Welcome to the SECOND season of the Detroit Shock, and Tom's second year of creating web pages to promote this fantastic sport and organization. Click HERE if you want to visit my pages from last year! If not, then on with the 1999 season!!! GO SHOCK!!!
"Allison Feaster of L.A. guards Detroit's Jennifer Azzi. (AP Photo)"
On July 2, 1999 Alex, his friend Matt, Kathy and I attended our first game of the year. It was Detroit against the Lisa Leslie led Los Angeles Sparks. The drive over from Kalamazoo took 2 hours 45 minutes. We hung out at Shock Fest for about an hour then went into The Palace of Auburn Hills, ate some pizza, and got ready for the game. The Shock played Leslie and company close, but with the Shock doubling down on Lisa, in the end it was the three point shooting Mwadi Mabika that buried the Shock. Alex and Matt stayed after the game and came away with Lesley Brown's autograph. We pulled into the driveway at 2 AM, almost 11 hours after having left "the zoo".
"Andrea Stinson is surrounded by defending arms, including those of Detroit's Carla Porter. (AP Photo)"
On July 25, 1999 Alex, his friend Kyle, Kathy and I left Kalamazoo for a week long vacation (3 days on Mackinac Island, 2 days in Bear Lake) starting with a trip to the Palace of Auburn Hills for the Shock game against the Charlotte Sting. Detroit looked out of sink all night and while the score wasn't a complete blowout it was by far the worst game I've seen the Shock play in the last two years. Alex, Kyle and I went down to the Charlotte lockerroom entrance before the game and were able to come away with autographs from 9 different players including all-star Vicky Bullett, and last years rookie of the year Tracy Reid (injured). I also had the pleasure of shaking Vicky Bullett's and Andrea Stinson's hands.
"Claudia Maria das Neves and Katie Smith go after a loose ball in Detroit's win. (AP Photo) "
I flew home from work at 3:30 on Wednesday August 4, 1999 so that Kathy, Lauren, Alex, and I could pile in the van for the 3 hour trek to see the Shock play the Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx have many players who were part of the Columbus Quest ABL back to back championship teams including Kate Smith the MVP of the 2 ABL championship games. The Palace was a mixture of boos and cheers due to the fact that 2 of their favorite players (Korie Hlede and Cindy Brown) had been traded the week before (for Wendy Palmer and Olympia Scott-Richardson) The Lynx looked to be in control of the game for most of the way. Brandy Reed couldn't miss and Sonja Tate was causing the Shock guards all kinds of problems. But in the end Sandy Brondello teamed with unlikely heros Wanda Guyton and Olympia Scott-Richardson to steal the game from the Lynx. Prior to the game Alex and I went down to the Lynx lockerroom entrance and were able to get autographs from 5 different players. Several of the Lynx players didn't want anything to do with the fans. Charmin Smith and Kristin Folkl were exceptionally nice but Reed, Fallon, and Barnes avoided the 7 or 8 Lynx fans who were seeking autographs. We pulled into the driveway at 1 AM.
"Detroit's Claudia Maria das Neves jumps on Olympia Scott-Richardson to celebrate Detroit's first playoff berth. (AP Photo) "
The last game of the season and it was for all the marbles. Detroit was playing Orlando. The winning team makes the playoffs. The losing team is done for the year. You can't ask for much more than that for a season finale. Kathy, Alex, Lauren, and I left Kalamazoo at 9 AM and spent the day school clothes shopping at The Great Lakes mall about 10 minutes from the palace. We got to the mall around 12:30 PM. Kathy and Lauren went one way and Alex and I went the other. Alex and I were done shopping by 2 PM so we then caught a movie "Teaching Mrs. Tingle". We met up with the girls around 5 PM and headed to The Palace. Before the game Alex and I went down by the Orlando and Detroit lockerrooms. We were able to get Taj McWilliams and Carla McGee to sign from the Orlando squad, and Sandy Brondello and Jennifer Azzi to sign on the Shock side. Then it was game time. The game was close with no team really taking control. Orlando did make a run late in the 2nd half and looked to be in control, but then Jennifer Azzi stepped up and buried a couple 3's and made some great drives to the basket and it looked like Detroit would run away with it. Orlando didn't go quietly though. They hit about 3 or 4 3 pointers in the last minute to bring the score back within 2, but clutch free throw shooting down the stretch iced the game and pushed Detroit into their FIRST ever WNBA playoffs. Not bad for a 2nd year team. GO SHOCK. Good luck on Tuesday against Charlotte and thanks for a GREAT season AGAIN!!!! We pulled into the driveway at 1:30 AM.