(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Dream hired former NBA star Michael Cooper as head coach on Thursday, hoping he can lead the team to a WNBA championship after three winless trips to the finals.
The 57-year-old Cooper won five titles as a defensive stopper for the Lakers during the "Showtime" era, and he followed up his playing career by guiding the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks to consecutive titles as a coach in 2001 and 2002.
Atlanta won three of the last four Eastern Conference titles, but has yet to win a game in the finals. Cooper takes over for Fred Williams, who was relieved of his coaching duties after Atlanta was swept by Minnesota in this year's championship series.