9:58 AM PT — LeBron James is showing some serious love to his “More Than A Vote” initiative partner … congratulating Montgomery on Twitter.
“So proud of this Queen,” James said Friday.” This is everything we are about!”
Remember, the Lakers superstar previously expressed interest in putting together a group to buy the Dream … but it’s safe to say he’s thrilled with the new ownership.
Renee Montgomery has gone from the WNBA court to the owner’s box — she’s part of an ownership group that just bought the Atlanta Dream from Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
The exact financial terms of the deal are unclear — but we’re told the WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors both unanimously approved the sale.
The move makes Montgomery — who recently retired after 11 seasons — the first former WNBA player to have an ownership stake in a WNBA team.
Montgomery’s 3-person ownership group is comprised of 2 big wigs from the Northland real estate firm — chairman Larry Gottesdiener and President and COO Suzanne Abair.
“My dream has come true,” Montgomery said in a statement to TMZ Sports.
“Breaking barriers for minorities and women by being the first former WNBA player to have both a stake in ownership and a leadership role with the ownership team is an opportunity that I take very seriously. I invite you to join me as the Dream builds momentum in Atlanta!”
Montgomery played 2 seasons with the Atlanta Dream before opting out of the 2020 WNBA season to focus on social justice initiatives.
In fact, the 2-time WNBA champion was an outspoken supporter of the WNBA and its players for pushing Black Lives Matter messaging during games — despite pushback from Sen. Loeffler.
Loeffler was loudly against the WNBA promoting the Black Lives Matter movement during the 2020 season — claiming it “promoted violence and destruction across the country.”
Montgomery publicly disagreed and questioned why Loeffler “wants to be involved with a brand that just doesn’t align with her views.”
Loeffler and her former Dream co-owner Mary Brock issued a statement on the deal — saying, “10 years ago we stepped up to keep the Dream in Atlanta, as an important asset for a vibrant and diverse city.”
“It was also important to us to help level the playing field for women’s professional sports. We are proud of what we accomplished and wish the team well in their next chapter.”
“We will always value the hard work and dedication, and the memories, fans and friendships that sustained our commitment to the Atlanta Dream over the last decade.”
Renee and her team have their work cut out for them — the Dream was 7-15 in 2020 and didn’t make the playoffs.
However, there are bright spots on the roster including rising stars like Chennedy Carter, who made the WNBA’s All-Rookie Team after an impressive 2020 season.
Montgomery has been super busy off-the-court — she recently teamed up with Marshawn Lynch as a co-owner of Team Beasts in the new Fan Controlled Football League.
Plus, she also co-hosts the “TMZ Sports” TV show, which airs nightly on FS1.
Originally Published — 9:02 AM PT