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What are some of the biggest “What If” moments in Mystics history?

The Washington Mystics have had plenty of pivotal moments in their history. And during this week (and the pandemic in general), we WILL get to them!

Seattle Storm v Washington Mystics
Then-Mystics head coach Julie Plank (L) could have been the long-time leader the franchise was looking for.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Earlier today, I wrote about the Washington Wizards and a summary of just many of their “What If” moments. We here at Bullets Forever will explore some of these many moments and how well the team could have done if things fell a different way.

And for those of you who regularly read our Washington Mystics content, rest assured! We will explore them too! Not just during this “What If?” week from SB Nation. There are sooooooooooo many moments that could have altered the course of D.C.’s WNBA franchise one way or another.

If you have read my content here or at Swish Appeal since 2012, you definitely know I have a lot on my mind with the Mystics. In fact, the content I have on the Mystics on both sites chronicles the team very well from being a WNBA laughing stock (most of the time before 2013 with some exceptions) to a rebuilding team (2013-16) to a rising WNBA contender (2017-present).

Which moments do I think were the most pivotal in franchise history? Here are some of mine:

  • Not winning a Top-2 Draft pick in 2002 when the Mystics would have picked Sue Bird or Swin Cash. (Okay, I covered an overly-optimistic scenario when the Mystics won the first pick that year AND selected Bird on Swish Appeal, our women’s basketball blog.)
  • The Mystics’ decision to fire General Manager Angela Taylor and Head Coach Julie Plank after the 2010 season, when they went 22-12 and were the first seed in the WNBA Eastern Conference Playoffs
  • Not winning a Top-3 Draft pick in 2013 when they would have selected Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne or Skylar Diggins.
  • The Connecticut Sun firing head coach Mike Thibault after the 2012 season after his squad came up empty-handed despite being among the league favorites.
  • Emma Meesseman making the 2013 opening day roster.
  • Belgium, Meesseman’s country becoming relevant on the European and world stage as she was improving with the Mystics from 2016-present
  • Delle Donne demanding a trade from the Chicago Sky to the Mystics before the 2017 season.
  • The Mystics coming back from behind in the fourth quarter of Game 5 in the 2019 WNBA Finals against the Sun.

All of these events (and so many more), could have gone another way and altered the course of Mystics history. With the exception of the first bullet point, I think we’ll cover these and more throughout the week and beyond.

What are some of the most pivotal moments in Mystics’ history? Let us know in the comments below!