CHICAGO – It’s a day of firsts for the leader of the Chicago Sky, and each of them is very positive for James Wade.
As general manager and coach, he will take his squad onto the floor at Wintrust Arena for their first WNBA Playoff game in three years when they host the Phoenix Mercury in a single-elimination first-round game on Wednesday night.
That’s top of Wade’s mind at the moment, but he did get something special from the league earlier this morning.
James Wade has been named 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year! 👊
Wade becomes the first Chicago coach to earn the honor in the franchise’s 14-year history. pic.twitter.com/9fa9xOHEE0
— Chicago Sky (@wnbachicagosky) September 11, 2019
Wade was awarded the WNBA’s Coach of the Year, becoming the first in franchise history to receive the honor. It comes after the Sky made a great turnaround from the last two seasons in which they missed the playoffs to finish with a 20-14 record.
The win total is the third-highest in the team’s 14-year history and earned them a fifth-seed in this year’s WNBA Playoffs.
Unfortunately, there won’t be much celebrating for Wade as his team faces a “win-or-go-home” game immediately this postseason. They have had good success against the Mercury this season, beating them in their three-match-ups this season, but the single-elimination format leaves no room for error.
Should the Sky win this game, they’d have to go to Las Vegas for another one-game playoff on Sunday. Win that, and a date with either Connecticut or Washington would await in the league semifinals.
But what Wade has done for the Sky is already getting recognition from his new team along with the league itself.