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San Antonio (Silver) Stars - WNBA Prestige Rank

San Antonio (Silver) Stars – WNBA Prestige Rank

Editor’s Note: In 2019, Nothing But Nylon created Prestige Rankings, a system designed to display the very best and very worst teams any basketball league has had to offer over history. Using points based upon various accomplishments or failures, we have ranked every WNBA team in multiple ways to show you who has truly run the show since 1997. We’re examining the defunct teams, currently the San Antonio (Silver) Stars, but take a look at all of the criteria to get a good idea of how things work.

San Antonio (Silver) Stars

Years Active: 2003-2017

Prestige Score: 21.9

Prestige Rank: 16/23

Hughes didn’t end his San Antonio career with a winning record, but with his tenure and accomplishments, he is the winningest coach the team ever had.

The Silver Stars went through three head coaches from when the team moved from Utah to San Antonio in 2003 to when it hired Hughes in 2005. It was a rough first two seasons in Texas for the franchise, going 21-47 without a postseason appearance.

Hughes didn’t immediately turn the team around. In his first season, the Silver Stars went 7-27, and improved slightly but not by much in 2006 at 13-21. But in his third year, Hughes helped lead the team to its first playoff showing after moving and the first for the franchise since 2002. As the No. 2 seed in the West, the Silver Stars advanced to the Western Conference Finals before bowing out.

In 2008, Hughes had the team in its first-ever WNBA Finals after earning the best regular season record in the league, also the first time he had come so close to a WNBA title. The team returned to the playoffs in 2009 but failed to escape the Western Conference Semifinals.

The coach stepped down before the 2010 season to focus on his other position as the team’s general manager, with Sandy Brondello replacing him for the campaign, but he resumed head coaching for the 2011 campaign. In his first two years back, Hughes had San Antonio in the playoffs both times, extending its postseason streak to six seasons in a row, but failed to win a series either time.

The Silver Stars missed the playoffs in 2013 with a 12-22 record but Hughes had them back in 2014, this time as the Stars, again losing in the first round. It would be the final postseason showing the team would experience.

The team finished last in the league in 2015 and 2016, and after a 7-27 mark to end the 2016 campaign, Hughes stepped down as San Antonio’s head coach and general manager, concluding more than a decade of work with the team.

  In his 398 total games as San Antonio’s head coach, Hughes was 169-229 (8-16 in the playoffs) with one WNBA Finals appearance, two Western Conference Finals showings and six postseasons.

After leaving San Antonio, Hughes became the head coach of the Seattle Storm in 2018 and led the team to a championship that same season, the first of his career. He is in his second year at the helm in Seattle.

Breakdown

The franchise was in San Antonio for 15 seasons. Eleven of those were spent below .500.

This is not good.

The team arrived in the city in 2003 and didn’t finish a reason with positive points until 2007.

In the last three years the Stars were in San Antonio before relocating again and becoming the Las Vegas Aces, the team combined for -42 points with -14 points each season. Only once did the team break triple-digit points for a season in our system, and otherwise its best year was 88 points in 2007.

If not for the WNBA Finals appearance in 2008 and the 214 points from that campaign, San Antonio would find itself even further down this list. In a league where teams have come and gone very quickly, sticking in one city for one-and-a-half decades is significant. But San Antonio did nothing with most of that time, so while the time the franchise spent in the city should be remembered, it wasn’t all that memorable.

San Antonio (Silver) Stars Totals

  • WNBA Championships: 0 |0 points|
  • WNBA Finals Appearances: 1 |60 points|
  • Series Wins: 3 |90 points|
  • Playoffs Wins: 8 |120 points|
  • Playoffs Byes: 0 |0 points)|
  • Playoffs Appearances: 7 |88 points|
  • Regular Season Top Record: 1 |10 points|
  • Above .500 Regular Season: 4 |16 points|
  • All-WNBA Player on Roster: 8 |24 points|
  • MVP on Roster: 0 |0 points|
  • Coach of the Year: 1 |5 points|
  • Regular Season Worst Record: 4 |-40 points|
  • Below .500 Regular Season: 11 |-44 points|

Total points: |329|

Fast Facts

Best Year: 2008

The Silver Stars didn’t get off to the best start, beginning the season 3-4. But from there, the team rattled off five-straight victories, then won seven in a row from late June into July. Another five triumphs to close the regular season gave San Antonio a 24-10 record, the best mark in the league by two games.

In the Western Conference Semifinals, San Antonio faced the No. 4 seed Sacramento Monarchs, a rematch of their first round series in 2007. In Game 1, Becky Hammon had an unforgettable night, putting up 30 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and three other Silver Stars scored in double figures as they took an early series advantage, 85-78. But the Monarchs responded in Game 2 as Crystal Kelly, Nicole Powell, Ticha Penicheiro and Adrian Williams-Strong combined for 59 points as Sacramento tied the series, 84-67. The top seed had the last laugh, though, in an 86-81 win behind 27 points via Sophia Young-Malcolm and 13 important points from Edwige Lawson-Wade off the bench.

