The first moment that the Chicago Sky was breathed into existence came about in February 2005, when David Stern – the NBA Commissioner – stated that Chicago had been awarded a new WNBA team franchise.
It was named WNBA Chicago until its final name, the Sky, was decided on in September that same year. Dave Cowens, a former NBA player and coach, was selected to coach the team and function as their General Manager in their maiden season.
As opposed to most of the other WNBA teams, the Chicago Sky did not begin as an affiliate or sister team of the Bulls, the NBA team that it shares the city with. This is reflected in the different team colors and different home arenas, among other things.
The home arena of the Chicago Sky is the Allstate Arena. The colors yellow and blue were selected to reflect the beauty of a sunny day in Chicago, and the logo was created to reflect the beauty of the Chicago skyline. Several big name sin the WNBA were present at that September inauguration of the Chicago Sky, including Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Temeka Johnson, and Ruth Riley.
In November of 2005, an expansion draft was held to help the Sky create a team and bring in talent. A few of the players chosen to be on the team for its freshman season were Brooke Wyckoff, Stacey Dales, and Elaine Powell.
In 2006, it was released that two of the minority shareholders in the team who helped make the teams creation possible were Michelle Williams – a Destiny’s Child vocalist, and Matthew Knowles – Beyonce Knowles’ father. Their investment – as well as the investments of others – coupled with the marketing genius of Margaret Stender to create a team that is now a force to be reckoned with in the WNBA league.
Their first season was nothing special – in fact, the Sky finished last in the league with a dismal 5-29 record. They did not give up, though, and used their draft picks to nab Armintie Price and Monique Currie, two players who would end up playing pivotal roles in the team’s future success.
The Chicago Sky’s sophomore season began with a new coach: Bo Overton. He led them to a much more competitive record, finishing the season 14-20 and only two wins away from the fourth and last playoff spot available. Even though the team did not make it to the playoffs, they had been definite contenders throughout the season.
On a positive note for the team, their draft pick rookie – Armintie Price – received the honor of being named the WNBA Rookie of the Year.
This set the tone for the Sky, and their future bids to reach the playoffs. Although they have yet to win a spot at the coveted payoffs, they Sky has done a lot as a new and developing team to create a strong foundation that they can build on for the future, including acquisition of ShamekaChriston and CathrineKraayeveld in 2010.