Usually here at FreshTake we avoid talking about the WNBA like Herpes Simplex 12, but this is a different instance. Former Laker great Micheal Cooper now the Head Coach of Atlanta’s own Dream has recently been diagnosed with early-stage tongue cancer.
He has taken a leave from the team.
Fortunately it was caught in time and doctors expect Cooper to have a full recovery. He is expected to miss about two weeks. Lead assistant Kareen Thompson will fill in his huge shoes in his absence.
I was too young to remember Cooper as a player, but thanks to ESPN Classic he became one of my favorite players, known for his dedication to defense and team basketball. He was a key contributor to the Showtime Lakers from 1978-1990, winning 5 NBA titles as a starting 2-guard.
His basketball acumen has translated very well off the court too. He has to his Coaching resume a NBDL Championship and two titles in the WNBA with the L.A Sparks.
This is his first season here with the Atlanta Dream and up until this news broke everything has been going according to plan. The Dream sit at 15-6 atop the WNBA and recently had 3 players selected to the WNBA All-Star game including Rookie and ALL-Star MVP Shoni Schimmel.
Micheal on his condition:
“I’m fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection,”
Those are wise words from Coop. I admire how he turned potentially horrible situation into a chance to spread a positive message.
Get well soon Coop! the whole city is behind you. -Glass