Detroit Shock

The Detroit Shock were an American basketball franchise of the Women's National Basketball Association from Auburn Hills, Michigan. It was founded in 1996 and took to the start of the 1997 season on the game mode. The team colors were red, blue and white. On 20 October 2009 announced the WNBA that the franchise will be relocated to Tulsa, where the name of the team was not changed.

The shock wore their home games at The Palace of Auburn Hills. During the period of its existence, the franchise won three league championships, making them ( four championships ) were the most successful WNBA team after the Houston Comets.

  • 2.1 Sporting achievements
  • 2.2 Individual Awards
  • 2.3 season statistics


Difficult start (1998 to 2002)

The Shock of the WNBA occurred in 1998, a year after this League held its first pennant official season. In the 1998 season, the Shock of Nancy Lieberman were trained. Lieberman won with the Shock 17 of 30 season games, but they missed the playoffs only very slightly to just one win. Nevertheless, this performance was remarkable for a rookie league. In the 1999 season, the Shock won only 15 of 32 games, although they qualified this time for the playoffs, where they met with the Charlotte Sting. The Sting won the only game of this series with 60-54. In the 2000 season, the Shock won only 14 of 32 games, which just was not enough for a place in the playoffs. In the WNBA Draft in 2001, the Shock for Deanna Nolan, who was selected in the sixth position overall from Detroit decided. Nolan was the star of the slow shock, but could not prevent it also, that the shock continues crashed and could only win 10 of 32 games. Also in the 2002 season was no improvement in sight when they won only nine of 32 games. This season was probably the worst in the history of the Shock.

First title (2003)

After the moderate success of Lieberman this was dismissed and replaced by Bill Laimbeer. With Laimbeer new fresh wind came in the organization of the shock, the squad was changed for the most part, many players came, many went. Laimbeer announced already at the beginning of the season that the Detroit Shock win the WNBA championship will be in the 2003 season. At the end Laimbeer was right with this statement. The Shock finished the season with 25 wins in 34 games in the first place in the Eastern Conference as well as in the entire league. In the playoffs, the Shock won the first Conference Semifinals against the Cleveland Rockers just 2-1 in games. In the Eastern Conference Finals they defeated the Connecticut Sun with clear 2-0 in games. In the WNBA Finals they met the reigning champion from Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Sparks. The Shock defeated the Sparks 2-1 in games. The third and deciding game won the shocks just before 22,076 spectators with 83-78. Thus, the WNBA champion was the first time in six years, neither Houston Comets still Los Angeles Sparks. The impressive feature of this success is still that the Shock still finished the previous season as the worst team in the league.

Moderate success (2004 to 2005)

On the performance of the previous season, the Shock in the 2004 season could not connect and won with 17 wins only half of the season games. The Shock qualified for the playoffs just where they already failed in the Conference Semifinals at the New York Liberty. The 2005 season was not much different. The Shock qualified after 16 wins in the regular season again as the last team for the playoffs, where they failed this time to the Connecticut Sun.

The Beginning of a Dynasty (2006 to 2009)

After the moderate successes in previous seasons Rick Mahorn was appointed by Laimbeer as the new assistant coach. It looked as changes in the coaching staff would have a positive impact on the performances of the players because in the 2006 season were the Shock with 23 wins in 34 games, again winning most of their games. With this positive balance they qualified as already second team from the Eastern Conference for the playoffs, where they did not have much trouble with the Indiana Fever in the Conference Semifinals. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Shock met the Sun, against which they had lost in the previous season in the playoffs still a chance in two games. But in a hard-fought series, the Shock won eventually 2-1 in games. In the Finals, the Shock came back to a reigning champion, this time to the Sacramento Monarchs. In the first four games each team won a home and away game clearly for itself. In the fifth and deciding game in Detroit were the only balanced encounter this series. The Monarchs led 44-36 at halftime, but the shock could with a very strong third quarter, which they decided 22-9 in itself, turn the game yet. At the end of the Shock won the game 80-75 with just under and with it the championship. The Shock went all out to defend their title successfully in the 2007 season. The regular season they finished with 24 wins in 34 games on the overall first place. In the playoffs, the Shock were already in the Conference Semifinals from before. The Liberty were able to win the first game clearly with 73-51. In the second game, the Liberty were long clear lead, but due to many errors in the final phase, the Shock came closer and closer and eventually won the game 76-73. In the third and final game of this series, the only shock in overtime, the Liberty could defeat with 71-70. Also lost in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Shock the first Spiek clear, but the Shock won their other two games in front of home crowd clearly for itself. Thus, the Shock were also in this season in the finals, where they met this time at the Phoenix Mercury, who could win every game in the playoffs. The Shock went in this series lead twice, but they managed to Mercury again to compensate. Thus, it was as in the previous season an all decisive fifth game, which clearly lost the Shock end up with 92-108. In the 2008 season, the Shock could reclaim the throne. The regular season ended the Shock as best team in the Eastern Conference. After two close wins in the Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals, the Shock were the third time in a row in the finals, where they faced the best team in the regular season, the San Antonio Silver Stars. In the finals they were the first three encounters clearly decide for themselves what it meant the third title for the Shock in the last five years.

