Thursday, October 02, 2008

An Open Letter to Doris Burke

Dear Doris,

That was some game last night between the Shock and the Silver Stars, wasn't it? Just when Detroit seemed to have the game well in hand, San Antonio roared back in the 4th quarter to tie things up. But the Shock didn't give up, stopped the hemorrhaging, and pulled out the win, stealing one on the Silver Stars' own floor, 77-69. Now that's Championship basketball! And once again, Detroit's veterans Katie Smith (25 pts, 9 boards) and our favorite Shock player, Taj McWilliams-Franklin (24 pts, 7 boards), came up big for Detroit in this first game of the best of 5 series.

But, of course, you saw it all from your front row seat as an ESPN commentator. However, we thought we'd provide you with that brief game summary, just in case -- while you were busy criticizing the Mystics -- you missed some of the action on the floor.

As you did during the Eastern Conference playoffs, instead of sticking to commentary on the game, you again decided to stick it to the Mystics for trading Taj to the Shock during the Olympic break. As you are fond of repeating, the trade hurt other playoff contenders in the East (including your beloved UConn-Sun team) who, you argue, would have benefited in their post-break playoff runs, as well as in the post-season, by Detroit's loss of Cheryl Ford to a season-ending injury. In your coverage of the playoffs, you suggested this sort of trade just wasn't done within a conference, and that other GMs in the East were upset with the Mystics. Well, here's what the BasketCases have to say about that: Boo hoo! (You can quote us on it.)

Here's the thing, Doris . . . when it comes to the Mystics' personnel decisions, the Mystics' Front Office has but one obligation and one obligation only: to make the Mystics a better team. Period. (Now that's a pretty radical concept, isn't it?) Is it their job to worry whether a trade will help or hurt the Sun's chances of finishing first in the Eastern Conference? No! Is it their job to worry whether a trade will help or hurt the Liberty's chances of making it into the Championship Finals? No!

The Mystics spent most of this season swirling around in a vortex of doom. At the time of the Olympic break, we doubt you could've found a single fan here in Washington who didn't believe it was time to focus on building for the future. Our owner-fan, Dr. J, came out and said as much (and took flak from the League for her honesty . . . go figure!). So when Trader Bill came calling, the Mystics saw an opportunity to jump-start the rebuilding process, and maybe, just maybe, start turning things around -- not for this season, but for next season, or more likely, the year after that or even the year after that. What were the Mystics supposed to say: No Thank You, Bill. We're sorry, but if we trade a soon-to-be-38-year-old star, Taj, for a talented 22-year-old rookie, Tasha Humphrey, then Blaze or Thibault might be upset with us? We don't think so! That's not how things work in the real world.

In conclusion, Doris . . . we know you love the Connecticut Sun. We like them too. But they lost. Their season is over. It's time to move on. Now stop making excuses, and pay attention to the games!

Sincerely yours,

The DC BasketCases

* * * * * * *
Mystics News: Yesterday, the Mystics announced that four members of the Front Office staff have been promoted. The BasketCases extend a hearty congratulations to each of them and, in particular, to our favorite Senior PR Director and now Vice President of Communications, Ketsia Colimon!


At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You tell her Basketcases!! And while you're at it, the ESPN crew last night seemed to just love Bill the Pill!! They kept saying how brillant he is, what a competitor, great coach etc... To me, he's a bully. He can't get along with most of his own players, but I guess that doesn't matter. He tries to bully every ref, but particularly the female ones. But everyone, including his buddy Nancy L. just loves his antics.(Course I disliked his crybaby act when he was a player!)No wonder he always has to turn off his mike!!I'll be happy for Taj but I'm rooting for San Antonio!
S. Rob

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Not to completely defend Doris, since apparently she left her brain at 1600AM when she stopped doing Liberty radiocasts, but I see one small point in her favor: generally star trades are not done intra-conference, because those trades come back to bite you more often than they do in inter-conference trades. Look at all the Mystic deals with LA; look at the Hammon deal. I can understand her thinking it's suicidal from an Eastern team's standpoint.

But yeah, I agree with the rest of your point. The Mystics have to think about the Mystics first, last, and in between, and considering the needs of other Eastern teams would be mind-numbingly stupid, even for the Mystics.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on Basketcases!! Bill was a coach looking to to replace an important part of his team. It's not like he had Cheryl Ford available and wanted to stack the deck. I guess if it's not crunch time, trades within a conference are okay. Didn't Asjha Jones go from Wash. to Conn.?

STH B100

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We may not agree on a few issues, but this was a nicely written letter and spot-on.

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Basically, what you need to know about why Detroit has been such a success in the WNBA the last several years can be summed up by what happened Aug. 12.

"That's the day Shock coach/GM Bill Laimbeer got Taj McWilliams-Franklin in a trade with Washington. Detroit gave up no one it needed and got exactly whom it wanted.


"Laimbeer knew he had to do something, and it was clear to him there was one player perfect for the role he needed filled. All the better for him that she was with the Mystics, an organization that has not exactly been known for its shrewd front-office moves."

That's your pal Mechelle, how about an open letter to her too?

At 10:01 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...


Dear Mechelle,

You are right!

Your pals,

DC BasketCases

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good answer, BC! LMAO!!!!!


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