The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
God Bless You, KimThe "Basketball for Thought" is a commentary by Kris Gardner.
As a man, I'm proud to say I'm a Comets fan regardless of the chauvinistic and snide remarks tossed about by other men toward the women who play in the WNBA. As a Comets' fan, I watched Kim Perrot become a huge fan favorite in the city of Houston over the last two years as she touched the hearts of Comets' fans everywhere and helped guide the team to two WNBA Championships. On August 19th, Kim died as she lost her battle to cancer. People who were touched by Kim's spirit and heart will miss her tremendously.
I first saw Kim on June 10th, 1997, at Autry Court on the campus of Rice University. The Comets were playing the Charlotte Sting in the WNBA's first pre - season game. As a fan of basketball, I already knew of Cynthia Cooper from her playing days at USC as well as a handful of other Comets' players.
According to Comets' Head Coach Van Chancellor, the team's biggest need was point guard. The other positions on the team were solid; but, a big question mark still remained at the point. Well, as the game progressed, I said to my best friend, "Number 10 should be the starting point guard." "Number 10" was Kim Perrot.
Kim started the 1997 season as a "developmental player" on the roster which meant she did not have a spot guaranteed on the club. Coach Chancellor was set in his ways and didn't turn the reins of the team over to Kim until it became blatantly obvious the Comets performed best with Kim running the show.
Despite being a great scorer at Southwestern Louisiana in College, Kim's role with the Comets was to get the ball into Coop and Janeth Arcain's hands. Kim fulfilled her role and then some. She was a pest on defense and helped generate Houston's offense by pressuring the ball full court. As it became apparent that opponents were going to force Kim to shoot the ball in order to beat them, Kim began knocking down clutch shot after clutch shot. With her help, the Comets' won title number one.
In 1998, Kim played a bigger role in the club's success. She improved her outside shooting and became one of the best on the ball defenders in the league. Kim truly got under the skin of opposing point guards. As her role on the team increased, so did the love she received from the fans. The crowds loved "Kim Bim" for her all out effort from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
Despite the tremendous on court success of the team (27 - 3) in the regular season, problems between Coop and Sheryl Swoopes threatened to tear the team apart. Kim was the glue that held the club together. She was the spark to uplift her teammates, coach, and fans. Her importance to the club was clearly shown as the Comets stared death in the face against the Phoenix Mercury in game 2 of the WNBA Finals. A loss would mean the stellar regular season record would be all for naught. Down 12 with 7 minutes to go, Kim's inner fire (on very sore ankles) and leadership helped motivate her teammates to an emotional come from behind overtime victory which led to title number 2 in game 3.
Kim did not play this third season due to the cancer; however, there is no doubt her spirit is with the team every game they play. Title number 3 is not guaranteed; but, Kim's love for everyone is. As Kim's best friend Coop has said, "Kim's in God's hands." Amen. May the Lord bless you and keep you, Kim.
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