Former Houston Comets head coach Karleen Thompson and current Atlanta Dream head coach Michael Cooper had one thing in common - they were both on the coaching staff of the Los Angeles Sparks, when Cooper was head coach and Thompson was his assistant.
Today the Atlanta Dream announced that Thompson would rejoin Michael Cooper in Atlanta as an assistant coach. From the Atlanta Dream press release:
“It will be a pleasure to work with Karleen again,” said Cooper. “She knows the ins and outs of the WNBA and her knowledge of the league will be a big asset. In addition, her player development skills are some of the best in the profession and put her in the top level of coaches in the game.”
Thompson previously spent eight years in the Los Angeles Sparks organization. She was the interim head coach of the Sparks after Cooper's departure to the NBA and she was the last head coach of the Houston Comets during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Afterwards, she was an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Clemson during the 2010-13 seasons.
Apparently, the fact that Thompson once filed suit against the WNBA in 2009 - she claimed that the league gave her false assurances about the health of the Houston team which caused her to miss out on job opportunities - was no barrier to her hiring.
Again from the press release:
"I am very excited to be a part of the Atlanta Dream organization,” said Thompson. “I am looking forward to working with Coach Cooper again and can't wait to get to work on bringing a WNBA Championship to the city of Atlanta."