San Antonio battled the No. 3 seed Los Angeles Sparks in the Western Conference Finals, and the Silver Stars started behind. The Sparks won Game 1, 85-70, as Lisa Leslie posted 22 points and Candace Parker notched a double-double. San Antonio woke up in Game 2, barely surviving to force a Game 3, 67-66, as Young-Malcolm amassed her own double-double on 21 points and 11 rebounds, a vital response to more incredible performances from Leslie and Parker. In a decisive Game 3, San Antonio squeaked by again, 76-72, as Hammon put on an absolute show with 35 points on 10-of-18 shooting, seven rebounds and four assists, sending the Silver Stars to their first-ever WNBA Finals.

The fun ended in the final round, though. San Antonio met the East’s top-seeded Detroit Shock, who was in their third-straight WNBA Finals and in search of their second title in three years. In Game 1, Detroit’s Katie Smith and Taj McWilliams-Franklin scored 49 points together as the Shock took the victory, 77-69. In the second game, Smith again broke 20 with 22 points and Detroit held San Antonio’s supporting cast in check for a 69-61 win. The Shock swept the series and clinched the championship with a 76-60 triumph in Game 3 behind double-digit scoring performances from Smith, McWilliams-Franklin and Deanna Nolan, plus important efforts on the glass via McWilliams-Franklin, Kara Braxton and Alexis Hornbuckle.

Hammon was the team’s top scorer, posting 17.6 points per game. Young-Malcolm was a narrow second (17.5), with Ann Wauters (14.7) and Erin Perperoglou (7.2) behind. Wauters was the leading rebounder at 7.5 boards per night, and Hammon was the best distributor with 4.9 dimes per contest. It was the fourth season in charge in San Antonio for head coach Dan Hughes and the first of two WNBA Finals appearances in his career. Young-Malcolm received All-WNBA First Team recognition, and Hammon was named to the All-WNBA Second Team.

Points: 214

 

Worst Year: 2016

San Antonio ended in the WNBA basement and completed seasons with -14 four different times: 2004, 2015, 2016 and 2017. But never did it do worse than in 2016.

Four times, the Stars lost at least four games in a row, including two six-game skids in the second half of the season. In the end, the team finished 7-27, three of those wins coming in a two-week span in the middle of the year, good for the worst record in the league by four games.

Kayla McBride was the top scorer on the team at 17.1 points per game, with Moriah Jefferson (13.9), Monique Currie (10.7) and Dearica Hamby (9.0) second through fourth. Jayne Appel-Marinelli posted a team-high 5.4 rebounds per outing, and Jefferson was the leading passer with 4.2 assists per contest. It was Dan Hughes’s 11th overall season as San Antonio’s head coach and sixth-straight after stepping away from the role to focus on his general managing responsibilities for one year in 2010.

Points: -14

Winningest Coach: Dan Hughes

Hughes didn’t end his San Antonio career with a winning record, but with his tenure and accomplishments, he is the winningest coach the team ever had.

The Silver Stars went through three head coaches from when the team moved from Utah to San Antonio in 2003 to when it hired Hughes in 2005. It was a rough first two seasons in Texas for the franchise, going 21-47 without a postseason appearance.

Hughes didn’t immediately turn the team around. In his first season, the Silver Stars went 7-27, and improved slightly but not by much in 2006 at 13-21. But in his third year, Hughes helped lead the team to its first playoff showing after moving and the first for the franchise since 2002. As the No. 2 seed in the West, the Silver Stars advanced to the Western Conference Finals before bowing out.

In 2008, Hughes had the team in its first-ever WNBA Finals after earning the best regular season record in the league, also the first time he had come so close to a WNBA title. The team returned to the playoffs in 2009 but failed to escape the Western Conference Semifinals.

The coach stepped down before the 2010 season to focus on his other position as the team’s general manager, with Sandy Brondello replacing him for the campaign, but he resumed head coaching for the 2011 campaign. In his first two years back, Hughes had San Antonio in the playoffs both times, extending its postseason streak to six seasons in a row, but failed to win a series either time.

The Silver Stars missed the playoffs in 2013 with a 12-22 record but Hughes had them back in 2014, this time as the Stars, again losing in the first round. It would be the final postseason showing the team would experience.

The team finished last in the league in 2015 and 2016, and after a 7-27 mark to end the 2016 campaign, Hughes stepped down as San Antonio’s head coach and general manager, concluding more than a decade of work with the team.

  In his 398 total games as San Antonio’s head coach, Hughes was 169-229 (8-16 in the playoffs) with one WNBA Finals appearance, two Western Conference Finals showings and six postseasons.

After leaving San Antonio, Hughes became the head coach of the Seattle Storm in 2018 and led the team to a championship that same season, the first of his career. He is in his second year at the helm in Seattle.

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