clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Top Stories of the Week: Mystics close in on playoff berth, reactions to Charlottesville and the roof

Stewart W. Small

This past week was quite warm and sticky as we get closer toward the end of the month when school starts in most of the immediate D.C. area.

But school already started in Frederick County, Virginia last Wednesday! Awwwwww!

First day of kindergarten

A post shared by Jake Whitacre (@jake.whitacre) on

And in neighboring Winchester City, Virginia, school started on August 10! Before you start thinking that life’s unfair for folks in the Shenandoah Valley, remember that school ends in late May or early June in these areas. So for our readers who are still attending K-12 school, it all evens out in the end!

So with that, let’s head to our weekly roundup of top stories:

The Mystics are close to a playoff spot, but aren’t closing it out

These two Emmas show an accurate representation on how hard it is to clinch a playoff spot. Yes, they are both named Emma.
Stewart W. Small

The Mystics are 16-12, tied for fourth in the East with the New York Liberty. Currently, three teams have clinched playoff spots: the Minnesota Lynx, Los Angeles Sparks, and Connecticut Sun. It’s very close to certain that the Mystics will get their berth soon enough, but they lost two in a row this past week, including a blowout embarrassment to the Sparks last Wednesday and the Mercury just yesterday.

There is one player who stood out the last week and a half. That player is rookie guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who’s averaged 14 points per game in each of Washington’s last three games. SWK didn’t come with “lottery pick expectations” and her role was expected to be limited this season. But with multiple Mystics players sitting out due to injury, that has ultimately given her an opportunity to play more minutes and start over the past few games.

Mystics and Wizards players react to Charlottesville terrorist attack

University Of Virginia Students In Charlottesville Back On Campus For Start Of New School Year Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Last Saturday, August 12, white supremacists went to Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in town. There were counter demonstrators who were there for racial and gender equality. Moments were tense, and unfortunately, one of the white supremacists drove a car into a crowd, killing Heather Heyer, one of the counter protestors and injuring 19 others. Two Virginia State troopers, H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates were killed when their helicopter crashed near Charlottesville to investigate the situation in the city.

The Mystics stood side by side with the Sparks before their game on Wednesday, while guard Kristi Toliver wrote a statement on behalf of both teams. Not only did she play for both teams playing last Wednesday, but she’s from Harrisonburg, Virginia, a city that’s about one hour northwest of Charlottesville.

On Friday, John Wall hosted a backpack giveaway in Washington for his foundation. He also voiced some remarks on what happened in Charlottesville. Here’s what he told Candace Buckner of The Washington Post:

“It’s been difficult. It’s been tough,” Wall said, referring to the previous week. “We go through times where times are going in the right direction for us. Our country is going in a positive way. Then we turn back around and revert back to the stuff we try to tell our kids not to do or what our parents told us … they went through in the past, and we thought we got away from that.

It’s kind of amazing to understand that in 2017 going into 2018, we’re still dealing with the same type of things that our great, great grandparents dealt with and we thought we were going in a positive direction,” Wall continued. “All we can do is not use it as retaliation and try to stay positive and understand that we want to give these kids a brighter [outlook] of what’s going on and not use it to go back at these people.”“It’s been difficult. It’s been tough,” Wall said, referring to the previous week. “We go through times where times are going in the right direction for us. Our country is going in a positive way. Then we turn back around and revert back to the stuff we try to tell our kids not to do or what our parents told us … they went through in the past, and we thought we got away from that.”

Wall also joins some other NBA superstars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant who said similar and more pointed remarks.

#FixAndReplace ........... THE ROOF!

Mystics owner Ted Leonsis chats with Elena Delle Donne and Mike Thibault before their game against the Mercury.
Stewart W. Small

The Mystics had their moment in the social media spotlight by getting into a dance off with the Fever last Saturday during a rain delay. The dancing’s all good. But three leaks in three years isn’t acceptable. It’s a safety hazard for players and indoor games shouldn’t be delayed due to things like this.

Ted Leonsis tweeted that the Capital One Arena’s roof will be fixed and replaced — and a plan will be released soon. I’d imagine that the fixing will be done ASAP. That should be clear. After all, the Mystics still have a few more games to play while the Wizards and Capitals’ seasons are on the horizon.

Wizards links

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
  • Donald Sloan is the newest point guard to join the Wizards. We’re gonna have a big battle at camp as he, Jodie Meeks, Tim Frazier, and Tomas Satoransky all fight for playing time.
  • Wall hung out with both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving before coming to D.C. It remains to be seen if he’s doing “backchannel diplomacy” between the two feuding Cavs stars.
  • Marcin Gortat takes issue that one of his friends, or significant other, is getting shade in the Polish tabloids.
  • Wizards radio announcer Dave Johnson was at Giant in Southeast Washington near St. Elizabeth’s earlier this week with the Mystics where he took photos with fans and players alike.
  • Phil Chenier got a warm welcome during the Mystics game against the Mercury.

So those are the main storylines of the past week, but they aren’t the only ones. If you have another link you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments or as a FanPost.

Enjoy the rest of your weekends!