The WNBA continues to lead the way on its own terms
The WNBA has approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream to an investor group that includes former Dream star Renee Montgomery.
Larry Gottesdiener, the chairman of Northland real estate firm, and Suzanne Abair, the company's president, make up the rest of the group.
“With the unanimous WNBA and NBA votes, today marks a new beginning for the Atlanta Dream organization and we are very pleased to welcome Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair to the WNBA,” League commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement. “I admire their passion for women’s basketball, but more importantly, have been impressed with their values. I am also thrilled that former WNBA star Renee Montgomery will be joining the ownership group as an investor and executive for the team. Renee is a trailblazer who has made a major impact both in the game and beyond.”
The sale ends the WNBA involvement of former owner and former Georgia Republican senator Kelly Loeffler, who failed in her re-election bid and was defeated in a run-off last month by Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Players of the Dream came to loggerheads with Loeffler on a number of occasions because of Loeffler's vehement ani-Black Lives Matter stance. Loeffler wrote a letter to Engelbert last summer to criticize the WNBA's embrace of the movement. As a result, Dream players publicly endorsed Warnock over Loeffler.
For two-time WNBA champion Montgomery, it's a return to the team with whom she finished her pro career, playing for the Dream from 2018 to 2020. Montgomery announced her retirement after 11 seasons earlier this month.
"My Dream has come true,” Montgomery said. “Breaking barriers for minorities and women by being the first former WNBA player to have both a stake in ownership and a leadership role with the team is an opportunity that I take very seriously. I invite you to join me as the Dream builds momentum in Atlanta!”