Life on the Road: Stars Embark on First Multi-City Road Trip
Road trips are that one aspect of each season that fans, players and staff alike may not always look forward to throughout the course of the WNBA season. However, some members of the Stars team and staff savor the many trips that come along with a season.
Stars coach Dan Hughes, embraces them. Particularly at this point of the season.
“I honestly kind of welcome road trips early in the season, because I think for as difficult as they are, there is a bonding factor,” said Hughes. “There is a unifying factor within your team. It’s something where they kind of get together.”
Although the Stars have already played their first road game at Atlanta, their home opener was the next day. This weekend’s schedule marks the first true road trip of the season for the team. The Stars travel to Phoenix for a game Friday evening against the Mercury, then head to Los Angeles for a Sunday afternoon game against the Sparks.
Perhaps Coach Hughes’ least favorite aspect of traveling is being away from their fans.
“I would be lying if I told you that I don’t miss our fans,” said Hughes. “I do actually think that makes a big difference in our play.”
Despite being away from fans, Coach Hughes appreciates road trips more and more as his established coaching career continues.
“To be honest with you, I’ve been in the league for so long that there’s a little more of appreciation of the different cities we go to,” said Hughes. “It’s not just a trip anymore.”
Coach Hughes isn’t the only member of the Stars who has been around the block a few times.
Veteran guard and seven-time WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon has experience her fair share of road trips as well. Hammon missed almost all of the 2013 season due to injuries, so she excited to get back on the road.
“I’m excited this time around,” said Hammon. “I think generally that travel gets old overall. I haven’t traveled with the team or played for so long that I’m excited to get back out on the court, get to playing again, and get in a groove of the WNBA schedule and the grind of it all.”
The Stars’ longest road trip of the season will take place from June 29-July 5, spanning four games in Washington, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Indiana. The longest road trip in franchise history took place in 1997, the inaugural season in Utah. The trip spanned five games from July 14-22. Since arriving in San Antonio, the Stars have had multiple four game road trips.