The Washington Mystics are a hard fighting basketball franchise. Despite inconsistencies in leadership, the players have continued to practice and play to the best of their abilities night after night.
They owe it to their fans to put on a good show, no matter what is happening in the behind the scenes. With this attitude, the Mystics have continued to impress fans and supporters and achieve great things.
The Washington Mystics were one of the first expansion franchises to make up the WNBA when it first started. In the first season, the team was notable for having signed two-time Olympic gold medalist Nikki McCray. McCray was the prized player of the team and brought hope to the players and fans alike that she would take them to a championship.
Unfortunately that was not the case and the team finished with an overall record of 3-27. The following year also held much hope with the signing of Chamique Holdsclaw.
Immediately this duo improved the Mystics record and they finished 12-20 and had an appearance in the playoffs. Despite up and down success since the beginning, the Mystics are finally starting to become more consistent in their results.
Most recently, 2006 saw postseason play and an 18-16 record. They have a prolific offense that is ranked No. 2 in the league averaging 80.8 points per game. They were also first in the league with a 46.2% field goal percentage and fourth with 16.9 assists per game.
The thing that brought them much success that season was that four players averaged double-digits instead of just one player. The 2010 season saw visible changes in the coaching mentality and the players are feeding off of that.
The current team is spearheaded by head coach Trudi Lacey, assistant coaches Marianne Stanley and Laurie Byrd, and top players, Alana Beard, Crystal Langhorne, and Monique Currie.
The 2010 season saw the team go 22-12 for the season and 13-9 for the regular season. That season Crystal Langhorne was named to the All-WNBA Second Team and starter for the All-Star game. Monique Currie and Lindsey Harding was also named as starters for the All-Star game, and Harding was also named to the All-Defensive Second Team.
The Mystics have had some of the best fans in the league and that can be proved through the attendance. The Mystics led the WNBA in home attendance for seven seasons, ranging from 1998-2000, 2002-2004, and 2009. During the 2009 season, there was an average of 11,338 fans in attendance each game.
For each year of leading the attendance, a banner has been hung in the rafters of the Verizon Center to commemorate this achievement of becoming Attendance Champs.
While it is a nice gesture and a thoughtful one to include fans and supporters in the rafters next to the likes of other championship achievements and retired player numbers, it has also sparked controversy.
Some critics believe it is embarrassing to have Attendance Champ banners next to the likes of the 1984 Georgetown Hoyas and 1978 Washington Bullets banners. Critics believe the rafters are reserved for true sports accomplishments and not attendance achievements.