Gold, black, white, red|
|Main sponsor||Osage Casino|
|General manager||Steve Swetoha|
|Head coach||Fred Williams|
|Ownership||Tulsa Pro Hoops LLC|
|Championships||3 (2003, 2006, 2008)|
|Conference titles||4 (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008)|
The Tulsa Shock were a professional basketball team based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded in Detroit, Michigan before the 1998 WNBA season began; the team moved to Tulsa before the 2010 season. The team was owned by Tulsa Pro Hoops LLC, which is led by Bill Cameron and David Box. On July 20, 2015, Cameron announced that the franchise would move to Arlington, Texas for the 2016 WNBA season.
The Shock qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in their final year in Tulsa in 2015. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as athletic shooting guard Deanna Nolan, women's professional basketball all-time leading scorer Katie Smith, former NBA great Karl Malone's daughter Cheryl Ford, and young Australian center Liz Cambage. In 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2008 (as Detroit in the Eastern Conference), the Shock went to the WNBA Finals; they won in 2003, 2006 and 2008, beating Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Antonio, respectively. They lost in 2007 to Phoenix.
The Shock were one of the first WNBA expansion teams and began play in 1998. The Shock quickly brought in a blend of rookies and veterans. The team only qualified for the postseason once in its first five years of existence. The Shock went through two coaches (hall of famer Nancy Lieberman and Greg Williams) before hiring former Detroit Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer. There were rumors the Shock would fold after the team's awful 2002 season. Laimbeer convinced the owners to keep the team for another year, certain that he could turn things around.
After massive changes to the roster, Laimbeer predicted before the 2003 season that the Shock would be league champions, and his prediction would unbelievably come true. The Shock finished with a 25-9 record and winning the number one seed by seven games. In the playoffs, the Shock defeated the Cleveland Rockers and the Connecticut Sun to reach the WNBA Finals. Despite the achievements, the Shock were viewed as huge underdogs to the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Sparks. The Shock emerged victorious in the series, winning a thrilling game three (in 2003, the Finals were a best-of-three series), which drew the largest crowd in WNBA history (22,076). Detroit became the first team in league history to go from last place one season to WNBA champions the very next season.
After coming up short in 2004 and 2005, the 2006 Shock finished 23-11 record and finished number two in the Eastern Conference. The Shock defeated the Indiana Fever and the Connecticut Sun to advance to the Finals again, where they faced the defending champion Sacramento Monarchs. The Shock won the series 3-2, and claimed their second WNBA title.
In 2007, the Shock again advanced to the Finals but were defeated by the Phoenix Mercury in five games. The 2008 Shock posted a 22-12 regular season record, the best record in the East yet again. In the Finals, the Shock faced the San Antonio Silver Stars, who had not lost to an Eastern Conference team all season. Surprisingly, Detroit swept San Antonio, capturing their third championship in franchise history.
The Shock were named favorites for 2009, but they had a rough road getting there. Bill Laimbeer resigned as head coach early in the season, and they even found themselves in the bottom of the standings. However, interim coach Rick Mahorn and the Shock bounced back in the second half of 2009 and eventually placed themselves in the playoffs for the seventh straight year at 18-16. The Shock lost in the second round to the Indiana Fever, failing to reach the Finals for the first time since 2005.
Tulsa had been mentioned as a possible future city for WNBA expansion, but efforts did not come together until the middle of 2009. An organizing committee with Tulsa businesspeople and politicians began the effort to attract an expansion team. The group was originally given a September 1 deadline. WNBA President Donna Orender extended that deadline to sometime in October. The investment group hired former University of Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson as the potential franchise general manager and head coach. Richardson was a local favorite; before his successful 18-year stint at Arkansas, he had spent five years as head coach at the University of Tulsa, leading them to the NIT title in his first year. This move was viewed as strange by some, considering that Tulsa had not even secured a franchise before hiring a coach. The investors claimed it was to show the league they were serious about wanting a team. On October 15, 2009, the group made its official request to join the league.
On October 20, 2009, WNBA President Donna Orender, lead investors Bill Cameron and David Box, Tulsa mayor Kathy Taylor, Oklahoma governor Brad Henry, and head coach Nolan Richardson were present for a press conference announcing that the Detroit Shock would relocate to Tulsa. On January 23, 2010, the franchise announced that the team will remain as the Shock. The colors are now black, red, and gold.
The Shock team that moved to Tulsa was much different than what investors thought they were purchasing. Detroit's four best players did not make the move to Tulsa. Cheryl Ford decided to sit out due to lingering injuries and eventually left the WNBA to play overseas. Taj McWilliams-Franklin signed a free agent contract with New York. Deanna Nolan, like Ford, left the WNBA to play in Russia. Katie Smith, who was believed to be contracted with the Shock (which only turned out to be a verbal agreement), signed with Washington. Along with all the absences, new head coach and general manager Nolan Richardson had his own ideas about what he wanted the roster to look like and by the middle of the 2010 season, there were no Detroit players left on the team.
Richardson's first draft pick, Amanda Thompson, was a bust; she only played seven games (no starts) and was waived only a month into the season. Another key signing, fallen Olympic track star Marion Jones, turned out to be less than hoped for as well; she hadn't played a meaningful basketball game since her days at North Carolina 13 years earlier.
A lack of continuity plagued the team; at times it seemed Richardson made roster moves on a game-to-game basis. The players also found it difficult to adjust to Richardson's frenetic "40 minutes of hell" style. The Shock finished with an awful 6-28 record, dead last in the league. They missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002 in Detroit. Losing valuable players and getting off to a bad start meant the Shock qualified for the draft lottery, and they were awarded the number two pick in the 2011 Draft.
