|2023 Indiana Fever season|
|Team colors||Navy blue, red, gold|
|Main sponsor||Finish Line, Inc.|
|General manager||Lin Dunn|
|Head coach||Christie Sides|
|Conference titles||3 (2009, 2012, 2015)|
|Retired numbers||1 (24)|
The Indiana Fever are an American professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded before the 2000 season began. The team is owned by Herb Simon, who also owns the Fever's NBA counterpart, the Indiana Pacers, and Simon Malls.
The Fever has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in 13 of its 21 seasons in Indiana. Some of the players who have helped define the history of the Fever include the American players Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas, and Tully Bevilaqua from Australia. In 2009, the Fever went to the WNBA Finals but fell short to Phoenix. On October 21, 2012, the Fever won the WNBA Championship with a win over the Minnesota Lynx. Tamika Catchings was named the series MVP.
The Indiana Fever team began in 2000, when the state was granted an expansion franchise to coincide with the opening of Gainbridge Fieldhouse (then Conseco Fieldhouse). In their first two seasons, they were coached by women's basketball legends Anne Donovan and Nell Fortner. Led by center Kara Wolters, in their inaugural campaign the team posted a record of 9–23.
The Fever drafted University of Tennessee star Tamika Catchings in the 2001 WNBA Draft. The Fever went into the year with high expectations of a playoff berth, but Catchings tore her ACL during a college game and missed the entire WNBA season. The Fever posted a 10–22 record in 2001.
After missing the entire 2001 season, the 2002 season proved to be the breakout season for Tamika Catchings and the Fever. Catchings came out strong and became one of the most versatile players in the WNBA, easily winning Rookie of the Year honors as well as making the WNBA All-Star team. Her team competed well all year and posted a respectable 16–16 record, tying for the final playoff spot with the Orlando Miracle. Indiana won the tiebreaker and earned their first playoff appearance in franchise history. They drew the #1 seed in the playoffs, the Liberty; with the Fever losing two games to one.
The 2002–2003 offseason brought a lot of change for the Fever. The team added Olympian Natalie Williams and Charlotte Sting star Kelly Miller before the 2003 season. During the offseason the original coach and GM Nell Fortner resigned. Kelly Krauskopf replaced Fortner as GM and immediately hired Brian Winters to be the head coach. On May 29, 2003, the Fever registered their first sellout of 18,345 and defeated the Washington Mystics on national television. The team did better under the new coaching, but missed the playoffs, posting a 16–18 record.
The 2004 campaign was very similar to 2003's. The Fever finished with a 15–19 record. They missed the playoffs by one game in the Eastern Conference.
In 2005, the Fever had their best season since joining the league, posting a 21–13 record, and making the playoffs for just the second time. In the first round, the Fever swept the New York Liberty two games to none, earning their first playoff series victory in franchise history. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Fever faced the heavily favored Connecticut Sun. Game 1 came down to the final seconds when Katie Douglas hit a crucial three to win the game for the Sun. Game 2 went into overtime, with the Sun winning, thus sweeping the Fever two games to none.
In the 2005–2006 offseason, the Fever acquired All-Star Anna DeForge from the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for Kelly Miller. Later that offseason the Fever made another All-Star addition by signing free agent Tamika Whitmore from the Los Angeles Sparks. In the 2006 WNBA draft they selected athletic swing-forward La'Tangela Atkinson from the North Carolina Tar Heels along with Kasha Terry from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
The Fever started the 2006 season off at 4–0 and jumped out to an early lead in the Eastern Conference standings. Teammates Tamika Catchings and Tully Bevilaqua led the league in steals, first and second respectively, the first time teammates led the league in one statistical category. The Fever posted a 21–13 record, making the playoffs for the second year in a row. In the first round, the Fever faced archrival Detroit. Detroit won Game 1 in Indianapolis and held a one-game to nothing lead in the series. Game 2 in Detroit was a high-scoring affair with Tamika Whitmore scoring a WNBA Playoff record 41 points. Detroit won in the end, 98–83 and won the series two games to none.
Going into the 2006–2007 off-season, the Fever looked to improve their post play. In the Dispersal Draft, the Fever added veteran forward Sheri Sam from the Charlotte Sting. Kelly Krauskopf and the front office then set their eyes on key Free Agent Center Tammy Sutton-Brown, signing her on March 22, 2007. The Fever also selected 6–7 center Alison Bales from Duke University in the 2007 WNBA draft to go along with Sutton-Brown.
