Olympian Angel McCoughtry discusses this Dream season.
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Dream are on a streak that the franchise has never been on before. Under new head coach Nicki Collen, the Dream won their seventh game in a row on Sunday, topping the Seattle Storm at home.
With a 15-9 record entering Tuesday, the Dream sit near the top of the WNBA standings, situated in second place. Atlanta has the third fastest pace in the league and they also have the third best defense, allowing just 78.9 points per-game.
And the Dream also have Angel McCoughtry back, leading a dynamic roster. The 31-year-old Baltimore native took last season off from the WNBA, but is back this season, looking to take the Dream back to the playoffs.
McCoughtry was named an All-Star for the fifth time in her career last week. So far this season she’s averaging 16.1 points, six rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per-game.
After the Dream’s sixth straight win on July 19 against the Connecticut Sun, McCoughtry was in high demand. She was needed to sign autographs for fans. She needed to go greet a coach from Louisville, her alma mater. She needed to hang out with her nephew.
Between all that, and while taking down a to-go container of postgame pasta, McCoughtry had a few minutes to chat with High Post Hoops.
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Northam: I’ll get the awkward question out of the way first. It was reported that you were benched (on July 17) for violating a team rule. Do you want to explain what happened?
McCoughtry: Oh sure. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was — well, I guess it was kind of a team violation. I was actually the first one at the airport (to fly to Connecticut), and this is the funny part, I was sitting in the Delta Sky Lounge with my earphones in and lost track of time and missed the flight. I was on time to the airport, but I missed the flight. So, hilarious story. That’s why I couldn’t start.
Northam: So, we can just blame the Atlanta airport then?
McCoughtry: Let’s blame the Atlanta airport. It’s like the most busiest airport in the world.
Northam: You made the All-Star team again. What was that like, getting that news?
McCoughtry: It was an amazing feeling. I’m glad to be back to play with these girls and have a lot of fun. It’s definitely an honor to be an All-Star and to add that to my resume. It’s definitely a pleasure.
Northam: Did you see the roster that came out for Team Parker?
McCoughtry: It’s going to be fun. It’s good that they’re mixing it up. That’ll be a lot of fun.
Northam: Do you think there are any of your teammates who should’ve been All-Stars?
McCoughtry: Absolutely. We had three All-Stars last year and now we have one. I know it’s due to, you know, they too two spots away, so that makes it kind of tough for any team. At the end of the day, I’m grateful to still be an All-Star. I think that the girls are happy for me and that’s what matters.
Northam: You’ve been with the Dream a while. It’s been a while since y’all have had a lot consistent success like this. When did you start thinking that this team could put a string of games like this together?
McCoughtry: I think in June we had a lot of road games and we weren’t gelled yet. The team was still new, we didn’t know how to play with each other. Now we’ve been back home, the schedule has died down a little bit, we know each other a little better and it’s starting to click. We’re finding our niche.
McCoughtry: Who was the first one to talk about that? Me. On TMZ. I brought that stuff up first. And here’s the thing: people need to realize we’re not comparing ourselves to the men. Stop bringing them into this. They don’t have nothing to do with this. Let them make their money. They’re superstars… When we say we want a raise, stop comparing us to the men. We just want to say that we deserve better. We work so hard and there’s guys that play NBA video games that make more than us.
Northam: What do the WNBA players think they need to do to get more money?
McCoughtry: Market us. If people only know two players — Skylar Diggins and Candace Parker — then, that’s who they know, but they don’t know us. You know LeBron James, but you don’t know him personally. If people don’t know Angel McCoughtry, how can they relate? They should. That’s all they got to do is know us. When I meet people, they want to come. People don’t know us. That’s it.
Northam: You said the team is gelling a little bit more now. What do you think that’s due to? Just playing time with each other?
McCoughtry: Just getting to know each other better. That’s the thing that separates any team.
Northam: The Dream made a trade recently. What does (Alex Bentley) bring to the team?
McCoughtry: She’s been great. I think she brings a lot of experience. She’s a better scoring guard. She just flows, just a natural feel for the game.