The Shock selected 19-year-old Australian center Liz Cambage with hopes to build a successful team around her. The team also signed veteran and one of the original WNBA players, Sheryl Swoopes. The roster changes were not enough, however, and after the team started the season with a dreadful 1-10 record, head coach Richardson stepped down. Assistant coach Teresa Edwards took his place on an interim basis. Jones was waived a few days later. Things did not improve for the Shock, who entered the All-Star break with a 1-14 record. Later in the season, the Shock set a new mark for futility when they embarked on a 20-game losing streak, the longest losing streak in the history of the WNBA.
In 2012, the misery continued as the team began the season 1-11, going on to finish 9-25. The team would finish with slightly better records of 11-23 in 2013 and 12-22 in 2014.
The 2015 Shock started off well, with the team starting 10-7, including a 6-1 record at the BOK Center. However, in June, point guard Skylar Diggins suffered a knee injury and missed the rest of the season. On July 20, 2015, majority owner Bill Cameron shocked not just fans in Tulsa, but the WNBA itself as he announced he will move the team to Dallas. The following day, minority owner Stuart Price filed suit against Cameron in a failed attempt to keep the team in Tulsa.
On July 23, 2015, WNBA League owners unanimously approved Tulsa Shock's relocation to Dallas-Fort Worth. The last regular season home game for the Shock in Tulsa was September 13 against Phoenix. While the Shock did make the playoffs, they were still young and were swept in 2 straight by the same Phoenix squad. The new home arena for the Shock in DFW is the College Park Center at UT Arlington, also home to the UT Arlington Mavericks.
On November 2, 2015 the team name was officially changed to the Dallas Wings. The name stems from the famous Mobil Oil Co. "Flying Horse" atop of a historic downtown Dallas building. Also it is a similar mascot to its local NBA team the Dallas Mavericks.
|Season||Team||Conference||Regular season||Playoff Results||Head coach|
|1998||1998||East||4th||17||13||.567||Did not qualify||Nancy Lieberman|
|1999||1999||East||2nd||15||17||.469||Lost Conference Semifinals (Charlotte, 0-1)||Nancy Lieberman|
|2000||2000||East||5th||14||18||.438||Did not qualify||Nancy Lieberman|
|2001||2001||East||7th||10||22||.313||Did not qualify||Greg Williams|
|2002||2002||East||8th||9||23||.281||Did not qualify||G. Williams (0-10)|
B. Laimbeer (9-13)
|2003||2003||East||1st||25||9||.735||Won Conference Semifinals (Cleveland, 2-1)
Won Conference Finals (Connecticut, 2-0)
Won WNBA Finals (Los Angeles, 2-1)
|2004||2004||East||3rd||17||17||.500||Lost Conference Semifinals (New York, 1-2)||Bill Laimbeer|
|2005||2005||East||4th||16||18||.471||Lost Conference Semifinals (Connecticut, 0-2)||Bill Laimbeer|
|2006||2006||East||2nd||23||11||.676||Won Conference Semifinals (Indiana, 2-0)
Won Conference Finals (Connecticut, 2-1)
Won WNBA Finals (Sacramento, 3-2)
|2007||2007||East||1st||24||10||.706||Won Conference Semifinals (New York, 2-1)
Won Conference Finals (Indiana, 2-1)
Lost WNBA Finals (Phoenix, 2-3)
|2008||2008||East||1st||22||12||.647||Won Conference Semifinals (Indiana, 2-1)
Won Conference Finals (New York, 2-1)
Won WNBA Finals (San Antonio, 3-0)
|2009||2009||East||3rd||18||16||.529||Won Conference Semifinals (Atlanta, 2-0)
Lost Conference Finals (Indiana, 1-2)
|B. Laimbeer (1-3)|
R. Mahorn (17-13)
|2010||2010||West||6th||6||28||.176||Did not qualify||Nolan Richardson|
|2011||2011||West||6th||3||31||.088||Did not qualify||N. Richardson (1-10)|
T. Edwards (2-21)
|2012||2012||West||5th||9||25||.265||Did not qualify||Gary Kloppenburg|
|2013||2013||West||6th||11||23||.324||Did not qualify||Gary Kloppenburg|
|2014||2014||West||5th||12||22||.353||Did not qualify||Fred Williams|
|2015||2015||West||3rd||18||16||.529||Lost Conference Semifinals (Phoenix, 0-2)||Fred Williams|
|Regular season||269||331||.448||4 Conference Championships|
|Playoffs||30||21||.588||3 WNBA Championships|
Currently, some Shock games are broadcast on The Cox Channel (COX), which is a local television station for certain areas of the state of Oklahoma. More often than not, NBA TV will pick up the feed from the local broadcast, which is shown nationally. The broadcasters for the Shock games are Mike Wolfe and Shanna Crossley.
All games (excluding blackout games, which are available on ESPN3.com) are broadcast to the WNBA LiveAccess game feeds on the league website. Furthermore, some Shock games are broadcast nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The WNBA has reached an eight-year agreement with ESPN, which will pay right fees to the Shock, as well as other teams in the league.
Los Angeles Sparks
| WNBA Champions
2003 (First title)
New York Liberty
| WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2003 (First title)
| WNBA Champions
2006 (Second title)
| WNBA Champions
2008 (Third title)
| WNBA Eastern Conference Champions
2006 (Second title)
2007 (Third title)
2008 (Fourth title)