WNBA suspends Courtney Williams, Crystal Bradford for roles in fight outside Atlanta club earlier this year

25 Nov 2021 | 08:50 | NBA

Last month, former Atlanta Dream guard Courtney Williams posted a video to YouTube that showed her and multiple teammates involved in a brawl outside of a club. Because the Dream’s season was over by the time the video surfaced, the team could not hand out a punishment besides informing the players that they would not be re-signed in the offseason.

Now, however, the league has decided to get involved. On Tuesday, the WNBA announced that both players have been suspended for their roles in the fight.

The WNBA announced today that former Atlanta Dream players Courtney Williams and Crystal Bradford have been suspended without pay for their roles in an altercation outside of an Atlanta-area club in May and for related health and safety protocol violations. Williams’ suspension is for two games and Bradford’s suspension is for one game.

The suspensions will be served starting with the first regular season game that each player is eligible to play following the signing of a new Standard Player Contract.

Both Williams and Bradford are free agents, and it remains to be seen how much this incident will impact their ability to find a new team. The Dream have already made it clear that they are not welcome back in Atlanta, and other clubs may make the same decision.

Williams is such a talented offensive player that she’ll likely find a new home, but this is particularly concerning for Bradford. A former first-round pick in 2015, Bradford had been out of the league for five seasons and had finally earned another chance with the Dream. It may not be as easy for her to convince another team to give her a shot.

WNBA free agency typically begins on Feb. 1, so there’s still a few months until the process will really get going.

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As for the Dream, that video was just one of a number of unfortunate moments from a frustrating and forgettable season. Amid coaching changes, injuries and off-court drama, the team finished in 11th place at 8-24 — the third-worst record in franchise history.

They have made a number of changes already this offseason, however, and are trying to move on from their dysfunctional reputation. Reigning back-to-back Executive of the Year, Dan Padover, was hired as GM, while Tanisha Wright was named head coach. They have the second-best odds of winning the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming Draft Lottery and have tons of roster flexibility with only one guaranteed deal on the books for next season. The past few years have been rough, but there’s hope for a bright future in Atlanta.