Women’s National Basketball Association (2000-2002)
Born: June 7, 1999 – WNBA expansion franchise.
Died: November 27, 2002 – The Sol cease operations.
Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena (10,412)
Team Colors: Yellow, Red & Black
Owner/Operator: Micky Arison
The Miami Sol were a short-lived franchise in the Women’s National Basketball Association from 2000 to 2002. Like all WNBA teams of the era, they were managed and operated by the NBA team in their market, in this case the Miami Heat. The Heat paid $500,000 franchise fee for the Sol, which gave the organization a summer-time property for the newly opened AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Sol introduced veteran NBA coach Ron Rothstein as the team’s Head Coach in October 1999. In an odd bit of trivia, Rothstein was also the first Head Coach of the Miami Heat when the club joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1988. He would stay for the Sol’s entire three-season run.
The Sol only had one strong season. In 2001 they finished third in the Eastern Conference and earned the franchise’s only playoff appearance, where they lost to the New York Liberty in the opening round. 35-year old guard Debbie Black was named the WNBA’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year for 2001.
Following the 2002 season, the WNBA restructured and contracted and the Miami Heat decided to stop subsidizing the Sol. The franchised closed down on November 27, 2002. The Portland Fire, who also lasted only three years, are the only other WNBA franchise with such a short life span.