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Top Stories of the Week: Wizards training camp begins, Mystics move up in the Draft

Things are fine. FINE!

Washington Wizards Media Day
He looks glum in this media day photo, and he probably still is because injuries struck his teammates. Again.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

This week has been quite gloomy when you look outside. The skies are overcast and it’s often rained at various points throughout the day. It’s given me a quick reminder of last May when there was measurable rain for 15 straight days. We do need the rain, so in a way, I’m not complaining. But we may have to keep an eye on Tropical Storm Matthew, which may be heading our way later next week.

The weather stunk, but the week has gotten off to a great start now that NBA training camps just started and more. So, let’s get to the top stories.

Wizards hold media day, begin training camp

Mike and Courtney went to Verizon Center last Monday when the Wizards held Media Day. Unlike last year, the team was more modest, yet optimistic that they would return to the playoffs after a one-year absence.

What will the Wizards need to do in order to make sure they start off on the right note?

We got ‘ya covered here with these takes:

  • Akbar explored about what Scott Brooks could change this season. He believes that the Wizards aren’t that much more talented than they were last season, so he’s just going to have to “earn his paycheck,” probably moreso than during his last stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • During media day, Brooks also mentioned that the small forward position minutes are not set in stone. Even though Otto Porter appears to be the starter based on last season’s rotations, looks like Kevin Durant’s decision and his improvement last season still weren’t enough to convince Brooks. Then again, Kelly Oubre’s improving too. And we didn’t get to Tomas Satoransky’s positional flexibility yet.
  • Austin explored what Trey Burke could provide the Wizards next season at the backup point guard position.
  • Mike also examined what Wall needs to do in order to improve this season. We all know he makes others better. But can his teammates make HIM better? These things are a two-way street you know.
  • Finally, Jake took note that the Wizards thought everything was fine on Media Day. Queue up the “Dog in the House Fire” meme!

Except that ... the Wizards can’t start things out on the right note

Bradley Beal had a concussion and Marcus Thornton had a jammed thumb which forced them to miss Thursday’s practices. Ouch.

Queue up that dog again!

The Wizards are going back to traditional paper tickets

If you’re a season ticket holder, you probably received your package by now. One of the major changes is that everyone is receiving paper tickets — and these tickets are your live ones by default. Last season, ticket holders were given an option as to whether they wanted paper tickets or paperless-only options.

The change back to paper is a bit questionable to me. Aren’t we living in a paper-less society now?

Then again, I’m just one person. Maybe most ticket holders hated the paperless system. If you’re a business owner who wants to hand people physical tickets as gifts or are someone who likes ticket stubs as tangible mementos, maybe you differ on this topic.

Reminder: Blog Panel at the District Chophouse next Monday, October 3 at 7 p.m.!

Read more about it here from Wizards Xtra, and here’s a tweet below!

Mystics win the #2 pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft

One crutch I’ve been leaning on with the Mystics’ mediocrity is a combination of the team not having enough lottery talent and that Mike Thibault knows how to get the most out of his teams — no matter what.

Today, most around the league would consider the Mystics to be a well-run franchise from the basketball aspect.

Well, the Draft Lottery Gods were nice to Washington as they trumped the L.A. Sparks (who had the Connecticut Sun’s pick because of a trade) to move up from fourth to second in next year’s draft.

There is not “chosen one” in the Draft like the 2016 Draft which featured Breanna Stewart. But Thibault knows how to get the most out of his players, and they finally are in a position of relative strength when it comes to picking what player they want.

Other Wizards stories

  • We weren’t the only ones at Wizards Media Day. The Washington Post has a cool video here,
  • ESPN 980’s Bram Weinstein handed John Wall a Darrell Green Redskins jersey during Media Day. Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post has more on that here.
  • Ben Mehic of Wiz of Awes wrote a bit more about Marcin Gortat and his subtle shots at former head coach Randy Wittman. Speaking about Wittman, he visited the Timberwolves’ training camp — and this is in the post-Flip Saunders era by the way.
  • Candace Buckner of The Washington Post added that the Wizards were quite impressed with Tomas Satoransky before he arrived. One stereotype about European players is that they’re soft. Many players, including Kelly Oubre of all people, got at him right away. The issue of “toughness” and this quote could also be applied word for word to Emma Meesseman (and sorry for putting the Mystics into a line on a Wizards player). They have different roles on different teams, but it’s food for thought.
  • Marcin Gortat made Sato feel right at home too, from one EU citizen -- and more specifically, one Eastern EU citizen — to another.
  • Gortat was also on the cover of Men’s Health magazine in Poland. No one is questioning his toughness here.
  • I’ll get back to articles. Buckner also talked to John Wall and Bradley Beal about their on-court tension. They were like, “What tension?”
  • Though the backcourt duo gave their bad McKayla Maroney impressions in this pic which will get some to draw up some trade ideas, Wall had this to say about it on Twitter:
  • Kyle Weidie of Truth About It added his take on Wizards Media Day here.
  • Ted Leonsis, Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber, and Los Angeles Sparks owner Magic Johnson were among several entrepreneurs who signed a partnership with Team Liquid, an eSports team group. If you don’t know what eSports is, it’s competitive video gaming. gavalon55 wrote a FanPost on it here.
  • We didn’t get too many opportunities to see how the new practice facility and Mystics arena will look like. But last week, Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post showed some designs on how it would be like in 2018 when the facility finally opens. The arena itself will be operated by Events DC but not Monumental Sports though the Mystics are playing there. The design of the Mystics’ new arena can be seen below. It’s basically a theater-like set up so it can also serve as a concert venue.

So that’s a rundown of what went down this past week. The Mystics finished their 2016 season on the right note with a higher than expected draft pick, while the Wizards training camp is starting out ... just fine.

I won’t be doing Top Stories next week since I’ll be out of town. Lyndie will be in my place and can do these things much better than I can.

Enjoy your weekends and a great start to your Octobers everyone.