When the Houston Comets professional women's basketball team crashed and burned out of existence at the end of last year, many of the players moved on to ball another day. As for the coaches, they claim they got screwed.
After a series of ownership problems towards the end of 2008, the WNBA took control of the Comets. According to a lawsuit recently filed by former assistant coach Ryan Weisenberg in Harris County District Court, that's when the lies began.
Weisenberg claims that WNBA President Donna Orender told him and the team's staff, who were nervous about the organization's future, that they'd all be around to play the 2009 season even if a new owner wasn't in place. "We need you to stay in Houston," Weisenberg claims Orender told him.
Based on this, Weisenberg says he did not pursue other coaching jobs. So, when the WNBA shut down the Houston franchise three months later, he was left holding a pink slip and no prospects.
Weisenberg is suing for fraud, claiming that despite that Orender and
the WNBA knew the Comets would be shut down, they told the coaches
otherwise. He claims that as a result of the lie, he has suffered
economic losses and emotional and mental anguish.
Weisenberg's lawsuit in Harris County comes on the heels of a similar lawsuit filed against the WNBA in New York federal court by Comets former head coach Karleen Thompson. She also claims that the league misled her into believing she'd have a job for the 2009 season, causing her to miss out on other coaching jobs.
Weisenberg's attorney, G. Scott Fiddler of Houston, tells Hair Balls that he is not looking for an early settlement.
"We're looking forward to having a jury hear the facts of this case," he says.
Update: Be sure to click on the link in the comments -- a story about a ton of Sheryl Swoopes' personal belongings, languishing for years in a Lubbock storage unit, being sold by auction. Click through to the photographers' blog for more pics; it looks like the bidder lucked into a treasure trove, including a hat autographed to Swoopes by Michael Jordan.