The Washington Mystics are just two wins away from winning their first WNBA championship in franchise history. It will also cap off a gradual, yet meteoric rise for the franchise since some truly terrible seasons.
On Friday, ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel wrote a column on the Mystics’ rise from their long history as the WNBA’s laughing stock franchise where fans would pejoratively call them the “Mistakes.” It also builds on a column I wrote on Swish Appeal last year.
In Voepel’s piece, Head Coach Mike Thibault and Assistant Coach Marianne Stanley were interviewed about their experience with the Mystics in the 2012-13 WNBA offseason. At that time, Washington came off a 5-29 regular season record and ended up with the fourth overall pick in the following draft.
Thibault noted that the Mystics had bad luck, but also said “you can’t do many more things wrong than they did.” That probably wasn’t a parting shot at Trudi Lacey, his predecessor, but just a reflection of the truth. The Mystics had 12 head coaches before Thibault, couldn’t find stability with their front office and didn’t make good draft picks with the hand they were dealt.
Stanley, who was the Mystics’ head coach from 2001-03 and an assistant since 2010 said that she was about to leave the team before Thibault convinced her on the phone when she was planning to work with China’s U-20 squad that year.
The piece is definitely a great read, so check it out.