Owner: Sky ‘in a better position’ without Elena Delle Donne

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: Elena Delle Donne
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: Elena Delle Donne /

Chicago Sky owner Michael Alter gave a wide-ranging interview to Crain’s Chicago Business that published on Saturday, and took aim at former Sky star Elena Delle Donne in it.

There are lots of fascinating tidbits in the piece about the Sky’s business operations, but what caught the attention of many was Alter’s contention about the state of the Sky roster without Elena Delle Donne, the team’s franchise player from 2013 until she forced a trade to Washington this past offseason.

[More at The Summitt: Elena Delle Donne fits right in with Mystics family]

Alter said that he believes consistent winning is the key to long-term economic sustainability, and added that he believed the Sky were “in a better position to win a championship than continuing on with Elena.”

Delle Donne declined comment on Alter’s comments through her representatives.

ROSEMONT, IL – SEPTEMBER 4: Elena Delle Donne
ROSEMONT, IL – SEPTEMBER 4: Elena Delle Donne /

The Sky finished 18-16 last season with Delle Donne, reached the WNBA semifinals, while Delle Donne performed at a level that earned her first team all-WNBA status. It’s early, but the Sky have seen their defensive rating improve from 107 last season, 11th in the league, to 92.8 this year, tied for third in the WNBA.

Offensively, however, their 107 rating, good for second in the WNBA in 2016, has plummeted to 92.8. Missing an elite scorer like Delle Donne, whose limitless game served as the engine for the Chicago attack, is an obvious reason why. The Sky beat the Atlanta Dream on Sunday, 75-71, and the centerpiece of the Delle Donne trade, Stefanie Dolson, tallied 23 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

But the 2017 leader so far in offensive rating, with 112.4? Elena Delle Donne’s Washington Mystics.