Yes, there was a game on Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Yes, it was Fred Williams’s first game at head coach of the Atlanta Dream.
Yes, the Tulsa Shock won their first road game in a year, beating Atlanta 84-80.
But undoubtedly, that is all less interesting than the ongoing drama surrounding Angel McCoughtry. McCoughtry was not dressed for the game as was not at Philips Arena. It was announced on the WNBA Live Access feed that McCoughtry had been indefinitely suspended by the Atlanta Dream.
Williams spoke to reporters after the game. What follows is the word-by-word transcript. I made the decision to sacrifice grammar for accuracy.
Reporter: Coach, I know there’s been just about as much drama off the court as there has been on the court. Can you talk to us a little bit about Angel McCoughtry and the situation there?
Williams: Well, you know, the situation there with Angel, I’m going to have to meet with her tomorrow and see which direction she’s at and I’m at at this point in time. That’s where I’m at right now with her.
Reporter: Is she or is she not suspended from the team right now?
Williams: She’s suspended indefinitely right now until I have a conversation and until we can clear some things in the air.
Reporter: When did that change happen?
Williams: That change happened pretty much when I took over the team. It’s been there, aired out there, and I know everybody wants to know what’s going on with her. I’ll find out more tomorrow and be able to have more statements for you then when I talk with her.
Reporter: Fred, when they say “suspended” that means the player is not being paid at this time? Is that how – ?
Williams: – it’s flexible. It all depends on what a coach feels for a suspension. It’s a flexible deal. There are some things that need to be paid and unpaid.
Reporter: Coach, can you see Angel coming back to the team if certain conditions are met?
Williams: Certain conditions? You know, I have to thoroughly and strongly talk to her about the conditions. And we’ll see where that lies tomorrow when I talk with her.
Reporter: Is there something that led to? – we were here with her on Saturday night. She was kind of criticizing Marynell’s game plan and they got some back and forth going on. Is there something that happened today in her conversation with her further, or was it just kind the culmination of a lot of things – ?
Williams: I think it’s a combination of some things that added on to the suspension and stuff and I wanted her to come into this game as clear with this team as possible, with a clear mind and I wanted her not to have the pressure of everything, of her thinking about everything that’s going on. So like I say, I will talk to her tomorrow and air these things out.
Now if she’s with us, you know, she still has the Atlanta Dream tag on her back right now. And we’ll see where that goes.
Reporter: Was she suspended prior to you taking over the team?
Williams: No. Not from me.
Reporter: Was she suspended by the prior coach?
Williams: By the prior coach? Yes, she was suspended by the prior coach, yes. (*)
(*) – I was contacted after the press conference by Tonya Alleyne, the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the Dream who wished to clarify Coach Williams’s last answer. According to Alleyne, McCoughtry was actually not suspended by former Dream head coach Marynell Meadors.