Hope everyone is enjoying their Sundays and Happy Easter to those of you who observe it! Also, a Happy belated Passover if you observe it! There weren’t many true news stories on the Wizards last week. But here are a couple other teams’ models to consider.
Follow the Mystics
It wasn’t too long ago when I thought that the Mystics were a better managed team than the Wizards. But things have changed after they went through a slow, meticulous and successful rebuild.
I wrote this story last Saturday, but pointed out the pros of the Mystics’ rebuilding process since Mike Thibault took over in 2013. This team has gradually rebuilt through the draft and put themselves in a position to get Elena Delle Donne to be their franchise savior where she has walked the walk since arriving in 2017.
In the comments, some of you are thinking that Delle Donne wanted to come to Washington simply because of her older sister who is blind and deaf. That’s partly true because she wanted to play in a city closer to Delaware, her home state. But keep in mind that the New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun had more talent than the Mystics in 2016, the last year she played for the Chicago Sky.
If Delle Donne wanted to find a quicker path to a title at the time, I would say that she would have gone to New York. But ultimately, Thibault’s rebuild process and philosophy were strong enough selling points to override the Mystics’ talent disadvantage compared to other teams. In other words, the Mystics would probably still be trying to find their franchise player if Delle Donne didn’t come to town in 2017. Feel free to respond in the comments on that, but the Mystics’ process closed the deal for her, even if the team at the time wasn’t as talented as others in the league.
Ajax Amsterdam followed Ted Leonsis’ Ten Point Plan to a good degree before it was a thing
In the Netherlands, their premier soccer league, the Eredivisie, is better known as a “farm league” for Europe’s biggest clubs like F.C. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern Munich, etc.
But as a “farm team,” Ajax Amsterdam developed a philosophy that helped them make this year’s UEFA Champions League semifinals without the transfer budgets these other teams I mentioned have.
They are using their youth academy, savvy veteran signings and great coaching to defy Europe’s expectations. Since this team is playing so well together. don’t be surprised to see the Amsterdammers win their fifth Champions League title later this year. Ajax’s four other titles came before the big money clubs really started to separate themselves.
If Ajax Amsterdam is a team that is making the most out of what it has, then the Wizards have done quite the opposite. They have signed veterans who eat up the salary cap and cannot perform. They do not allow young players to get experience until there are no other options (like in the case of Tomas Satoransky). And Scott Brooks has been a lousy coach the last couple years because he really didn’t want to play Satoransky or Thomas Bryant until there were literally no other options left to play at point guard or center.
The main point of comparing Ajax to the Wizards is this. Team building philosophies transcend leagues and national borders. The actual means can always differ, but the Wizards can always look to a sports team in the country that is America’s most reliable (if not their best) friend of all time.
Alright, that’s all I have on my plate. Are you going to follow the Mystics in the 2019 WNBA season and/or Ajax Amsterdam as they finish the 2018-19 Eredivisie and UEFA Champions League seasons? Let us know in the comments below.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone.