ATLANTA – Headed into Thursday's home game against the Washington Mystics, Atlanta Dream star Angel McCoughtry remains indefinitely suspended for violating team rules and will not play despite Wednesday meetings with new coach Fred Williams.
“It’s day-to-day,” said Williams by phone this afternoon about the status of McCoughtry. “For now, she remains suspended and will not play tonight.”
The two met on Wednesday for the first time since Williams suspended McCoughty on Monday. “We had a great meeting. We talked and set some guidelines that were put on paper, we reviewed and thoroughly went over the team rules that we already have in the player rulebook. She has to abide by team rules -- that’s it, plain and simple.”
According to Williams, players are required to sign the rulebook in order to participate on the team. McCoughtry signed earlier this year, but has not always abided by those rules.
It appears the first meeting only partially cleared the air, as it is unclear why McCoughtry remains suspended. The two are scheduled to resume talks Friday, after which McCoughtry will have missed a total of four games since returning from the Olympics. Two were for personal reasons and two as the result of the suspension, all while the Dream are battling for a playoff spot in the East.
Williams said a few teams have called to inquire about trading for McCoughtry before Thursday's deadline, but he had no intention of moving one of the best players in the world. “Our main thing is to solidify things with her here and move on,” said Williams. “The best-case scenario is we get a player back on track who needs the discipline part of basketball in her life, and this team gets a teammate back who can help them generate some wins.”
Dream owners Kelly Leffler and Mary Brock promoted Williams to head coach and general manager on Monday after a power struggle between McCoughtry and former head coach Marynell Meadors resulted in the termination of the 2009 WNBA Coach of the Year. Meadors led the previously struggling Dream to the playoffs three times and the WNBA finals in 2010 and 2011.