It will not be long until the WNBA’s 25th regular season concludes and gives way to its postseason.
Of course, while eight teams will make its postseason, four teams will be looking towards the draft lottery as the next major signature event aimed at improving their teams.
And at the end of every season, there is always talk among fans and pundits as to which coaches could very well be on the hot seat. This season has had more than its fair share of twists and turns and three coaching names automatically ring bells when thinking about who may have less than stellar job security as their respective offseasons may begin unceremoniously early.
Marianne Stanley – Indiana Fever
Stanley was hired to the Fever the year after she won a championship with the Washington Mystics as an assistant coach. The job for Stanley was to build on the fact that in 2019, former coach Pokey Chatman had Indiana within two games of the eighth and final playoff berth.
Since then, the Fever have only regressed. They had the second-worst record in the bubble last season and it appears Indiana will finish the season at the bottom of the WNBA’s standings again. The obvious silver lining for the Fever is that Tamika Catchings and company have a clear shot at the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 draft. The consensus No. 1 pick is right down the road in Lexington in the form of Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard.
Derek Fisher – Los Angeles Sparks
Even though a significant portion of the Sparks’ massive fanbase also doubles as Los Angeles Laker fans, the thought of Derek Fisher even still being the Sparks coach rubs plenty of Sparks fans the wrong way.
After allowing Candace Parker to walk to the Chicago Sky in free agency and after allowing Chelsea Gray to walk to the Las Vegas Aces in free agency, needless to say that Fisher’s name has probably been followed by some four-letter words from Sparks fans.
Los Angeles is a team used to always making the playoffs. The Sparks playoff hopes are hanging by a thread and there is a real possibility the Sparks, even with all of the veteran talent (Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike, Erica Wheeler, Kristi Toliver, Amanda Zahui B.) they have will miss the postseason for the first time since 2011.
It probably rubbed many a Sparks fan the wrong way when he was rewarded during the offseason with a contract extension and a promotion to general manager. Considering how this season has gone, we will see if LA’s ownership group starts to have buyer’s remorse.
Walt Hopkins – New York Liberty
If we are going to talk about Derek Fisher’s job security in Tinseltown and Marianne Stanley’s in Indy, we have to talk about Hopkins’ in Brooklyn.
It was not long ago when it looked like the 2021 season for the Liberty would be a resurgent one. New York was virtually assured a playoff berth at the Olympic break with where they were in the standings.
Except ever since the conclusion of the Olympic break, the Lib have only won one game – a win over a Sue Bird-less and Breanna Stewart-less Seattle Storm team at Barclays Center where they had to come from behind to pull off that victory. That win has been canceled out by a seven-game losing streak, including heartbreaking losses to the Sparks and, most recently, to the Dallas Wings.
Our guess is going from a near playoff lock to more lottery ping pong balls was not the plan for the Tsais, Keia Clarke and Jonathan Kolb.