The Orlando Miracle were a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Orlando, Florida. They began play in the 1999 WNBA season. The Miracle relocated, in 2003, to Uncasville, Connecticut where the team became the Connecticut Sun. The Miracle was a sister team to the NBA’s Orlando Magic.
The city of Orlando was granted an expansion franchise in 1998, and the Orlando Miracle took the floor for the 1999 WNBA season.
The Miracle posted respectable records in their four years of existence (1999–2002). The Miracle made the playoffs once, in 2000, and lost in the first round against the Cleveland Rockers. In 2001, the Miracle took a step backwards, but they hosted a very successful 2001 WNBA All-Star Game. In 2002, the Miracle posted a 16-16 (.500) record, tying for the final playoff spot with the Indiana Fever. But, the Miracle had lost the tie-breaker, so they barely missed the playoffs. Little did anyone know that the 2002 season would prove to be the Miracle’s last in Orlando.
Relocation to Connecticut
After the 2002 WNBA season, the NBA sold off all of the WNBA franchises to the operators of the teams. Magic owner Rich DeVos was not interested in keeping the Miracle, and no local ownership group emerged. In January 2003, the Connecticut-based Mohegan Native American Tribe bought the team.
The new owners moved the team to Uncasville, Connecticut and changed the nickname to the Sun (in reference to the tribe’s Mohegan Sun casino.) The Connecticut Sun’s new nickname and logo were reminiscent of another Florida-based WNBA franchise, the Miami Sol, which folded at the same time as the Miracle.