Greg Bibb, GM and president of the Dallas Wings, thinks the team is starting to find their identity and becoming a real force in the WNBA.
The Dallas Wings is a franchise that has suffered something of an identity crisis over the years. And really, who can blame them? Despite this being just the team’s second season in Dallas, the franchise has been around in one form or another since the early days of the WNBA.
The franchise began as the Detroit Shock, one of the first expansion teams in the WNBA and had great success, appearing in four WNBA Finals between 2003 to 2008 and winning three. Then in 2010 the team up and moved to Tulsa, keeping the Shock name but leaving the winning ways in Detroit. The six seasons the team was located in Tulsa they appeared in the postseason just once, losing in the first round.
Then last season the franchise moved yet again, this time to Dallas-Fort Worth and would be rechristened the Wings. This new team would miss the playoffs yet again due in no small part to guard Skylar Diggins-Smith recovering from ACL surgery.
So it’s no wonder the Wings have had some trouble trying to figure out what kind of team they want to be.
But it would appear that is changing, and rather quickly.
Dallas went into the 2017 WNBA Draft with three first round picks, including two in the first five picks. With those they took Evelyn Akhator out of Kentucky as well as Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis of the NCAA champion South Carolina Gamecocks.
— Dallas Wings (@DallasWings) June 27, 2017
The addition of so much youth has transformed the team and given them a whole new outlook. Diggins-Smith is now 100 percent healthy and taking on a leadership role, averaging 17.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. Add in guard Karima Christmas-Kelly and forward Glory Johnson and you have a perfect combination of veteran leadership and youthful energy.
The result is a 8-9 record at the midpoint of the WNBA season and currently a seven seed in the playoffs.
Not bad for a team that won 11 games all of last season.
And at least one person thinks the Wings have found their elusive identity as well.
Speaking with Adam Grosbard of the Dallas-Fort Worth Morning News, Wings GM Greg Bibb thinks that Dallas is a team that no one should take for granted as an automatic win.
“Right now I’d say it’s gritty. Never-give-up attitude. I think we’re quickly gaining a reputation around the league of you can’t take your foot off the pedal against us because we’re never going to quit.”
Sure, there is still room for improvement, especially on the defensive end. But this is still a marked improvement for a franchise that seemed to be in perpetual state of free fall while in Tulsa.
Dallas begins the second half of the WNBA season on Wednesday against the Atlanta Dream.