The Mystics are historically the “have not” franchise of the WNBA. They’ve had a number of terrible seasons and couldn’t get a high draft pick needed to turn things around. And they are the only WNBA franchise without a Finals appearance.
Part of the reason why is because they’ve had some bad front office management during most of the pre-Mike Thibault years. But another major reason why is because they have been without a franchise superstar for well over a decade. Therefore, when the league releases its annual promotional videos, the Mystics rarely get a positive highlight.
So, the league released their 2017 “Watch Me Work” preseason promo video on Thursday. In it, you’ll see some of the “usual suspects” the league likes to promote. Folks like Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx, and the Seattle Storm duo of Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart are in it. They should.
But when you see ELENA DELLE DONNE of the WASHINGTON MYSTICS give the “Death Stare” when she’s seeing Bird and Stewart working out on a tablet, that’s when you know things have changed around here. The Mystics are now a “have” franchise — one of the teams that the WNBA wants to focus a bit more on.
I get it. Delle Donne has yet to play one second in a Mystics uniform. The rest of the team hasn’t shown up for camp. And at least some of the fans could expect her to carry this team to the Finals or more, perhaps as soon as this season. If the Mystics fall short of that, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.
But the bottom line is this. Mystics and D.C. sports fans aren’t used to seeing the local WNBA team having a superstar, or being promoted in a positive light by the league in snippets like these.
To Lynx and Storm fans, this is another day at the office. But to Mystics fans, it’s a big freaking deal. Let’s just enjoy this team’s entry as a “have team” for what it is!