The Washington Wizards went 1-7 in bubble play for the 2019-20 NBA season restart in Orlando, Florida. the Washington Mystics are 4-12 this season in their 2020 WNBA season campaign in Bradenton, Florida. One of the main reasons why? Bradley Beal decided not to play in the NBA’s bubble while Natasha Cloud didn’t in the WNBA’s.
In a column yesterday by Dorothy Gentry of The New York Times, the two guards explained in detail how their friendship developed into an all-out Wizards and Mystics tag team effort for social justice.
Cloud explained a bit more in detail regarding why she is not playing for the Mystics this season. Here is her full explanation from Gentry’s column:
“When I’m with the Mystics I want to be 100 percent in, focused on winning the championship, and with the community I’m the same way,” she said. “I want to be on the front lines, I want to be in person, standing side by side with our community, letting them know I’m not only here as a public figure but I’m here as a Black woman.
“To be impactful is to be present, and that was huge for my decision.”
Cloud also went on to say that she fully supported all players who are in the WNBA bubble, and that the Mystics’ decline this season has been difficult for her to see as well.
In Beal’s case, he officially sat out the NBA’s bubble to rehab a shoulder injury. However, he also made it clear that social justice issues were something he also wanted to focus on. From Gentry’s column:
“I didn’t make my opt-out decision on social justice issues. I always felt like we could continue to play as well as address those issues and continue to bring about change,” Beal said, adding that “100 percent” he wanted to be there last week as the players walked out in protest of Blake’s shooting. “It has propelled my attention to want to do more and to want to be more involved.”
The biggest takeaway from the article is that the Wizards and Mystics are truly friends off the court. They aren’t just two teams that share a practice facility in Congress Heights. They have teamed up together (in large part with Cloud and Beal leading the way) in a Juneteenth march in Washington. And they’ll get each others’ support anytime, anywhere.
The link again to the article is below.
Even though the Washington Wizards and Mystics haven’t been playing as well as we would have hoped in their bubbles, it’s a good thing to see that their vocal leaders, and their players at large, have formed a great friendship over the years, and that they all stand together as one voice when fighting for social causes.