Going into the 2007 season, the Fever had their eyes set on the WNBA Finals. They started off the season strong, winning 16 out of their first 20 games, which was the best 20 game start in history of the Eastern Conference. Then on July 20, key player Tamika Catchings injured her foot causing her to miss the rest of the regular season. The injury was later revealed as a partial tear of her plantar fascia. The Fever finished 5–9 without Catchings. They won the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, beating out the Connecticut Sun. They played the same Sun team in first round of the playoffs. Game 1 in Connecticut was an epic battle, going three overtimes with the Sun hanging on to win Game 1, 93–88. The Fever won Game 2 at home by double digits forcing a decisive Game 3. In game 3, the Fever found themselves down by 22 points late halfway through the 3rd quarter. The Fever battled back to win Game 3 in overtime by the same score as Game 1 93–88. The 22-point comeback was the largest comeback in WNBA Playoff history. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Fever played their other hated rival, the Detroit Shock. The Fever grabbed an early lead in the series, winning Game 1 at Conseco Fieldhouse. With the team just 1 game away from the WNBA Finals the Fever traveled to Detroit. In Game 2, the game was close until the 2nd quarter, when the Shock blew the game wide open with a 14–0 run, easily winning the game. With a spot in the Finals up for grabs in Game 3, the Fever started off the game with an early 17–3 lead. Then late in the first half Catchings went down with another injury; she had completely torn her Achilles tendon. The Shock ended up winning Game 3, 85–61.
On October 26, 2007, the Fever announced that they declined the option for head coach Brian Winters, ending his four-year tenure in charge. He compiled a 78–58 regular season record with a 5–7 playoff record. On December 12, 2007, assistant coach Lin Dunn was named his successor to the job as head coach.
In one of the biggest trades in WNBA history, the Fever traded Tamika Whitmore and their first-round pick in the 2008 WNBA draft for Indianapolis native, Katie Douglas on February 19, 2008.
The Fever were part of the Liberty Outdoor Classic, which was the first regular-season professional basketball game played outdoors. It was played between the Fever and New York Liberty at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York on July 19, 2008, with the Fever winning the game, 71–55.
During the 2008 season, the Fever struggled in comparison to the three previous seasons. They finished with a 17–17 record, good for fourth place in the playoffs. Meeting the Detroit Shock in the first round, the Fever lost in three games.
After a disappointing 2008 season, the Fever were looking to improve in 2009. Indiana Pacers owners had said the Fever have been losing money. The only thing to save the Fever from folding in the near future, the owners inferred, was for the Fever to be successful on the court and at the box office. The Fever took the owners' ultimatum to heart and reached the playoffs as the first seed overall in the Eastern Conference with a franchise best record of 22–12. In the first round, the Fever ousted the Washington Mystics in a sweep, marking their return to the conference finals. In the East finals, again facing their rival Detroit Shock, they reached their first ever WNBA Finals by defeating the Shock in three games. The Fever then lost in 5 games to the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Finals.
Because of the success in 2009, the Fever announced they would remain in Indianapolis for 2010. Their 2011 season in Indianapolis was also confirmed as well.
In 2012, the Fever advanced to the 2012 WNBA Finals. Indiana then defeated the Minnesota Lynx, 3 games to 1. It was the Fever's first WNBA title.
After the Fever won the 2012 WNBA championship, the ownership group took notice of their management – by promoting general manager Kelly Krauskopf to president of the franchise. Krauskopf has been giving additional duties within the franchise as well as a pay increase. The Fever competed for another title in 2015, reaching the finals for the third time in franchise history, but fell short losing to the Minnesota Lynx in five games. In 2016, the Fever made it to the playoffs for the 12th consecutive time (the current WNBA record for most consecutive playoff appearances by a team). However, the Fever were upset in the first round elimination game against the Phoenix Mercury after the league's new playoff format was in effect. This game also marked the final game of Tamika Catchings's playing career; she had been known as the Fever's franchise player since 2002.
On November 18, 2016, it was announced that the Fever hired Pokey Chatman as their new head coach. In February 2017, the Fever traded for five-time all-star Candice Dupree along with the Mercury's 2017 first-round pick in a three-team deal that sent Camille Little and Jillian Alleyne to the Mercury and the Connecticut Sun receiving the 8th overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft along with Lynetta Kizer from the Fever. Despite acquiring a veteran all-star forward and a new head coach, the Fever would have one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. On August 12, 2017, the Fever were defeated 111–52 by the Minnesota Lynx, making it the largest margin of defeat in WNBA history, in which they allowed a league record 37–0 scoring run during the game. The Fever finished with the second-worst record in the league of 9–25 in their first season after Catchings's retirement, ending their streak of 12 consecutive playoff seasons.
In 2018, disappointment continued for the Fever as they rebuilt their team. They finished in last place, this time with a 6–28 record. On March 4, 2019, Pacers Sports & Entertainment announced Allison Barber, a graduate of Tennessee Temple University and Indiana University, as the new president and chief operating officer of the Fever, while Catchings was named vice president of Fever Basketball Operations. They wound up with the third selection in the 2019 WNBA draft, selecting Teaira McCowan from Mississippi State. The 2019 season saw some improvement, but the team nonetheless finished 13–21, two games behind the last playoff spot. After the season, coach and general manager Pokey Chatman was fired.
On November 27, 2019, Marianne Stanley was introduced as the head coach of the Indiana Fever, making her the seventh coach in the franchise's 20-year WNBA history. In addition, it was also announced that Catchings would be promoted to general manager.
Near the end of the 2019 season, the Fever announced that they would move their home games to Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, plus at least part of the 2022 season, to accommodate renovations of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The team planned to return to the renamed Gainbridge Fieldhouse upon project completion. However, the 2020 WNBA season was played in IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the 2021 season, the Fever played their first four home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, before playing the remaining home games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
On February 14, 2022, Tamika Catchings stepped down as the vice president of basketball operations and general manager of the Indiana Fever.
