league's eight original teams. The team folded on January 3, 2007.

The Sting was originally the sister organization of the Charlotte Hornets, until that NBA team relocated to New Orleans in 2002. Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, purchased the team in January 2003, shortly after he was announced as the principal owner of an NBA expansion franchise that was later named the Charlotte Bobcats.

Uniforms:

  • 1997 - 2003: on the road, teal with white and purple trim, Sting logo text on the chest. At home, white with teal and purple trim. Sting logo mascot on the shorts, similar to the Charlotte Hornets
  • 2004 - 2006: on the road, orange with blue trim, Sting logo text on the chest. At home, white with orange trim. Sting logo mascot on the shorts, similar to the Charlotte Bobcats.

Franchise history[edit]

The early years[edit]

Charlotte Sting logo 1997-2003

The Charlotte Sting was one of the eight original WNBA franchises that began play in 1997. The Sting were then the sister team to the Charlotte Hornets. The Sting finished their first season with a 15-13 record and qualified for the first WNBA playoffs, but lost to eventual champions Houston Comets in the one-game semifinal.

The 1998 Sting finished the season with an 18-12 record. In the playoffs, the Sting once again lost the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Houston Comets, and the Comets once again took home the championship.

In the 1998-1999 offseason, with the folding of the American Basketball League, the Sting added former ABL guard Dawn Staley to an already impressive roster that featured Vicky Bullett and Andrea Stinson.

Their record, however, fell to 15-17 in 1999. It was still enough to qualify them for the playoffs, where they defeated the Detroit Shock in the opening round 60-54. In the Conference Finals, the Sting fell to the New York Liberty 2 games to 1.

The 2000 season was very disappointing for the Sting, with a final record of 8-24. They missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

The 2001 Sting lost 10 of their first 11 games. But the team lost only 4 games after that, finishing with an 18-14 record. Although they had barely qualified for the playoffs as the #4 seed, no one wanted to face them. In the first round, the Sting upset first the #1 seeded Cleveland Rockers and then the #2 New York Liberty, beating each in 3 games. For the first time in franchise history, the Sting found themselves in the WNBA Finals. But the magic ended there for the Sting, as they were swept by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2 games.

The Sting posted a solid 18-14 record in the 2002 season, but were swept by the Washington Mystics in the first round of the playoffs.

The Hornets Move[edit]

After the 2001-2002 NBA season, the Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans for a number of reasons. (see "New Orleans Hornets") The Sting did not accompany the Hornets out to New Orleans. For one season (2003), the Sting had no brother team.

The Late Years[edit]

The NBA immediately announced after the Hornets moved that a new team would begin play in Charlotte starting in the 2004-2005 season. Shortly after, the owner of this new franchise was announced as Robert L. Johnson. Johnson also bought the Sting to play as the sister team of the new Charlotte Bobcats.

The 2003 season saw yet another playoff appearance for the venerable Sting. The Sting had posted an 18-16 record and tied with the Connecticut Sun for the #2 seed. The Sting played the same Sun in the playoffs, and were swept out in 2 games.

After the season, Johnson changed the Sting team colors from the Hornets' teal and purple to correspond with the Bobcats' blue and orange. There was some speculation that the team might get a new name, but a newly released mascot following the same Sting theme made that idea unlikely.

During the off-season, the team made several key roster additions to its established group of veterans. After trading Kelly Miller to the Indiana Fever in exchange for the 3rd overall pick in the WNBA Draft, the Sting drafted Stanford University standout Nicole Powell. The Sting made four picks overall - including the second round pick of Penn State standout Kelly Mazzante.

The Sting did not make the playoffs in the 2004 season, as they posted a 16-18 record and finished one game out of the #4 seed. After the season, the Sting continued to build for the future - trading with the Sacramento Monarchs for Tangela Smith and a second-round draft pick in the 2006 draft in a deal that saw Nicole Powell traded to Sacramento. Having won the first pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft, the Sting selected University of Minnesota Golden Gophers player Janel McCarville.

The new-look Sting suffered a terrible 2005 season, posting the league's worst record at 6-28. During the season, the Sting traded veteran Dawn Staley to the Houston Comets and named Charlotte basketball icon Muggsy Bogues as their new head coach late in the season. The season also saw the team play its last game in the Charlotte Coliseum, the team's home arena since 1997.

The Sting moved into the Bobcats' new home, Time Warner Cable Arena, for the 2006 season. The Sting had a better season in 2006 than 2005, posting an 11-23 record. The Sting had a new arena and were clearly making progress in the rebuilding. Despite the growing number of successes on the court, the 2006 season proved to be the Sting's final season in the league.

End of the Sting[edit]

On December 13, 2006, Bobcats Sports and Entertainment turned ownership of the team over to the league, citing low attendance in Charlotte (despite a new arena) and loss of revenue.

Attempted Move to Kansas City[edit]

An investment group in Kansas City had an interest in moving the Sting to Kansas City.[1] The Sting were to play in the Sprint Center, which was due to open in the Fall of 2007. The city has not had an NBA team since the Kings' move to Sacramento, California after the 1984-85 season.

The Sting Fold[edit]

After months of talk and deliberation between the league and the investors; the plans would ultimately fall through. On January 3, 2007, the Bobcats announced that the fundraising effort by a group seeking to move the team to Kansas City had failed. The team would fold immediately, and the players would be sent to the other teams in the league via a dispersal draft.

Season-by-season records[edit]

Notable Facts[edit]

  • The Sting were the first team to play in a WNBA Finals and end up folding.

Players[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Final roster[edit]

Charlotte Sting
Final Roster
Head Coach: Muggsy Bogues Edit
Pos. No. Name College
G 10 United States LaToya Bond University of Missouri
G 1 United States Tasha Butts (IL) Tennessee
G-F 25 United States Monique Currie Duke
G 30 United States Helen Darling Penn State
C 42 United States Tye'sha Fluker Tennessee
C 33 Belarus Yelena Leuchanka (IL) West Virginia
F-C 4 United States Janel McCarville Minnesota
F-G 2 United States Sheri Sam Vanderbilt
F-C 50 United States Tangela Smith Iowa
C 55 Canada Tammy Sutton-Brown Rutgers
F 12 United States Ayana Walker Louisiana Tech
(IL) - Inactive List

Coaches and others[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WNBA’s Sting to move to K.C.". Lawrence Journal World. December 12, 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
New York Liberty
WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2001 (First title)
Succeeded by
New York Liberty