The city of Cleveland was granted one of the original 8 franchises of the WNBA. In 1997, they started with such players like Isabelle Fijalkowski and former Harlem Globetrotters member Lynette Woodard, who had been the first female player in Globetrotter history.
The Rockers finished 15-13 in the first WNBA season ever, missing the playoffs in 1997. In 1998, the Rockers went 20-10 and won the Eastern Conference title. However, the Rockers lost to the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA semi-finals (before the WNBA split the playoffs by conference).
After the 2002 season, the Gunds decided to buy the Rockers from the WNBA, seemingly ensuring the Rockers’ future. However, despite fielding competitive teams and having decent attendance for most games, the Gund family decided they did not wish to operate the Rockers after the 2003 season. No local ownership was found for the team, forcing the Rockers to fold. The Rockers ceased operation after 7 seasons, posting an all-time record of 108-112. This wouldn’t happen again until 2008 when the Houston Comets ceased operations because of lack of ownership.
The Cleveland Rockers were a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Cleveland, Ohio, that played from 1997 until 2003. The Rockers were one of the original eight franchises of the WNBA, which started in 1997. The owner was Gordon Gund, who at the time also owned the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. In October 2003, Gund announced that his Gund Arena Company would no longer operate the Rockers. The team folded after the 2003 season as the league was not able to find new ownership for the team.
1997 – 2003 / Women’s National Basketball Association
1997 – 2003 / Cleveland Rockers
Rockers – The Cleveland Rockers got their nickname from Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
WNBA Championships 0
1997 – 2003 / Quicken Loans Arena
1997 – 2003 / Gordon Gund
*Blue is this team’s history