Sunday, July 09, 2006

Points in the Paint, Panda Party, and deParting Player. Nakia Sanford and Chasity Melvin combined for 45 points this afternoon as they led the Mystics to victory helped the Mystics manage not to lose to the expansion Chicago Sky, 89-83.

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At halftime, Mystics fans were treated to team owner Sheila Johnson singing Happy Birthday (twice, no less) to Tai Shan, the panda cub at the National Zoo, who turned one today. Tai Shan, however, was too busy celebrating at the Zoo to attend the game, so the BasketCases have no idea whether he enjoyed Sheila J's singing. Mystics mascot Pax the Panda filled in for the little tyke. [Sorry, Sheila, but the BasketCases still miss Charm --- Pax simply does not have the same personality as the Blue Mutant Bunny from Hell. And we are still scratching our heads over what a panda has to do with the Mystics. And, uh, Sheila, you do know, of course, that the panda belongs to China?]

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Too bad the Mystics forgot the old show biz saying: never follow kids or animals. They made poor Nikki McCray follow the little panda's party (whoopee) to be honored as she retires from the WNBA. However, once Nikki took the court, it was clear that the fans who had stayed in their seats at halftime were there for her, not the cubbie. (Sorry, Tai Shan.) The crowd greeted Nikki with a great deal of warmth and a standing ovation, and Nikki responded by bursting into tears. She expressed what was plainly heartfelt thanks to the DC fans who had supported her for so many years, and said that she wanted to end her WNBA career by coming back to the court where it all began. It was an emotional moment for the BasketCases and other fans who have been around from the very start. We wish Nikki the best.


At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Just wanted to let you know I love your blog...I read it regularly and appreciate your insight and humor.

Btw...Pax may seem to have a tenuous connection to the Mystics theme, but he doesn't send children running away crying when he comes by. The kids love him. Her? Whatever. That bunny was a little scary looking!

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Kayaker said...

I attended the game then watched it later on TV. Dee Milton-Jones served as a sideline commentator for Comcast (she was a communicatios major) and did a pretty solid job, reporting on the coach's instructions to the team during breaks and halftime and interviewing her husband, Nikki McCray, Linda Hargrove, and Kia Sanford. As to her own condition, she said it is to be three weeks before she can play any serious basketball. Not sure if she meant practices or games.

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Posting-Up said...

Who does Marketing/PR for the Mystics?!! I think they missed a huge opportunity to do something very nice for Nikki on Sunday. How about simply framing her Mystics jersey and presenting it to her?

Wonder if Sheila's not on the page since Nikki was before her time? Felt like Sheila had to be dragged back on court after the Panda Party to stand with Nikki. I was disappointed by our management's lack of planning. :P

At 9:39 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Posting-Up: We were also disappointed in how the Mystics handled the Nikki celebration. Nikki still has so many fans here -- the owners definitely missed a good marketing opportunity. And we agree, it was embarrassing the way Nikki was just sent out onto the court with a mike, without Sheila or another Mystics rep on court to introduce her. They definitely could have done a better job. (And we like your idea about the framed jersey.)


At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Stevo said...

That,s just it! The fans who were there, didn't throw the party. Management didn't feel her the way we did. We were there when her team was given to Holdsclaw.


At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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