Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The LA Times couldn't even bring itself to send a reporter to Houston for Coop's final game. Coop barely mentioned in Stickney's Houston Chronicle report. Not exactly a great send-off by the media.

[UPDATE: Stickney has this piece on Cooper in Monday's Chron.]

To the extent that Coach Cooper's departure has generated press, it's mostly been talk about the implications for gender trends in hiring WNBA coaches. An important topic, to be sure... but we should also take time to recognize his accomplishments. I know, everyone hates LA, but he deserves his due recognition as one of the greatest coaches in women's pro ball.

He leaves with 119 regular season wins, second only to Van. 79% regular season winning percentage, 78% overall, both best in league history. Made the playoffs every year, won the West three times, won the championship twice.

Given his awesome record, his popularity in LA, and his undying loyalty to the Laker organization, it's unfortunate that the Lakers didn't seriously consider him after Phil left. He deserved at least a chance for that job... but such is the nature of Laker decisionmaking in the post-Jerry West era, when jackass owner Jerry Buss has let his jackass star Kobe take over the team.

As Nancy Lieberman said, the snub may have been part of the reason Coop decided to get out of town. I hope he's not leaving with hard feelings. He is a great coach, and the WNBA is worse off with him gone.

Related posts:
1. Coop in Denver