The Comets were one of the founding teams in the WNBA. Houston is still clearly a basketball city.
They capped off the league’s inaugural season in 1997 with a win over the New York Liberty in the WNBA championship game to win the WNBA’s first championship.
When the league expanded the next season, the Comets were moved from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference. In 1998, they put together a win loss record of 27-3 for a .900 winning percentage – a WNBA record that still stands. They went on to repeat as champions, defeating the Phoenix Mercury in the first-ever WNBA Finals that year due to the championship game being extended into a three-game championship series.
In 1999, led by what was already known as the Big Three, (Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson), the Comets survived a highlight-film, last-second, court-to-court, game-winning shot by the Liberty’s Teresa Weatherspoon in Game 2 of the finals to beat the Liberty in three games and win their third straight title, this one after the death of teammate Kim Perrot, who died of cancer.
In 2000, the Comets went all the way to the Finals again, and beat the Liberty in two games to win their fourth title in a row. 2000 was the Comets’ last championship and last WNBA Finals appearance in franchise history.
In 2008, Koch put the team up for sale, with an asking price of $10 million. No investors stepped up. The WNBA took over management of the Comets and disbanded the team in December 2008. They stated that they would only be suspending operations in 2009, which some people saw as a sign that the franchise could be revived if an investor came in. Comets players were sent off to other teams in a dispersal draft.
League president Donna Orender said that the collapse of the Comets was not a sign that the WNBA was in trouble. Former player Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said that the loss of the Comets was “disturbing news” and that the Comets were integral to the WNBA.
The Comets played their final home game on September 15, 2008 at the Strahan Coliseum on the campus of Texas State due to Hurricane Ike. They defeated the Sacramento Monarchs 90-81. They finished the season 17-17 and missed the playoffs for the third time in their history.
The Houston Comets were a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Houston, Texas, United States. Formed in 1997, the team was one of the original eight WNBA teams and won the first four championships of the league’s existence. They are one of two teams in the WNBA that are undefeated in the WNBA Finals; the Seattle Storm are the other (however, the Storm are still in operation). The Comets were the first dynasty of the WNBA and are tied with the Minnesota Lynx for the most championships of any WNBA franchise. The team was folded and disbanded by the league in 2008 because new ownership could not be found.
1997 – 2008 / Women’s National Basketball Association
1997 – 2008 / Houston Comets
Comets – The name captures the theme of outer space along with their partner the Rockets. Named associated with the NBA Houston Rockets.
WNBA Championships 4
2000, 1999, 1998, 1997
2008 / Reliant Arena
2004 – 2007 / Toyota Center
1997 – 2003 / Compaq Center
2008 / WNBA
2007 – 2008 / Hilton Koch
1997 – 2006 / Leslie Alexander
1 Houston Fans
10 Kim Perrot
14 Cynthia Cooper
*Blue is this team’s history