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Atlanta Dream

The Atlanta Dream is a professional women's basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia, competing in the WNBA.

Team History

The Atlanta Dream joined the WNBA as an expansion team in 2008, bringing the energy and spirit of women’s professional basketball to the city of Atlanta. The franchise quickly built a reputation for its exciting play and a commitment to developing young talent. While the team has experienced both triumphs and periods of rebuilding, the Dream remain a force in the Eastern Conference, known for their determination and a vibrant fan base.

The Dream’s history is marked by exciting playoff runs, ownership transitions, and the development of star players. Their story provides a captivating look into the growth and evolution of a WNBA franchise.

Foundation and Early Years

The Atlanta Dream’s journey began in 2007 after a successful expansion bid. The team’s nickname, ‘Dream’, pays homage to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement that had its roots in Atlanta. The franchise conducted its expansion draft in February 2008, securing players like Betty Lennox and Erika de Souza.

The Dream made an immediate splash in the WNBA. In their inaugural season, under head coach Marynell Meadors, they achieved a winning record and a surprise trip to the playoffs. While they eventually lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Dream’s promising debut marked the beginning of an exciting era.

Notable Early Achievements

Building upon their initial success, the Atlanta Dream reached unprecedented heights in their early years. In 2010, led by superstar Angel McCoughtry, the Dream claimed their first Eastern Conference championship, advancing to the WNBA Finals. Although they fell short of the championship title, they repeated this feat in 2011 and 2013, solidifying their status as a WNBA powerhouse.

The Dream’s early success was fueled by a roster of talented players like Sancho Lyttle, Iziane Castro Marques, and Erika de Souza who complemented McCoughtry’s dominance. The team’s fast-paced, offensive style made them a fan favorite, and their deep playoff runs brought excitement to the city of Atlanta.

Periods of Change

Like many sports franchises, the Atlanta Dream have experienced highs and lows. Several key figures, including Angel McCoughtry, departed in the mid-2010s, marking a turning point for the team. The Dream entered a rebuilding phase, focusing on drafting and developing young players.

Ownership changes further contributed to the team’s evolution. Despite the challenges of these transitional periods, the Dream remained a competitive presence in the WNBA, making consistent playoff appearances with new generations of stars leading the way.

Championships and Achievements

While the Atlanta Dream have yet to win a WNBA championship, their legacy is defined by consistent competitiveness and remarkable achievements. The franchise has won three Eastern Conference titles (2010, 2011, 2013) and boasts a long history of playoff appearances.

Individual players have also shone brightly on the Dream. Angel McCoughtry was a scoring machine for Atlanta, and her accolades include multiple WNBA scoring titles and All-Star appearances. Other prominent Dream stars include Tiffany Hayes, Sancho Lyttle, and current standout, Rhyne Howard.

Current Roster

The current Atlanta Dream roster is a dynamic blend of experienced veterans and up-and-coming stars. The team is led by Rhyne Howard, the 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year, a versatile guard who is the cornerstone of the franchise. Her scoring prowess and ability to create for herself and others make her a nightmare for opposing defenses. Other key players include veteran guard Aari McDonald, whose energy and defensive intensity ignite the team, and forward Nia Coffey, a force on the boards with a knack for scoring around the rim.

The Dream also boasts a strong supporting cast. Center Monique Billings serves as an anchor in the paint, providing rebounding and a physical presence on defense. Kristy Wallace is an athletic forward with a smooth shooting stroke, and veteran guards like Tiffany Hayes and Danielle Robinson contribute leadership and a wealth of WNBA experience. The Dream’s roster is characterized by its versatility, allowing them to play multiple styles and adapt to the challenges presented by their opponents.

Management and Coaching Staff

The Atlanta Dream’s management and coaching staff bring a diverse mix of experience and expertise to the organization. Head coach Tanisha Wright, a former WNBA star, possesses a deep basketball IQ and a commitment to player development. Her coaching style is marked by a focus on up-tempo play, defensive pressure, and creating a positive team culture. Wright is joined by assistant coaches Paul Goriss and Vickie Johnson, who bring years of WNBA coaching and playing experience.

On the management side, the Dream are led by General Manager Dan Padover. Padover’s reputation for identifying and developing talent has been instrumental in shaping the Dream’s roster. He oversees all basketball operations, including player acquisitions, scouting, and the draft. Brooklyn Cartwright, the Director of Basketball Operations, supports Padover and plays a vital role in the team’s day-to-day operations. The combination of Wright’s coaching acumen and Padover’s front office expertise creates a strong foundation as the Atlanta Dream aim for future success.

Home Stadium Information

The Atlanta Dream call the Gateway Center Arena @ College Park their home. This 3,500-seat arena offers an intimate setting for WNBA games, creating an electric atmosphere for fans. The modern facility boasts comfortable seating, excellent views from every angle, and a variety of concessions to enhance the game-day experience.

The Gateway Center Arena is conveniently located in College Park, Georgia, making it easily accessible for fans in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Its proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offers smooth travel options for visiting teams and out-of-town fans. The arena’s size fosters a sense of community and allows fans to feel close to the action, contributing to the Atlanta Dream’s passionate and vocal fanbase.

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