Elena Delle Donne has officially been a Mystics player for just over a week. But she still hasn’t made any appearances in D.C. since then.
While in D.C., the Mystics’ franchise player met her Wizards counterpart. John Wall’s just happy to be in her presence as you can see here.
I mean, he’s not even looking at her in the eye or her direction. Like many of us, he’s thinking, “Is this real life?”
Delle Donne also took this photo with Wall and Bradley Beal in a pose that screams: “D.C., WE ARE MONUMENTAL!”
Again, this is NOT A PHOTOSHOP! IT IS REAL!
Delle Donne wasn’t the only Mystics player around. She posed for a photo with guard Tayler Hill.
Finally, she chatted with Wizards head coach Scott Brooks and President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld.
Bye Bye, Emma Meesseman’s banner?
If you go to Verizon Center daily, there are two sets of banners. The most visible banners are on 7th and F Streets NW, where you can see a notable Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics player have a banner representing their team.
To this point, the players who have the main banners are Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals, Emma Meesseman of the Mystics, and John Wall of the Wizards:
Here's how 7th/F player banners looked in 10/16 with Emma Meesseman in the middle. My guess is that it's EDD's now pic.twitter.com/xjJLakvGZC— Albert Lee (@aleeinthedmv) February 10, 2017
I walked by Verizon Center earlier this week and these same banners were in place. Even after Delle Donne’s trade was official, Meesseman was still the player whose banner was between Wall’s and Ovechkin’s.
There’s another set of banners at 6th and F Streets NW where you see Braden Holtby of the Capitals, Natasha Cloud of the Mystics, and Bradley Beal of the Wizards:
My assumption is that this will change because Elena Delle Donne is the Mystics’ franchise player. No other Mystics players come even close to the amount of publicity or accolades Delle Donne has. So it makes sense to do it if it hasn’t already.
From a marketing standpoint, it’s unfortunate to see that Meesseman’s going to be a “loser,” at least short term. It’s a little sad to see a player emerge from little-known second round draft pick to a starter, and ultimately an All-Star who’s recognized as the team’s number one player. Now, she’s not given Delle Donne’s arrival.
So, every time I passed that corner and saw Meesseman’s banner at 7th and F, I was happy for her because it’s Monumental Sports’ indirect endorsement of her as the Mystics’ best player. Very few, myself included, thought she would even make it on the team in 2013. But here we were, in 2017, seeing a 23 year old Fleming who incrementally became a Top-10 WNBA player.
But the reality is that Meesseman doesn’t draw American fans like Delle Donne does. So regardless of whether her banner stays at the same corner or if it’s moved, I feel a little sad that her visibility is going to take a back seat now that we are officially in the Delle Donne Era. We’ll talk more about Meesseman’s trajectory in D.C. and with Delle Donne very soon.
All in all, it’s great seeing Delle Donne in D.C., in a Mystics uniform. I never thought that this would have happened in my wildest dreams given how WNBA free agency is structured. But I’m glad to see that the future is bright in Washington, not just for the next few months, but for years to come.