The city of Cleveland was granted one of the original 8 franchises of the WNBA. In 1997, they started with such players as 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 ...
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. ...
History of the Rockers
The Cleveland Rockers are a professional women's basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. Founded in 1997 as part of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), they were one of the original eight teams to play when the league was founded. The Rockers played their home games at Gund Arena from 1998 until 2003. Then they moved to Quicken Loans Arena for their final two seasons before disbanding after 2004 due to low attendance figures and financial difficulties.
Throughout their seven-year history, the Rockers had moderate success on the court with several notable players, including Stephanie McCarty, who won Rookie of Year honors during her first season with them; Katie Smith, who was an All-Star selection three times; Deanna Jackson, who made four All-Star appearances; and Tamika Whitmore whose career high point total helped lead them into playoffs twice during 2000–01 season. Despite having some talented players on the roster each year, they never made it past the second-round playoffs, nor did they ever win a championship title while playing under the WNBA banner.
The legacy left by this pioneering franchise remains strong today among sports fans across Northeast Ohio as well as those around the country that follow the WNBA closely or have fond memories of watching these ladies battle hard against other teams over the years despite limited resources available compared to rest of league’s clubs at the period which ended too soon for many observers’ liking but will forever be remembered fondly by anyone familiar story behind rise falls beloved hometown heroes known “Cleveland Rockers."
1997 – 2003 / Women’s National Basketball Association
1997 – 2003 / Cleveland Rockers
Rockers – The Cleveland Rockers of the WNBA have been a beloved team since their inception in 1997. The name “Rockers” is one that many fans associate with the city of Cleveland and its rich music history. But where does this nickname originate from?
The story goes back to when late rock legend, guitarist, and singer-songwriter Chuck Berry performed at the Agora Ballroom in downtown Cleveland on December 6th, 1973. After playing his classic hit "Johnny B Goode," he dedicated it to everyone present and someone special: "This one's for you - my little Rocker." It was then that a fan yelled out, “Cleveland Rocks!” And so began what would become an iconic phrase associated with our great city ever since.
Fast forward 24 years to 1997, when the original owner Gordon Gund chose the name for his new WNBA franchise – The Cleveland Rockers! As Mr. Gund said, "It reflects not only our proud heritage but also celebrates some of our greatest assets — energy and enthusiasm!" And thus became part of sports lore forever more!
So there you have it; an incredible story behind how your favorite basketball team got its unique moniker – The CLEVELAND ROCKERS!!!
WNBA Championships 0
1997 – 2003 / Quicken Loans Arena
1997 – 2003 / Gordon Gund
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