How the Rockets played a role in the Houston Comets’ exit

Cynthia Cooper #14 of the Houston Comets
Cynthia Cooper #14 of the Houston Comets /
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Houston Rockets
Tina Thompson #7 of the Houston Comets (Mandatory Credit: Kellie Landis /Allsport) /

Tina Thompson explains connection between Rockets and Comets folding

Each member of the Cooper/Swoopes/Thompson trio was later inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and former coach Van Chancellor also received such honors, and rightfully so. Chancellor was named the WNBA Coach of the Year three times and posted a career winning percentage of 65.5 percent with the Comets, making him the winningest coach in WNBA history.

But in spite of the Comets’ legends and unprecedented success, they ultimately folded as a franchise in 2008. Tina Thompson made a recent appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast and explained how the Houston Rockets played a role in the Comets’ exit from the WNBA.

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“Les didn’t want to have a WNBA team anymore. The Rockets were kind of struggling and we were doing well but the Rockets were the big business. So he needed his entire staff to focus on the Rockets.

So he decided that he didn’t want to do the Comets anymore and he sold the team. He sold it to a guy that was very advantageous but just could not uphold the costs and everything to run our team. And they couldn’t find someone to buy it in time, so the franchise basically folded.”

Several of the Rockets’ personnel were pulling double-duty with both the Rockets and the Comets, including famed Rockets coach-turned-executive Carroll Dawson. Dawson simultaneously held the GM role of both the Rockets and the Comets, and Rockets CEO Tad Brown also held the CEO role with both franchises, which certainly had to have been taxing.

Next: Exploring the Rockets' struggles