On Wednesday, the Washington Mystics held a media session via Zoom at the end of their practice in Bradenton, Fla. General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault spoke about the current situation with forward Elena Delle Donne.
In the statement, Thibault announced that the Mystics will only play Delle Donne at some point in the 2020 season if all parties, including she agrees to it. Most importantly, Thibault said that they do not want to put “any of our other player’s health and well-being in jeopardy at any time.”
“The Mystics organization will never put Elena’s or any of our other player’s health and well-being in jeopardy at any time.”— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) July 15, 2020
Coach T addresses the media on the current situation regarding Elena Delle Donne’s medical opt-out request
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Thibault also mentioned that Delle Donne is still getting paid by the Mystics and is still recovering from the herniated disc injuries she suffered during the 2019 WNBA Finals and is working out in D.C. If the team and Delle Donne determine that it isn’t safe for her to play this season, she will continue working out locally and plan for next season.
There is a narrative going around social media that “Ted Leonsis and the Mystics don’t want to pay Elena Delle Donne” and I hope Thibault’s statement puts a stop to that, especially since the team is still paying her. While the WNBA as a whole has some draconian rules in place, the Mystics have been as supportive as any team could be for their franchise player.