Defunct Houston Comets Hold Dispersal Draft
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
In this country, seven women pro basketball players have found new jobs. The former Houston Comets players are on new teams after the Comets shut down last week. The Comets were considered the first dynasty of the WNBA. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.
TOM GOLDMAN: A week after the news, former player Cynthia Cooper still is having a hard time.
Ms. CYNTHIA COOPER (Basketball Player): It was devastating.
GOLDMAN: From 1997 to 2000, Cooper led the Houston Comets to the first four championships in WNBA history.
Ms. COOPER: I just don't believe that in the NBA, you would ever allow the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers - you just would never allow them to fail.
GOLDMAN: The NBA owned the WNBA and its teams until 2002, when owners not affiliated with the NBA were allowed to buy the women's teams. In Houston, a local businessman bought the Comets but had trouble keeping them profitable. The WNBA took over the Comets a few months ago to find new owners. It didn't happen by a November deadline, so the Comets folded - too quickly, says Jenny Dial, who covered the team for The Houston Chronicle.
Ms. JENNY DIAL (Sportswriter, The Houston Chronicle): Houston, the Comets, so much history there, so many amazing players to go through there. If you don't try to keep a team alive there for one year without an owner, just one season, then I think that that speaks volumes to where the league is now.
GOLDMAN: A WNBA official says a team could return to Houston at some point. Tom Goldman, NPR News.