The BCs admit it. We're cranky. On top of relentless triple-digit heat, a massive oak tree on our neighbor's lawn was snapped off at its base by the winds of The Derecho on June 29th, falling onto our property, taking out our power line, our phone line, our internet access, our cable TV . . . and the rear end of our car.
After nearly a week without utilities, we got our internet access back just in time to watch the Mystics take on the Shock in Tulsa this afternoon. And if we hadn't been cranky before then, we sure would have been after watching that debacle. What an embarrassing, pathetic game. It was absolutely, hands down, some of the worst basketball we've ever seen. But even in this battle of the WNBA bottom feeders, one team had to win, and today it was Tulsa, 78-62.
With today's loss, the Mystics are now 3-12. And, nearly halfway through the season, they remain winless on the road, at 0-6. (The only other team in the WNBA to hold that distinction this far into the season is -- you guessed it -- Tulsa.) And, 49 games into Trudi Lacey's tenure as the Mystics' Head Coach, the Mystics have never even put together consecutive victories. That's right, not once has Trudi's team won back-to-back games. Not a single 2-game winning "streak," extending all the way back to the start of the 2011 season. Did we mention "embarrassing" and "pathetic"?
We learned on Friday during the Mystics' loss to San Antonio that Trudi had recently brought the team together for a class in yoga. Yoga! Undoubtedly, that was Trudi's followup to the team's pre-season Navy Seal Training, another of Trudi's inspirational ideas. Call us crazy, but we suspect that practicing basketball might make more sense in terms of improving a basketball team's performance than having players fold themselves into a downward facing dog.
And how about those line changes that Trudi employed in the SASS game? Five-player substitutions, as though it were a hockey game. (It worked for the Caps!) We've never seen that in basketball before . . . except on rare occasions when a coach is so disgusted with the performance of the starters that she/he yanks them all out to send a message. But as a pre-planned substitution strategy, as Trudi did? No, that's a new one on us. In any event, that novel approach didn't help. The Mystics, playing at home (in a nearly empty arena), couldn't beat the Silver Stars (who were on the second half of a back-to-back, on the road), losing to San Antonio, 78-73.
Watching today's game against Tulsa, it struck us how frustrated the Mystics players seemed to be. Flagant fouls, technicals, fatigue. Why wouldn't they be? We feel sorry for all of them, stuck in this mismanaged mess. And we feel sorry for the fans who still care about this mismanaged mess.
What can be done now? Well, the BCs have made no secret of our opinion that Trudi did not have the qualifications for her current jobs and should never have been hired in the first place. And any Facebook follower of the team knows that the fans who post there are virtually unanimous in wanting to see a coaching change . . . the sooner the better. But that isn't enough. This disaster was set in motion by the Mystics' management. The buck doesn't stop with Trudi. The buck stops with Monumental Sports. Monumental -- not Sheila Johnson--owns the Mystics. If true change -- for the better -- has any chance, then Monumental needs to move the Mystics' top management -- Sheila Johnson and Greg Bibb -- to different responsibilities, and put a new management team in charge of the front office.
The tree that stood so majestically just over our property line for perhaps a hundred years looked all lush and green . . . until The Derecho revealed that it was hollow at its base. It fell. In this case, replacing a losing coach would merely be cutting off a dead limb. It would not address the root of the problem.
The Mystics' franchise is "celebrating" its 15th Anniversary this season. How very, very sad, 15 years into the franchise, that this is what has become of women's professional basketball in our nation's capital. Isn't it time for a change?