The Michigan Daly - Thursday, September 9, 1999 - 3B
Cooper: thrice is
still just as nice
Comets' star addresses city after third title
HOUSTON - First, Cynthia Cooper
preached. Then she launched into a rap.
Regardless of her delivery style, the message
was clear for thousands of Houstonians who
turned out to celebrate on a sweltering
Wednesday: The Houston Comets foiled the
skeptics to win their third WNB3A champi-
"Somebody said there were too many tri-
als, too many tribulations. too much adversity" *
Cooper said, proselytizing on the steps of City
Hall. "Somebody said the influx of new play-
ers (from the defunct A BL) was too strong and
the Comets could not handle it. But who are
The crowd answered predictably and red,
white and blue confetti filled the air as stars
Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson
each hoisted one of team's trophies. Houston
remained the WNBA's first and only champion
with a 59-47 victory over the New York Liberty
in the deciding game of a best-of-three cham-
pionship series. The Comets' first title also
came against New York.
The rally followed an eight-block down-
town parade along Smith Street, which was
lined two and three fans deep along the route.
More confetti and other paper fluttered from
the sun-drenched glass skyscrapers above.
"For the third year in a row, the Comets
have claimed the coveted WNBA champi-
onship title," Mayor Lee Brown said. "In doing
so they have established themselves as the first
AP PHOTO dynasty in the WNBA."
Leading the procession was Houston Fire
Department truck No. 10, the jersey number of
fallen point guard Kim Perrot, who lost her
battle with lung cancer last month.
"This is as much a celebration for Kim as
it is for us," center Monica Lamb said. "She is
definitely with us today."
Marching bands, floats and dignitaries in
convertibles came before the fire engines that
escorted the Comets, coach Van Chancellor,
owner Les Alexander and others.
"It's so great to see what this is doing for
the whole community," resident Olympic
champion Carl Lewis said aboard the ladder
truck carrying Cooper. "These women have
done such a tremendous job."
Chancellor included his on-court custom
of throwing candy to the crowd, hurling treats
off his fire truck to the screaming throng.
"I can't even describe what this feels like,"
Chancellor said after the parade. "We have
come so far."
Brown couldn't help but inject some poli-
tics into the revelry just two months before
both the mayoral election and a referendum to
spend an estimated $100 million in public
money on a new arena for the Comets and
NBA Houston Rockets.
"A great team needs a great arena to play
in," Brown said, muting the cheers a bit.
Alexander, who has demanded a new home
for his teams, chose to sidestep the issue in his
"I know how hot and humid this is for your
lunch break," he told the midday crowd, which
braved near-record temperatures and oppres-
sive mugginess that made it feel like 100
degrees. "We can't tell you how much we love
mthia Cooper and her World Champion teammates were greeted by a parade to celebrate their third straight WNBA title.