The Ivory Latta era is over…again. Today, Ivory Latta was released by the Atlanta Dream for the second time in her career.
The news release is here.
Quoteth the coach:
“On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to thank Ivory for her contributions on and off the court,” said Dream General Manager & Head Coach Marynell Meadors. “Ivory has been an important part of this franchise since our inaugural season and we wish her the best in the future.”
My immediate thoughts:
1. With the Ivory Latta Depature v. 2, this leaves only three players who have played for the Dream the entirety of its existence: Erika de Souza, Jennifer Lacy, and Iziane Castro Marques.
2. It doesn’t guarantee that this is Latta’s last departure. Last year, Latta was the final cut of the Dream training camp…but when Nikki Teasley bailed out the Dream needed someone who could throw the three…so Latta came back.
3. If Demetress Adams makes the team this frees her up to wear #12. However, she wore #24 at South Carolina, she’s wearing #12 in international ball.
4. It is my hope that this finally ends the battle over Latta vs. Lehning.
This battle has consumed the psychic energy of Atlanta Dream fandom. All of last year this battle was fought in comment threads and message boards. It got very ugly, generating a lot of ill will between fans with charges that Marynell Meadors was racist for letting Latta go in favor of the white point guard. As long as both players (and Meadors) were on the team, the fight was always going to be there.
Hopefully, it’s over now. For better or for worst (hopefully for better), it looks like either Shalee Lehning or Kelly Miller will be the Atlanta Dream point guard. A lot of Ivory Latta fans are going to be seriously bummed out. Some will abandon the Dream as Latta goes. The rest of us will just have to carry on.
I was very lucky to talk to Ivory Latta several times, particularly during the 2008-09 season. Nothing personal, just game post-mortem. She was always extremely polite and could always address the losses – she was one of the bright points in a horrible 2008 season. I don’t know why she can’t stay with a team, but one-on-one she’s a charming person. I wish her the very best of luck and I hope that she catches on with someone else. (Preferably in the Western Conference!)