- Sacramento Monarchs
color1 = #410079
color2 = red
name = Sacramento Monarchs
imagesize = 150px
conference = Western Conference
colors = Purple, Red, Black, Silver
league_champs = 1 (
conf_champs = 2 (
mascot = Monty [http://www.wnba.com/media/monarchs/05Media_Guide25-44_Maloof_Staff.pdf]
The Sacramento Monarchs is a
Women's National Basketball Association(WNBA) team based in Sacramento, California. The team is one of the WNBA's eight original franchises and was noted early on for standout players Ticha Penicheiro, Ruthie Boltonand Yolanda Griffith.
While the Monarchs have been one of the more successful WNBA franchises, they have often trailed behind perennial Western Conference champions the
Houston Cometsand the Los Angeles Sparks. However, in 2005, the team brought Sacramento its first major championship in a professional sport, winning the WNBA Finals for the first time.
The team name has a double meaning. In one sense it is named after the
Monarch butterfly(and you can see a suggestion of butterfly wings in the logo) and in addition the monarchis "a person or thing that holds a dominant position", or is "the hereditary ruler of a kingdom" and so on. As the name "Monarchs" suggests, they are the sister team of the Sacramento Kings.
The Monarchs made an impact in the WNBA almost immediately. With the hiring of Portuguese national team player
Ticha Penicheiro, popular player Ruthie Boltonand prolific scorer Yolanda Griffith, all of whom have been WNBA All-Stars, the Monarchs have been able to make the playoffs almost every year so far, but were normally eliminated before reaching the WNBA Finals.
After losing to the
Seattle Stormin the 2004WNBA Western Conference Championship, the Monarchs made major roster moves to improve the team - obtaining younger players and emphasizing Head Coach John Whisenant's defense-oriented system. Bolton, one of the team's original players, became a free agentand the Monarchs made the difficult decision not to keep her on the active playing roster, though they did offer her a position in their front office. Edna Campbell, a breast cancersurvivor and another fan favorite, was not signed by the Monarchs and later signed with the San Antonio Silver Stars.
March 3, 2005, the Monarchs traded Tangela Smithand a 2006second round draft pick to the Charlotte Stingin exchange for former Stanford Universitystandout Nicole Powell, Olympia Scott-Richardson, and Erin Buescher. After signing two Chinese players, Miao Lijieand Sui Feifei, the Monarchs traded Chantelle Andersonto the San Antonio Silver Starsfor a 2006draft pick. During the 2005 WNBA Draft, the Monarchs drafted point guard Kristin Hayniefrom Michigan State Universityand Chelsea Newton from Rutgers University. The Monarchs did sign Ruthie Boltonas a free agentfor the purpose of her trying to win a spot on team's roster during its pre-season training camp, but eventually waived her. Bolton later joined the Monarchs to work in their promotions and public relationsdepartment.
The offseason moves immediately paid off for the Monarchs as the team finished with a franchise-best 25-9 win/loss record. Whisenant was later named the WNBA Coach of the Year, and Powell received the
WNBA Most Improved Player Award. After previous seasons of being eliminated from the WNBA Playoffs by either the Houston Cometsor the Los Angeles Sparks, the Monarchs finally defeated both, sweeping both teams en route to their first appearance in the WNBA Finals. The Monarchs won their first ever WNBA Finals by defeating the Connecticut Sun, three games to one in a best-of-five playoffseries, which brought the city of Sacramento its first major championship in a professional sport.
The Monarchs remained strong in 2006, finishing second place in the West. The Monarchs would catch fire in the playoffs, once again sweeping both Houston and then top seeded LA to reach the Finals for the second straight season. But in the Finals, they were defeated by the
Detroit Shock3 games to 2, in the first WNBA Finals to go 5 games.
In 2007, the Monarchs finished strongly again, but blew a chance to get the #2 seed at the end of the season. They were matched up against the
San Antonio Silver Stars. After defeating the Silver Stars in game 1 at home, the Monarchs would lose games 2 & 3 (and the series) in San Antonio, ending their two-year run as Western Conference champions.
In 2008 the Monarchs were markedly less good, but hung around the Western Playoff picture all season and finished with the #4 seed. Facing the Silver Stars again in the first round, the Monarchs were hoping for some payback for 2007. The series did not start well for the Monarchs, as they dropped Game 1 at home 85-78. Now the series shifted to San Antonio, and it seemed the series would come to a quick end. But the Monarchs would not back down, blowing out the Silver Stars in Game 2 84-67, forcing the critical Game 3. In Game 3, the Stars came out strong and at one point had a 14 point lead. But the Monarchs put together a furious rally, scoring seven points in the final 90 seconds of play to even the game and force it to overtime. But unfortunately for the Monarchs, the Silver Stars came out strong in the extra period and won the game, 86-81, ending the Monarchs' season.
colspan="6" align=center bgcolor="#410079" | Sacramento Monarchs
1997 || 10 || 18 || .357 || |
1998 || 8 || 22 || .267 || |
1999 || 19 || 13 || .594 || Lost First Round || Los Angeles 71, Sacramento 58
2000 || 21 || 11 || .656 || Lost First Round || Houston 2, Sacramento 0
2001 || 20 || 12 || .625 || Won First Round
Lost Conference Finals || Sacramento 2, Utah 0
Los Angeles 2, Sacramento 1
2002 || 14 || 18 || .438 |
2003 || 19 || 15 || .559 || Won First Round
Lost Conference Finals || Sacramento 2, Houston 1
Los Angeles 2, Sacramento 1
2004 || 18 || 16 || .529 || Won First Round
Lost Conference Finals || Sacramento 2, Los Angeles 1
Seattle 2, Sacramento 1
2005 || 25 || 9 || .735 || Won First Round
Won Conference Finals
Won WNBA Finals || Sacramento 2, Los Angeles 0
Sacramento 2, Houston 0
Sacramento 3, Connecticut 1
2006 || 21 || 13 || .618 || Won First Round
Won Conference Finals
Lost WNBA Finals || Sacramento 2, Houston 0
Sacramento 2, Los Angeles 0
Detroit 3, Sacramento 2
2007 || 19 || 15|| .559 || Lost First Round || San Antonio 2, Sacramento 1
2008 || 18 || 16 || .529 || Lost First Round || San Antonio 2, Sacramento 1
Totals || 212 || 178 || .544 |
Playoffs || 24 || 19 || .558 || 1 WNBA Championship |
September 22 2008
Players of note
Hall of Famers
*GM Jerry Reynolds, the Monarchs' first General Manager, has a retired jersey marked "GM", that was hung onto the
ARCO Arena's rafters in 2004.
Tajama Abraham, now Tajama Ngongba, now the Head Coach at Radford University
Quacy Barnes, now Quacy Timmons, an Assistant Coach at Eastern Illinois University
Cindy Blodgett, now the Head Coach at University of Maine
Nadine Domond, now an Assistant Coach at the Newport News Apprentice School
Lady Grooms, now a scout for the Monarchs
Katy Steding, now an Assistant Coach with the Atlanta Dream
Corissa Yasen(died in 2001)
Coaches and others
*Mary Murphy (1997), now a
color commentatorfor Pac-10 women's basketball games on Fox Sports Netin the San Francisco Bay Area
Heidi VanDerveer(1997-1998), now the head coach at Occidental College
* First professional women sports team to appear on cover of
* [http://www.kingsfans.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=5 Monarchs Fans discussion newsgroup]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/games/Monarchs Monarchs fansite]
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