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August Mailbag Part 3: Future Wizards sharpshooters and grieving about Emma Meesseman skipping the 2021 WNBA season

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Here is the third part of our August mailbag questions.

Mystics Ring Ceremony
I guess I’m obligated to write about Emma Meesseman in the mailbag, right?
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Here is the third and fina part of our mailbag questions. The first two parts can be found in the links below.


The final group of questions were email submissions. Here we go!

Before Thomas Bryant’s injury, he was one of the more consistent 3 point shooters. Consequently, do you think he would be more effective if Wes Unseld Jr. moved him to Power Forward to take advantage of his shooting and to help mask his lack of interior defense? (SkullDog)

In today’s era of positionless basketball, I don’t think moving him to the 4 is a bad idea on defense, in particular if Daniel Gafford can play more minutes at the 5. The same goes for Montrezl Harrell though he is a shorter player.

With this influx of new players, along with Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans and possibly Garrison Mathews, who do you feel should be on the list of designated 3 point shooters for the Wiz? (SkullDog)

Since Mathews’ qualifying offer was rescinded, I’d say that Corey Kispert is the easy choice, provided that he plays a significant amount of minutes for Washington this season. Kyle Kuzma is also a candidate. He made 2 threes per game, 1.8 in catch and shoot situations last season and shot 36 percent from deep. They aren’t record breaking stats, but if Beal and Dinwiddie can create more space for shooters, players like Kuzma should benefit.

The Wizards just crawled out from a financial boulder of the Wall-Westbrook contracts. My opinion is that the Lakers deal was “Christmas in Summer.” Bradley Beal can’t put a team on his back and carry them to even the Eastern Conference semifinals. He is not a player to give a mega deal to so we are under a Boulder again. I agree with Washington Post columnist Jerry Brewer to trade Beal while his value is high and move forward with a full rebuild. Your thoughts? (Dave from Shepherdstown, WV)

Thanks for the message Dave.

Given the past history of the Wizards, your assumption of Beal as a “delaying the inevitable” situation is warranted. That said, the NBA Draft Lottery odds have been modified for the worst teams to discourage tanking. And if that weren’t enough, the NBA Playoffs now effectively has 20 teams for a WNBA-postseason-style single-elimination play-in tournament. These reasons may be partly why the Wizards aren’t moving on from Beal, at least just yet.

It’s early to say that a Beal-led Wizards team is incapable of making the second round. He never had a true All-Star to work with until Russell Westbrook last season under a surreal environment where COVID-19 ruled the day. The Wizards of the past couple seasons were also void of considerable depth. But now, they have just that in the frontcourt especially. If Wes Unseld is as good as advertised, the Wizards could make a run for a second round playoff spot for sure. And that is the hope the Wizards are banking on for their future.

Any chance we see Kevin Durant play for the Wizards toward the end of His career? It doesn’t seem likely given that he signed a four-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets, And consider the Injuries had over the last few Seasons, This will likely be His final deal, But never know (Zach Cross)

I don’t think Durant will ever play for the Wizards, at least with him signing outright as a free agent. And that seems genuine from the man himself.

As recently as 2019, Durant was clear in a radio interview that he never wanted to play for the Wizards. Ultimately, his rationale was that he is from the D.C. area and played for teams based in the DMV as a child. And as an adult, he wanted to expand his horizons.

I get that our previous site manager, Jake Whitacre made a “thing” out of #KD2DC, perhaps as much as people think that I’m Emma Meesseman’s biggest Stan for the Mystics. (For the record, I’m probably not Emma’s biggest “stan,” but I get it, and my next question is on her).

I don’t want to speak for Jake directly, but I’m rather certain that even he himself knows that once we put our “serious hats” on, KD was just never interested in playing for the Wizards.

Obviously, the Wizards could trade for KD, and I’ll never rule that out. But again, I don’t think he’ll ever play for the Wizards barring a situation where Washington trades for him, whether it’s now or sometime in the twilight of his career.

Do you feel embarrassed “stanning” for Emma Meesseman now that she’s not coming back to the Mystics? (Multiple emails and messages)

I’ll admit that I am sad that she won’t be back this season. But there are plenty of other Meesseman “stans” who are more fanatical than me.

But seriously, Emma will be missed. And not seeing her this year (as a free agent nevertheless) is the end of an era since she was the face of Washington’s rebuild (and I never realized it until a few years later). We should dedicate a week for her, like Rod Strickland Week back in 2017, but not right now.

Meesseman will be remembered as one of the Mystics’ all-time greats. It’s unfortunate that overseas commitments are the Achilles’ heel of her WNBA career, but to “stan” for a bit, she is one of the Top 10 players in the WNBA right now, damn it!

What happened to the Belgian journalist who called Emma Meesseman the “most manly player” on the national team and got heat for it on social media? (Multiple messages)

So … Eddy Demarez, the Sporza journalist and commentator who initially called Emma … “Emma Meeste-man” (or “Emma the most manly person” in Dutch) is suspended. After reaching out to some of our Belgian friends at Swish Swish, that remains the case today since VRT, the parent company of Sporza is apparently still investigating him.

All of that said, Unia, a Belgian social justice organization committed to equality, did look into whether the Belgian Cats have a legal case against Demarez for discrimination. Ultimately, Unia determined on Aug. 11 that there is no legal case to be made to sue Demarez or VRT/Sporza. The sides were advised to engage in dialogue, something the Cats (including Emma) specifically didn’t want to do.

I don’t want to simply guess on his future from the sidelines, but since I was asked on this, here goes. Unfortunately, it’s not what many would want to hear. But I think Demarez will be back on the air at some point. That said, he’ll likely stick to men’s soccer.

As for the Belgian Cats, their goal for a more perfect and equal union in their country lives on, and Meesseman will be part of it.

While I am interested in this development personally, I also have to draw a line on when it’s time to stop covering a player who isn’t on the Mystics anymore. So this will be the last time I write in depth on Meesseman, except for a tribute sometime in the near future like a tribute week I mused about above. I’m still figuring that out but would rather bring in the whole team on it. In the meantime, I’d rather focus our Mystics content on the team that is playing games right now.


Our next mailbag will be in mid-September. Barring the delta variant of the coronavirus thwarting my vacation plans, I’ll be in some remote location then! Don’t worry. I’ll still get some answers in for the mailbag. Thank you again for the questions!