Under normal circumstances many Atlanta Dream fans watching the Olympic Games would be cheering for Angel McCoughtry's Team USA first and Team Brazil second. Up until July 20 Team Brazil was led by current Dream member Erika de Souza and former longtime Dream player Iziane Castro Marques. The Dream have had to endure their first season without the Brazilian star as Marques chose not to sign with a WNBA team to start the year so she could train with Brazil in preparation for the Summer Games. The decision to commit to Brazil backfired as the team announced Friday, July 20 that Marques was removed from the Olympic roster.
The official reason reported for her dismissal is that Marques had her boyfriend sleeping in her room on several occasions, although most analysts feel something more must be amiss. The incident isn't Marques's first run-in with Brazilian management. In 2008 Marques removed herself from the Olympics roster because of an altercation with former coach Paulo Bassul. In 2010 she was invited back on the international team, but chose to miss Brazil's Olympic qualifying rounds to help the Dream during their postseason run in 2011.
Marques isn't the only player to have run-ins with Brazilian management. An ultimatum was given to Erika de Souza by Brazilian management last season during the Dream's playoff run. Dream coach Marynell Meadors reported that Souza was told that if she did not participate in the qualifying rounds with Brazil then she wouldn't be put on the Olympic roster in 2012. As a result, Souza was forced to miss games two and three of the Eastern Conference Championship and game one of the WNBA Finals. If Marques didn't decide to skip out on the qualifying rounds with Brazil that same year then there probably wouldn't have been a WNBA Finals for the Dream.
Souza may still be on Team Brazil, but this recent rift between Marques and Brazil has caused more reason for Dream fans to harbor resentment towards Brazil. While Marques is no longer a member of the Dream, she is still a fan favorite around Atlanta. The Dream have been a source of solace for Marques as she helped build the franchise from a laughing stock to a top tier squad during her hiatus from Brazil's national team. Dream fans will always be indebted to Marques for what she has done for this franchise. This sentiment is shared by Angel McCoughtry as she took the time to comment, saying, "I haven't talked to her and don't really know what's going on, but I do wish her the best."
As a resident of the southeast, Charles McGregor has been a fan of the Dream since their inception.
- Sports & Recreation
- Iziane Castro Marques
- Erika de Souza
- Atlanta Dream