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2020 in Review: Bullets Forever’s most read stories from the year that almost was

This year was a tough grind. But let’s take a look at the most read stories of the year before we ring in 2021.

Wizards and Mystics Juneteenth Peaceful Protest March
I wished the Wizards’ and Mystics’ march in June 2020 would have been the top story of the year. But I guess I was wrong.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Hi everyone, with the year 2020 about to come to close, now is a great time for us to look at the most read pieces from this past year, using nothing but the data we see from Google Analytics. While I cannot disclose the exact figures, it’s always interesting to see that the biggest stories don’t necessarily align with those that are most read.

The Top 10 most read stories of the year

  1. Deal of the Day: Can the Wizards make a fair trade with the No. 9 pick to the Lakers? (John Heiser) — Our most read piece of 2020 came on Nov. 6 of this year where the Wizards would trade Jerome Robinson plus the No. 9 pick in the 2020 Draft for the No. 28 draft pick and Kyle Kuzma from the Los Angeles Lakers. This piece was perfectly timed to be our top piece for several reasons. The biggest one is because the Lakers won an NBA title a month before this piece was published in November, right when NBA Draft and trade talk was heating up.
  2. Deal of the Day: The Wizards trade with the Mavericks involving Seth Curry and Willie Cauley-Stein (John Heiser) — Like our No. 1 piece, this is a trade idea. Trade ideas tend to get a lot of steam for page views.
  3. Wizards acquire Russell Westbrook for John Wall and a first round pick (Albert Lee) — This is our most read news piece of the year, given that the Wizards traded their long-time franchise player away for the 2016-17 NBA MVP.
  4. Deal of the Day: Wizards make a reclamation trade with the Knicks (John Heiser) — Trade ideas once again create the most amount of page views. Kudos to John!
  5. Russell Westbrook was concerned about the Rockets’ laid back culture during his one-year stint (Albert Lee) — I think we are still getting used to saying that Russell Westbrook is the starting point guard of the Washington Wizards. But this story touched on what was one of the biggest storylines of November and December: Why did Westbrook want to leave the Rockets in the first place?
  6. Deal of the Day: Three-Team Trade Sends Bertans to the Bucks (John Heiser) — When a trade idea involves the Wizards and a contender like Milwaukee, it’s getting eyeballs. This trade was a bit more complicated since it involves the Pistsons.
  7. NBA Trade Deadline 2020: Wizards acquire Jerome Robinson, trade Isaiah Thomas in three-team trade with Clippers, Knicks (Albert Lee) — Unless a team makes the NBA Finals, the hottest time of year for any NBA site tends to be around the draft and free agency or the trade deadline. This story happened in the latter period and was well-read, even if Robinson wasn’t granted his option.
  8. The Wizards are interested in acquiring Russell Westbrook for John Wall, according to report (Albert Lee) — Before Wall was actually traded for Westbrook, this was THE story among Wizards fans for quite some time until the trade actually happened in December.
  9. 2020 NBA Free Agency: 3 quick thoughts on the Wizards in Day One (Albert Lee) — This story came out right after free agency began in mid-November and right after Wall reportedly requested his trade to another team.
  10. Four Thoughts on Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards (Kevin Broom) — This piece focused on what the now-Washington point guard could do for the team. Hopefully, he’ll be able to keep dominating.

The 5 most read Mystics stories of the year

As you might expect with Mystics pieces like all of our other pieces, the biggest stories don’t always generate the most traffic. That was especially the case with Washington’s WNBA team.

  1. Natasha Cloud is engaged! (Albert Lee) — In 2019, I wrote that the Mystics guard was engaged to Aleshia Ocasio, a professional softball player. Though Cloud isn’t as integral to the Mystics as Elena Delle Donne is or Emma Meesseman was in their championship season, Cloud was among the WNBA’s most searched players in mid-2020 when she announced that she would skip the WNBA season to focus on social justice causes. That was when this piece saw its highest level of web traffic. While Cloud is a very good and an All-WNBA defensive team caliber player, she isn’t a higher profile one on the court like Delle Donne or Meesseman. And it isn’t unusual for people to check who she is married or engaged to. While looking for these facts isn’t uncommon, it also shows the gender bias that still exists in women’s sports and their coverage, at least in my opinion.
  2. Tianna Hawkins announces her engagement on social media (Diamond Holton) — I think I can repeat the same points on Cloud’s article to Hawkins. She is engaged to her then-boyfriend.
  3. Stephanie Rivera, wife of Ron Rivera, was a Mystics assistant coach in 2000 (Albert Lee) — The now-Washington Football Team head coach’s wife was on the Mystics’ coaching staff back at the turn of the century. That’s pretty cool!
  4. The Mystics will have a tough time offering Elena Delle Donne, Emma Meesseman and Kristi Toliver max salaries this season (Albert Lee) — Before the 2020 WNBA free agency period began, the league ratified a new CBA that would offer bigger contracts to players. While this was a big win for star players generally speaking, it wasn’t good news for the Mystics. Toliver left Washington to sign a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Sparks last winter and Meesseman signed a one-year supermax contract, which puts Washington at a crossroads on how to proceed with team building for the medium and long term.
  5. Aerial Powers is in a Twitter war with Andre Iguodala after he complimented her ... without mentioning her name (Albert Lee) — The Miami Heat forward was impressed with the Washington Mystics forward after an early season game. But he referred to Powers as No. 23 on the Mystics instead of as Powers. Many players probably wouldn’t take issue to it, but Powers did. In a year where the Mystics entered last season as defending WNBA champions and where the WNBA was a cool or chique league to follow, I can understand why she was not happy with it.