Monday, September 22, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: The Mystics announced today that General Manager Linda Hargrove has been "relieved of her duties."

The BasketCases have very mixed feelings about this. During Linda's years in Washington, we and many other fans have gotten to know Linda. She is one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet, and she has been without question one of the most accessible and fan-friendly GMs in the league. She conducted regular pre-game chalk talks, and routinely roamed the arena before games stopping to chat with early-arriving fans. If you asked her a question, you'd get a candid answer. She even made guest appearances on this blog. So one of the emotions we're feeling right now is a sadness that someone we know -- and like -- has lost a job.

But professional sports is first and foremost a business. And if we look at the "business" side of things, we have to admit that, after four seasons with Linda as GM assembling the team, the Mystics unfortunately have not proven to be competitive. There's no question that some player personnel problems along the way were not Linda's fault or within her control. (Nikki Teasley's pregnancy is a good example.) Overall, though, the player personnel decisions were Linda's responsibility, and a 10-24 season is not getting the job done. So after this many years, when things clearly aren't working on the court, we cannot quarrel with management's decision that it's time for a change.

We wish things hadn't turned out this way. But that's life . . . and, most particularly, that's professional sports. It's a really tough way to make a living. We sincerely wish Linda all the best.

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases