After being named as the new head coach of the Fever last week, Christie Sides arrived in Indiana and met with the media for the first time Friday morning in her introductory press conference at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Sides was joined by Fever general manager Lin Dunn, who said that Sides’ ability to build relationships with players and her commitment to defense stood out to her during the hiring process.
“She is the perfect fit for our young, talented team,” Dunn said. “I’m confident she will rebuild this franchise. We will reestablish this franchise as a team that wins on the court and in the community.”
Sides previously spent two seasons in Indiana as an assistant coach from 2018-19. A few players still remain on the Fever roster from that time, including leading scorer Kelsey Mitchell.
She spent last season as an assistant for the Atlanta Dream and has over 20 years of professional and college coaching experience, including helping LSU reach three Final Fours, winning two consecutive FIBA EuroLeague Championships with Spartak Moscow Region in Russia in 2009 and 2010, and capturing a WNBA Eastern Conference title with the Chicago Sky in 2014.
“Excited to be back in Indianapolis,” Sides said. “I really enjoyed my two years here when I was here prior. Indiana and Indiana basketball is something that is different from any place in the world.”
Sides said she has spoken with every player on the roster over the last week and has already started to build relationships with them, which will be her biggest focus heading into her first season as a head coach.
“When it all comes down to it, the players are the most important. I can’t wait to get involved and invested with these young people. We have a great young core…We’ve got a lot of great potential here with this young team.”
Friday could be a monumental day in Fever history. In addition to Sides’ introductory press conference, the 2023 WNBA Draft Lottery will take place on Friday evening. The Fever have the best odds of securing the first overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft and is guaranteed to pick in the top three. Indiana has never had the top overall pick in franchise history.
“We’re watching it with the rabbits foots and any lucky charm and fingers crossed and I’ve got some other charms that I can’t mention in public,” Dunn quipped. “We’re pulling out all stops for the lottery tonight…This is a great draft. If we get one, fantastic. If we get two or three, fantastic, fantastic. We are going to get a great player in this draft.”
You can watch the entirety of Sides’ introductory press conference in the video player below.