An original Women's National Basketball Association
team. Their biggest stars
are Natalie Williams
and Jennifer Azzi
, and their head coach
is Candi Harvey
. They also have the tallest
player in the WNBA, the 7-foot-2 Polish center Margo Dydek
In the first five years of the WNBA (1997 to 2001), the Starzz only have one playoff appearance, a first-round sweep at the hands of the Sacramento Monarchs in 2001.
In case you're wondering why the team is named the "Starzz" and not the "Stars," the reason is because of the Starzz' NBA sibling in Utah. The WNBA is part of the NBA, and all WNBA teams are, from a business standpoint, the little sisters of NBA teams in the same city. As a result, most WNBA teams have nicknames that are contextually similar to the NBA team they've latched on to. For instance, in Houston, the NBA team is the Rockets, and the WNBA team is the Comets. In Phoenix, it's the Suns and the Mercury.
As for Utah, the NBA team is the Utah Jazz. The WNBA team is the Utah Starzz. Get it?
Personally, NBA or no NBA, I feel that "Starzz" is perhaps the worst sports team name ever. There's stiff competition from a minor-league ice hockey team named the Greenville Grrrowl, though. They don't even have an excuse for using too many letters.
Not that I want to turn this into a "worst sports team names ever" node, but xunker just pointed out that there is a semi-pro soccer (football) team in Utah named the "Freezz." It's unrelated to the Jazz or the Starzz. JEZZUS.
Note: CzarKhan adds that perhaps the team's nickname can be due to the fact that Utah doesn't have Jezzus in the same way we do. Is that the Church of Latter-Day Saintzz?
January 11, 2003 update: The Starzz are no more. Attendance in Utah was really bad, so they're moving to San Antonio, Texas, starting with the 2003 season. They will be now known as the San Antonio Silver Stars. Ugh.