On February 24, 2022, former Fever coach Lin Dunn, who guided the team to a WNBA title in 2012, was introduced as the franchise’s interim general manager and senior advisor for Fever basketball operations.
|Season||Team||Conference||Regular season||Playoff Results||Head coach|
|2000||2000||East||7th||9||23||.281||Did not qualify||Anne Donovan|
|2001||2001||East||6th||10||22||.313||Did not qualify||Nell Fortner|
|2002||2002||East||4th||16||16||.500||Lost Conference Semifinals (New York, 1–2)||Nell Fortner|
|2003||2003||East||5th||16||18||.471||Did not qualify||Nell Fortner|
|2004||2004||East||6th||15||19||.441||Did not qualify||Brian Winters|
|2005||2005||East||2nd||21||13||.618||Won Conference Semifinals (New York, 2–0)
Lost Conference Finals (Connecticut, 0–2)
|2006||2006||East||3rd||21||13||.618||Lost Conference Semifinals (Detroit, 0–2)||Brian Winters|
|2007||2007||East||2nd||21||13||.618||Won Conference Semifinals (Connecticut, 2–1)
Lost Conference Finals (Detroit, 1–2)
|2008||2008||East||4th||17||17||.500||Lost Conference Semifinals (Detroit, 1–2)||Lin Dunn|
|2009||2009||East||1st||22||12||.647||Won Conference Semifinals (Washington, 2–0)
Won Conference Finals (Detroit, 2–1)
Lost WNBA Finals (Phoenix, 2–3)
|2010||2010||East||3rd||21||13||.618||Lost Conference Semifinals (New York, 1–2)||Lin Dunn|
|2011||2011||East||1st||21||13||.618||Won Conference Semifinals (New York, 2–1)
Lost Conference Finals (Atlanta, 1–2)
|2012||2012||East||2nd||22||12||.647||Won Conference Semifinals (Atlanta, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (Connecticut, 2–1)
Won WNBA Finals (Minnesota, 3–1)
|2013||2013||East||4th||16||18||.471||Won Conference Semifinals (Chicago, 2–0)
Lost Conference Finals (Atlanta, 0–2)
|2014||2014||East||2nd||16||18||.471||Won Conference Semifinals (Washington, 2–0)
Lost Conference Finals (Chicago, 1–2)
|2015||2015||East||3rd||20||14||.588||Won Conference Semifinals (Chicago, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (New York, 2–1)
Lost WNBA Finals (Minnesota, 2–3)
|2016||2016||East||3rd||17||17||.500||Lost First Round (Phoenix, 0–1)||Stephanie White|
|2017||2017||East||6th||9||25||.265||Did not qualify||Pokey Chatman|
|2018||2018||East||6th||6||28||.176||Did not qualify||Pokey Chatman|
|2019||2019||East||4th||13||21||.382||Did not qualify||Pokey Chatman|
|2020||2020||East||5th||6||16||.273||Did not qualify||Marianne Stanley|
|2021||2021||East||6th||6||26||.188||Did not qualify||Marianne Stanley|
|2022||2022||East||6th||5||31||.139||Did not qualify||Marianne Stanley (2–7)|
Carlos Knox (3–24)
|Regular season||346||418||.453||3 Conference Championships|
|Playoffs||35||33||.515||1 WNBA Championship|
WNBA roster page
|Anne Donovan||August 17, 1999||end of 2000||1||9||23||.281||32||0||0||.000||0|
|Nell Fortner||August 17, 1999||September 26, 2003||3||42||56||.429||98||1||2||.333||3|
|Brian Winters||December 11, 2003||October 26, 2007||4||78||58||.574||136||5||7||.417||12|
|Lin Dunn||December 12, 2007||end of 2014||7||135||103||.567||238||23||18||.561||41|
|Stephanie White||September 23, 2014||end of 2016||2||37||31||.544||68||6||6||.500||12|
|Pokey Chatman||November 18, 2016||September 9, 2019||3||28||74||.275||102||0||0||0||0|
|Marianne Stanley||November 27, 2019||May 25, 2022||3||14||49||.222||63||0||0||0||0|
|Carlos Knox||May 25, 2022||August 31, 2022||1||3||24||.111||27||0||0||0||0|
|Christie Sides||November 4, 2022||present||0||0||0||–||0||0||0||0||0|
|Indiana Fever statistics|
Currently, most Fever games are broadcast online through FeverBasketball.com and the Indiana Fever Facebook Page. Select games air instead on Bally Sports Indiana. Broadcasters for the Fever games are Pat Boylan, Debbie Antonelli, and Tully Bevilaqua. Select games air nationally on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, Ion Television, NBA TV, CBS, and CBS Sports Network.
Chris Denari served as the team's Play-by-Play Announcer from 2000 to 2017 before stepping down.
|Year||Average||High||Low||Sellouts||Total for year||WNBA average|
|2020||Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season was played in Bradenton, Florida without fans.|
|2021||Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fever did not allow fans.||2,636|
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