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How was life like the last time the Mystics advanced in the playoffs?

Chamique Holdsclaw #23 NBA/Getty Images

The last time the Mystics won a playoff series was on August 17, 2002, when they beat the Charlotte Sting 62-59 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, which was also the second round of the playoffs. Over 15 years later, the Mystics have advanced to the second round of the playoffs just yesterday, though it’s not the conference finals due to formatting changes.

Let’s reminisce how things were like on August 17, 2002.

What the current Mystics were doing on or around August 17, 2002

  • The entire Mystics roster was born on September 25, 1984 or later. That tells me that the entire roster wasn’t old enough to vote or buy beer at the supermarket on August 17, 2002.
  • Ivory Latta was the player born on September 25, 1984 and is the oldest player on the team. She was about to start her senior year of high school at York Comprehensive High School in South Carolina. She would ultimately score 4,319 points in her high school career before going to North Carolina for college.
  • Kristi Toliver was a rising 10th grader at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She would ultimately be one of the best players in the Commonwealth.
  • Elena Delle Donne, Krystal Thomas, Allison Hightower, Tayler Hill, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, and Asia Taylor were in their awkward middle school years. Middle school stunk for me too.
  • Emma Meesseman, Natasha Cloud, and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough were in elementary school. Tasha and Shatori were screaming “Trick or treat” each Halloween in their neighborhoods so they could get tons of candy in their economy sized bags.
  • Meanwhile, Emma sang “Sinterklaas Kapoentje” on December 5 during Sinterklaas in the neighborhoods of Ieper so she could get tons of candy in her economy sized wooden klomp (clog).
  • All the Mystics were fans of the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, the Spice Girls, and B2K. God those were the days.

As for the coaches, assistant coach Marianne Stanley was the Mystics’ head coach at the time! Mike Thibault just finished a four year tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant coach where Ernie Grunfeld was the GM. And Eric Thibault was in Wisconsin with his dad too.

What the current Wizards were doing on or around August 17, 2002

Marcin Gortat is the oldest Wizards player since he was 18 on that date. Gortat was about to play for his hometown team, ŁKS Łódź in Poland, while Ian Mahinmi was playing for STB Le Havre in his native France. Jason Smith was still in high school.

Many of the other Wizards players were in their awkward middle school years like Markieff Morris, John Wall, and Tomas Satoransky.

Others were in elementary school. Nelly the rapper was walking Bradley Beal to school, and perhaps fellow St. Louis native Otto Porter tagged along. Kelly Oubre is the youngest Wizards player. He was living in New Orleans back in 2002.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was just a year removed from his NBA playing career. He was an assistant on the Southern California Surf, the 2001-02 ABA runners up.

What were the top songs back on August 17, 2002?

In the USA

Bradley Beal’s babysitter rocked the charts earlier in the summer with “Hot in Herre.” But on August 17, Billboard gave the nod to another one of his songs, “Dilemma” which continued to top the charts until October 5 when Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” took the top spot for a couple weeks. “Dilemma” topped the charts once again from October 19 to November 2, 2002.

The song that replaced “Dilemma” at the top was Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” another classic rap song. 2002 was an epic year in the world of pop music. Well I have a dilemma of which videos to put up, so I’ll just put up “Dilemma:”

In Belgium

If you’re in Emma Meesseman’s neck of the woods though, we have to show two songs because of the languages. First, we’ll go with Dutch.

Dutch (but Belgian born) rapper Brainpower’s “Dansplaat” (“Dance floor” in Dutch) was the top song in Flanders and the Netherlands in late August.

Meesseman lived close enough to Wallonia and France to hear their music as well. Indochine, one of France’s successful rock bands, was topping the Walloon and Brusselaar charts with “J'ai demandé à la lune” (“I asked the moon” in French).

And so you know, “Dilemma” did top the Flemish charts toward the end of the year, but not in the Walloon/Brusselaar charts.

Other things of note on August 17, 2002

  • Bullets Forever didn’t exist. Mike Prada and Jake Whitacre were still in high school.
  • I was about to start my freshman year of college.
  • Apple’s iMac had a swivel screen. The iPod was only available in white and had a max capacity of 20GB.
  • Smartphones with internet? Social media networks? YouTube? None of these things existed on August 17, 2002.
  • Most people used dial up internet in 2002. In fact was sooooo stoked that I had high speed internet in college like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Today, we merely expect it when we order a McDouble at McDonald’s.
  • I remember that middle school girls were so crazy to see “Crossroads,” the move Britney Spears starred in.
  • The Lakers just won three straight NBA Finals while the Spurs weren’t a dynasty yet.
  • People thought the Golden State Warriors were perennially mediocre at best.
  • Bria Hartley’s ankles were getting broken on the court by her brothers instead of the other way around.
  • Ted Leonsis only had complete ownership of one sports team at the time: the Capitals.

I think you get the picture. 15 years doesn’t seem like it was that long ago to some of you. It was “only the 2000’s” and the internet did exist. But at the same time, life was very different now that we look back at just how things were. Congratulations to the Mystics for advancing a round. Now, it’s time to get to the semifinals.