Friday, May 22, 2009

Quotes from 1996

"I see the WNBA overpowering the ABL with money." - Dawn Staley, "EX-Virginia Cavalier Dawn Staley: Once shy, now a star." - July 29, 1996.

"It's not going to do a 2.0 rating. But it's all not about ratings points all the time. Tell me what the women's professional sports franchises are, and I'm there. It's not that we don't want them, it's because they haven't been made available." - Doug McCormick, President of the Lifetime Network, "Inside Media", August 17, 1996

"I'd planned to try out for the WNBA and would love to come to the Hartford/Springfield team (of the ABL) because of my connections with the area and all the talent they have." - Nancy Lieberman-Cline, "ABL Rule Separates Blizzard, Lieberman", September 11, 1996

"Bulls marketing representatives believe Chicago fans wouldn't embrace the women's game. When the U.S. Olympic team, the darlings of the Atlanta Games and the best women's team in the world, made a stop in Chicago shortly before the Opening Ceremony, a crowd announced at only 5,233 showed up at the UIC Pavilion." - "Unenthusiastic Bulls Scuttle WNBA Entry", October 31, 1996

"The Chicago Bulls' begging out of the fledgling Women's NBA is an embarrassment to Chicago sports fans." - Editorial, Chicago Tribune, November 1, 1996

"That said, this will not be an outright criticism of the Bulls' recent dismissal of a new women's basketball franchise in Chicago. With a diplomatic no, thank you, the Bulls told the NBA, which is running the new league and placing each of the eight franchises in league cities that will sponsor them, that they can't be bothered. And actually, they have a point. A WNBA franchise in Chicago, for now anyway, would probably falter under the current climate. In a supposedly sports-crazy town, fans are ambivalent about the White Sox, losing interest in the Bears and clinging capriciously to the Bulls. The Bulls, in looking at the support, or rather lack thereof, of recent women's basketball ventures here, cited the poor attendance for a brief stop by the women's Olympic team last summer, the women's NCAA tournament at the Horizon last spring and the Hustle of the WPBL some 15 years ago, which actually drew better than any team in the league." - "In Time, Chicago Might Regret Passing on Women's Hoops", November 3, 1996

"I don't see why two leagues can't co-exist because it's two different products with two different launch dates, two different life cycles and two different shelf lives," said Pam Batalis, general manager of the ABL's New England Blizzard. "I don't feel the WNBA competes with us because you're talking about two entirely different job opportunities for athletes coming out of college." - "How Good Is Their Shot? Is There Room Enough for Both, ABL and WNBA?" - December 15, 1996

"Holdsclaw doesn't need the WNBA, she needs the NBA, and she should go hardship." - Andy Landers (Georgia head coach), "Lost Luggage the Least of Iowa's Problems", December 15, 1996

"Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil, a forward for the New England Blizzard, was fined $1,500 and suspended without pay for two games for hitting a Seattle player in the head during the first American Basketball League all-star game in Hartford, Conn. Davis-Wrightsil, who was playing for the East squad, was ejected Sunday after striking Cindy Brown of the West as the two tangled for a rebound. Brown, who had a concussion, was treated and released from Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center." - "She's No Rodman", New York Times, December 17, 1996

"If the NBA starts a league, the men will always come first". - Dawn Staley, "A Survival Guide", Sports Illustrated, December 23, 1996

"A lot in the ABL is really positive. But I see some players not recognizing their responsibility as pro athletes. They're out of shape." - Tara VanDerveer, Ibid.

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