Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We Were Really Hoping . . . to make it through the Olympic break without any Mystics "drama." Just a nice, peaceful, WNBA-free month, hearing from Petey about his travels out west, following the Olympics on TV and the web . . . in other words, simply enjoying a much-needed break from yet another disappointing Mystics season. But alas, it was not meant to be. As many readers have already noted in their comments to Saturday's post below, the Mystics today traded Team Leader Taj McWilliams-Franklin to the Detroit Shock for Tasha Humphrey, Shay Murphy, and a 2009 second round draft pick.

The BasketCases were shocked (no pun intended), as we expect most Mystics fans were, to hear this news today. As we consider the deal, we confess that we have very mixed feelings about it. First and foremost, we will miss Taj tremendously. She has been the only consistent bright spot on the team this season. She has also provided mature, vocal, veteran leadership that the Mystics haven't found this year from anyone else. Points and rebounds are important, but who will fill the leadership void created by Taj's departure? It's now pretty difficult to imagine watching this team without Taj in the line-up. "Step up" is a term that lends itself to overuse. But if ever there were a time for Alana and Nakia to "step up," now is that time. The Mystics need on-court leadership, and our pre-break leader will now be playing for Detroit.

On the other hand, Taj only signed a one-year contract with the Mystics, and given that she is nearly 38 years old, there is no guarantee that Taj would be back next summer (would you re-up if you were Taj?). This means that by trading Taj now, the Mystics manage to get some value for her, rather than nothing. That's a forward-looking reaction to the deal.

And indeed, GM Linda Hargrove said, "We were looking at what we can do in this franchise to move forward. An opportunity arose that maybe can help us now and in the future. It was a difficult decision. Taj has been terrific for us."

The problem is, as 11-year season ticketholders, the BasketCases have heard about this move or that move or this draft pick or that draft pick making a difference in the "future" so many times we've lost count. It's not that we disagree with planning for the future, but we have to wonder, when does "the future" become "the NOW?"


At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Things weren't working with the group we had and we were looking at ways to try to make some changes and try to move forward."

Who put together this group, Linda? You did, that's who.

When are you going to hold her responsible, Sheila?

How long, Ted, how long?

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that the move comes just days after season-ticket renewals arrived to soon-to-be-former customers. At this point, is there ANY reason to renew?

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one bright spot of the season--watching Taj--is now gone. It sometimes seems as if they try to mess up the taem. I agree with the post--when does Linda come up with the "now"

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice that the season ticket renewal packet was missing Taj's picture?


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