He tormented the Sparks for years, now Curt Miller will try to rebuild the downtrodden franchise.
The former Connecticut Sun head coach will take the same position with the Sparks, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who is not authorized to speak publicly. The two-time WNBA coach of the year led the Sun to two WNBA Finals appearances in the last four years, including last season, when the Sun lost to the Las Vegas Aces.
Miller, who doubled as the Sun’s general manager and was the league’s executive of the year in 2017, will take over a Sparks franchise that has missed the postseason for two consecutive seasons. The team finished 10th last season after firing head coach and general manager Derek Fisher following a disappointing 5-7 start.
The Sparks plan to hire a general manager as well this offseason, according to the person with knowledge of the situation.
The coaching question was only the beginning of the team’s troubles as the season also featured the dramatic exit of center Liz Cambage, who quit the team on July 26, and ended with the franchise missing the playoffs for consecutive years for just the second time in history. It was Miller’s Sun that ended the Sparks’ playoff hopes on Aug. 11.
Miller was an assistant on the Sparks in 2015 before taking the top spot in Connecticut, where he went 222-136 as a head coach during the regular season.
He built the Sun into a championship contender, but never broke through in the Finals despite shaping Jonquel Jones into the league’s most valuable player and delivering a top-tier defensive squad.
The Sun have won seven consecutive games against the Sparks, including a 2020 second-round playoff win that eliminated the Sparks for the second consecutive year.