Dream enduring tough season

BY foxsports • August 29, 2012

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Dream hardly look primed to win a third straight Eastern Conference title.

Star guard Angel McCoughtry, the WNBA's leading scorer, remains on indefinite suspension, and former coach-general manager Marynell Meadors is unemployed.

Fred Williams, who was promoted from assistant coach earlier this week to replace Meadors, tried to do some damage control for the team on Wednesday.

In a face-to-face meeting in his office, Williams said he gave McCoughtry a written list of requirements she must sign and comply with before he will consider reinstating her.

Williams suspended McCoughtry Monday for breaking unspecified team rules and the Dream lost at home Tuesday night to Tulsa in his Dream head coaching debut.

"I spoke with her briefly today, and we laid out some things on paper," Williams told The Associated Press Wednesday. "Until the terms we laid out are agreed upon and signed, sealed and met, she is still suspended."

The timing of Meadors' dismissal seemed more surprising than McCoughtry's suspension, but Dream co-owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler did not respond to interview requests from the AP.

Brock and Loeffler took full control of the team last September when Kathy Betty stepped down as managing partner. Betty bought the club in 2009 from Ron Terwilliger, the original owner who hired Meadors to run the expansion team before its first season in '08.

Meadors led the Dream to the last two WNBA finals, but her relationship with McCoughtry deteriorated last week -- this despite the two helping the U.S. women win a gold medal at the London Olympics.

Meadors, who made McCoughtry the league's No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009, held her star player out the starting lineup in a June 15 home victory over Los Angeles for violating an unspecified team rule. McCoughtry finished the game with 31 points.

Last week, Meadors allowed McCoughtry to skip two games for what both described as "personal reasons." In Saturday's home loss to Minnesota, McCoughtry did not start, scoring 14 points in 20 minutes.

Meadors and McCoughtry both seemed testy after losing again to the WNBA defending champion Lynx.

Meadors did not like a reporter's question about McCoughtry's status and whether the player was at full strength.

"She played," Meadors said. "She played the game tonight. I guess she is. She wouldn't be in the game if she was not, OK? All I can say is that she played tonight."

McCoughtry, who scored a combined 47 points in two games before sitting out two games last week, questioned Meadors' game strategy.

"We should've got the ball back inside because that's where we were killing at the beginning," McCoughtry said. "Next time if we play them, we've definitely got to take advantage of getting the ball inside and maintaining that the whole game."

Williams said he did not know if McCoughtry plans to sign her list of requirements before the team's shoot-around Thursday morning and its game against Washington later Thursday night.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma defended Meadors in a tweet earlier this week after she was fired. Meadors worked on Auriemma's staff that helped the U.S. women win the gold medal in London.

After Meadors was let go, Auriemma tweeted "fired atlanta owners cave in inmate in charge."


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