On May 25, 2005 The Chicago Sky announced the hiring of former Boston Celtics great and Hall-of-Famer Dave Cowens as head coach of the new team.
“We promised this city a team that will compete with the heart and soul people associate with Chicago. We promised a team that works as hard as the people of Chicago do. I am thrilled that we have found a coach who is the personification of this philosophy,” said team President and CEO Margaret Stender.
Cowens, 57, played center for the Boston Celtics. Although he was considered too small at 6-9 for the position by some critics, the left-hander relied on hustle and heart to help resurrect a Celtics dynasty. Cowens played for 11 years, 10 of which were with the Celtics. He was voted NBA MVP in 1973, was a seven-time NBA All-Star, and led the Celtics to two NBA championships. While with Boston, he averaged 18 points and 14 rebounds, ranking 3 in rebounds overall, 10th in games played and 8th in assists.
“The WNBA represents all that is great about basketball,” said Cowens, named in 1996 as one of the 50 greatest ever NBA players. “My goal as a player in the NBA was not to be the best player on the floor, but to be the best team player. I see that concept everywhere I look in the WNBA. The players move the ball, play intense defense and dive for loose balls. They play with mutual respect, tenacity and high energy.”
Cowens has had coaching experience in the NBA beginning with Boston as a player-coach and then with the Charlotte Hornets and the Golden State Warriors compiling a 153-176 record. He led the Hornets to back-to-back 50-plus win seasons and finished second to Pat Riley in the NBA Coach of the Year balloting after the 1996-97 season.