October 6, 2021
Williams and Bradford won’t return to the Dream; team takes next step in GM search
Many steps ahead for Atlanta
The Atlanta Dream will not retain Courtney Williams or Crystal Bradford in 2022, multiple sources told The Next’s Howard Megdal Tuesday night. Bradford and Williams were both involved in a fight outside of an Atlanta club in May, but the fight was not made public until Sunday afternoon when Williams released the footage and explanation of the fight in a now-deleted YouTube video. The teammates were two key pieces of the team’s core in 2021.
Marcus Crenshaw, who represents Williams and Bradford, confirmed the report on an Instagram live stream with Girls Talk Sports TV’s Khristina Williams.
Crenshaw told Khristina Williams that the team initially handled the discipline internally, which a source close to the situation confirmed to The Next. Crenshaw also said that Courtney Williams initially fought the other people in the video in self-defense, and Bradford stuck up for her teammate in the fight. Throughout the minute-long video, Williams and Bradford are seen fighting with several women outside of the club and next to a food truck.
Williams and Bradford will be far from the only Dream players to depart after this season: per Her Hoop Stats, Cheyenne Parker is the only player on Atlanta with a guaranteed contract in 2022, and outside of her and Aari McDonald, few players seem like a lock for the roster next season.
The team’s ownership group has been largely responsible for calling the shots on personnel moves.
However, on Tuesday night, Crenshaw told Khristina Williams that he has not talked to Dream co-owner Renee Montgomery in years despite the fact that he represents six players who were on the Atlanta Dream roster in 2021: Williams, Bradford, Odyssey Sims, Tiffany Hayes, Cheyenne Parker and Monique Billings.
Atlanta has not had a general manager since May, when it parted ways with Chris Sienko.
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But it has taken the next step in its process, according to sources with knowledge of the organization. Longtime WNBA executive Kristin Bernert’s firm, KB2 Sports, is running point on the Atlanta Dream’s GM hire, multiple sources told The Next this week.
Bernert has one of the league’s longest resumes, most recently punctuated, basketball-wise, in the New York Liberty front office, where she served as the central figure in roster construction from 2010-2016. In the decade prior to her involvement with the Liberty, Bernert spent two years as the President of the Los Angeles Sparks and three years as the Vice President of the Detroit Shock. She was also recently named the Interim Head of Business Operations for the NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham FC.
The team’s next general manager will have to search extensively to replace the production of Bradford and Williams. Through three head coaches and plenty of turmoil, Williams was one of the lone players that Atlanta relied upon night-in and night-out in 2021 as she led the Dream in scoring, rebounding and assists and was the lone member of the team’s big three to play in all 32 games.
Bradford, meanwhile, emerged as a surprise star off the bench with an unorthodox style of play after spending six years out of the league. The duo combined for 25.3 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
She ran off Big Shot Bentley, they chose her over Alex an that says alot. Clean house Dream, Billings needs more playing time over Elizabeth, go find Shonni an right that wrong too, there are players who left the league too soon like Adam’s (Charles Barkley-ish) who can put some fight in the game. Dream needs some experienced leaders