Relocation from Detroit to Tulsa (2009 to 2010)

On 20 October 2009 verlautbarte WNBA President Donna Orender, together with the investor Bill Cameron, David Box, Tulsa Mayor Kathy Tylor, the Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry and head coach Nolan Richardson, that the franchise of the Detroit Shock to Tulsa will be resettled. On January 23, 2010 it was announced that the team name will not change, however, but the team colors are black from the 2010 season, red, gold.

Achievements and honors

Sporting successes

The Shock won season 2003, 2006 and 2008 WNBA Championship. Thus were the Shock in the resettlement in 2009 after the Houston Comets (4 items), the most successful franchise in the WNBA.

Individual Awards

Coach of the Year Award: The award for the best coaches in the regular season was in 2003, Bill Laimbeer, who led the Shock this season also to their first title.

  • 2003 - Bill Laimbeer

Finals MVP Award: The Shock won in 2003, 2006 and 2008 the championship and it is common that this award is given to the most outstanding player of the winning team, this award went three times already to a player of the Shock.

  • 2003 - Ruth Riley
  • 2006 - Deanna Nolan
  • 2008 - Katie Smith

Rookie of the Year Award: The young Cheryl Ford was named best newcomer in the 2003 season.

  • 2003 - Cheryl Ford

Peak performers: This award is given to the player to lead the league in a certain category. In recent years, the categories were continuously changed; for example, received Sandy Brondello 1998 therefore the award because it recorded the best free throw percentage in the league. 2005 and 2006 Cheryl Ford received this award because they had the best rebounding average in the league.

Season statistics

Note: GP = Games, W = Wins, L = Losses


Nancy Lieberman was the first head coach in the history of shock, she took in that time the post of general manager of the franchise. The Shock were at that time one of the few teams who occupied the post of head coach and general manager with a woman. After two seasons Lieberman was dismissed and Greg Williams was named the new head coach. As the Shock in the 2002 season started with 10 losses in a row, Williams was fired and Bill Laimbeer became the new head coach and general manager of Shock. Under the leadership of Laimbeer, the Shock won in the 2003 season for the first time the championship. In addition, he was named this season for Coach of the Year. After two unsuccessful years Laimbeer won for the second time with the Shock the championship in the 2006 season. After the Shock were stopped in the following season until the last game in the finals of the Phoenix Mercury, Laimbeer was in the 2008 season for the third time to win the championship, so he is one of the most successful coaches and general managers in the WNBA. In June 2009, he resigned from his post as general manager and head coach of the Shock. Last season, the Shock supervised Rick Mahorn, previously assistant coach under Laimbeer, the team as head coach.


First-round choice in the WNBA Draft Rights

Since 1998, the Shock had 15 draft rights in the first round of the WNBA Drafts, many more than any other team in the WNBA. The Shock are known that they rarely transfer their first-round pick, thus had the Shock since its founding until 2006 always at least one pick in the first round. Even if the shock very many first-round picks had until now, offered until now not had the opportunity a player on the overall first position to select. The highest pick by the shock ever had was the second overall in 2002. The Shock opted for swin cash, but left the organization after the 2007 season towards Seattle.