For the greater part of the offseason, news from the Dream organization has come from new owner Kathy Betty making the rounds in Atlanta to promote the team.
Betty has appeared at the Georgia Tech women's basketball games to advocate for both Georgia Tech and the WNBA Atlanta franchise as a graduate of Georgia Tech. The Dream has further partnered with WXIA to present a Team of the Week award to deserving girls' basketball teams in Georgia. All of this is well and good in putting the Dream in the public eye…but fans probably want to know what's going on inside the Dream.
As most WNBA fans know, there have been some changes in the off-season that affect every team. The salary cap has been lowered, and only one coach may be the "assistant coach" in terms of road travel. There are three coaches on the Dream staff - Fred Williams, Carol Ross, and Sue Panek who is director of basketball operations.
So which one of the three will travel with the team? That hasn't been decided. However, all three coaches are still employed by the Dream organization. Teams are apparently allowed to keep them on the payroll, but not technically as assistant coaches. So the Dream might continue to benefit from their basketball knowledge, even though only one of them might be sitting next to Meadors on the bench during road trips.
Another open question is Chamique Holdsclaw. Holdsclaw is one of the greatest WNBA players, but she suffered from injuries both before and during the 2009 WNBA season. Both Holdsclaw and Shalee Lehning were essentially out during the playoff series against the Detroit Shock; their absence had a lot to do with Atlanta being swept in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The big question: how healthy is Holdsclaw? Can she still contribute?
Now in Cypress, Holdsclaw had a nice game recently, which is a good sign. If Holdsclaw remains healthy for most of the season, and if the Dream lose no one important (de Souza) to free agency then a season like last year's wouldn't be unexpected.
What might be the strangest thing coming out of the 2010 Dream season? Stability.
A new owner who theoretically isn't going anywhere.
A solid coaching staff.
A returning healthy veteran.
The return of the Rookie of the Year.
For those of us who suffered from the 2008 season, stability will take a little getting used to.