WNBA's San Antonio Stars have deal for Las Vegas relocation

Updated: October 14, 2017, 7:28 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The owner of the WNBA's San Antonio Stars has an agreement in place with a buyer who plans to move the team to Las Vegas, a source told ESPN's Michael C. Wright on Thursday night.

The sale and relocation now hinge on final approval from the NBA and WNBA board of governors, the source said. The sides expect the deal, which has been in the works for some time, to be OK'd because the team will be moved to Las Vegas, according to the source.

The Stars are one of five pro teams owned and operated by Spurs Sports & Entertainment, including San Antonio's NBA team.

WNBA spokeswoman Dina Skokos confirmed in a statement that there are ongoing talks to sell the franchise but provided no details about the negotiations. 

When told about the agreement, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, who played eight seasons for the Stars and whose No. 25 jersey was retired, wasn't happy.

"It sucks," she told the San Antonio Express-News on Friday. "I'm sad. I put a lot of literal blood, sweat and tears into that team. I'm more sad for the young girls and boys in the area. I'm sad for the next generation."

Jeff Wilson for ESPNThe Stars had the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft in 2017 and chose Washington's Kelsey Plum.

Without specifying the potential Las Vegas buyer, Spurs Sports & Entertainment sent out a message to fans on Twitter, offering its "deepest gratitude" to team employees and fans while saying the organization and the WNBA have been in negotiations with a buyer to purchase and relocate the Stars. A spokesman for Spurs Sports & Entertainment declined to comment on a pending Las Vegas move.

The San Antonio Express-News and the Associated Press reported the Stars' potential sale earlier.

The Stars franchise was one of the original eight in the WNBA but was initially located in Utah and called the Starzz. They played in Salt Lake City for six seasons, then moved to San Antonio for the 2003 season and were called the Silver Stars, which was later shortened to Stars.

San Antonio's peak in the league was a trip to the 2008 WNBA Finals, where the Stars lost 3-0 to Detroit.

San Antonio finished last in the WNBA at 8-26 this season, the third year in a row that the Stars have had the worst record in the league. Their last playoff appearance was in 2014, when Hammon played her final season as the Stars went 16-18.

Hammon said she wouldn't want her jersey hanging in the rafters of any other arena outside of San Antonio.

"What I did, I did in San Antonio," Hammon told the Express-News. "I don't think we should be lost and forgotten or swept under the rug either. I think it should remain. If it made a difference to one, two, three or hundreds -- and I think it made an impact on countless girls -- maybe they go back to the AT&T Center in 10 years and said, 'I remember when we went to a game there. What we did was special, and I don't think it should be forgotten."

The Stars' last winning record came in 2012, when they were 21-13.

The Stars had the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft in 2017 and chose Washington's Kelsey Plum. They also have the best odds to get the 2018 No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft lottery, which was abruptly postponed in September and hasn't yet been rescheduled.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN's Mechelle Voepel was used in this report.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.