The Chicago Sky have opted not to retain general manager and head coach Pokey Chatman for the 2017 season, ending her six-year tenure at the head of the franchise. The Sky are coming off an 18-16 season which placed them second in the Eastern Conference and saw them knock-off the Atlanta Dream in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs before losing in the WNBA Semifinals to the eventual champion-Los Angeles Sparks.
The Sky have reached the Playoffs the last four years under Chatman’s direction, reaching the WNBA Finals in 2014 despite finishing the regular season just 15-19. After knocking off both Atlanta and Indiana on their way to the WNBA Finals where they would eventually get swept by the Phoenix Mercury, it was the lone Conference championship the franchise has won in its 11-year history.
In a statement released by Chatman following the news, she said, “I want to thank the incredible fans of Chicago, my staff and all of the players for their hard work and dedication in helping to grow the franchise. I am proud of what we were able to accomplish.”
One of those players who was instrumental in the franchise’s development is 2015 WNBA MVP, Elena Delle Donne. She was won Rookie of the Year in 2013, helping the Sky to a franchise-high 24 wins that season. She would be lost for the season due to a thumb injury, which hampered the Sky’s playoff chances, and ultimately led to Chatman being removed from her post, having gone 106-98 during the regular season during her time with the team.