Washington Mystics

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Washington Mystics
Washington Mystics logo
founding 1998
history Washington Mystics
since 1998
Stadion St. Elizabeth's East Entertainment and Sports Arena
Location Washington, DC
Club colors blue, black, bronze colored
league WNBA
Conference Eastern Conference
Head coach Mike Thibault
General manager Angela Taylor
owner Lincoln Holdings LLC
Championships 2019
Conference title 2018 *, 2019 * (* after regular season)

The Washington Mystics are a franchise of the North American women's professional basketball league, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team plays its home games at St. Elizabeth's East Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC .

The Mystics are the sister team of the Washington Wizards in the NBA , but the two teams have had different owners since 2005. The Mystics could not celebrate any notable successes for a long time and were the last active WNBA franchise that had not yet reached the finals until they entered the finals in 2018. In 2019 the Mystics won the championship for the first time.


Foundation and first seasons (1998 to 1999)

The Washington Mystics are one of the WNBA's first expansion teams . The 1998 season was the Mystics' first season in the WNBA. Led by Nikki McCray , the Mystics won only three of a total of 30 games this season. In the 1999 WNBA Draft , the Mystics decided on Chamique Holdsclaw . In the 1999 season the Mystics were able to gain a foothold in the league for the first time and won 12 of 32 games, which was also due to the strong performances of Holdsclaw and Nikki McCray. Both players were elected to the All-Star Team.

Highs and lows (2000 to 2003)

Holdsclaw and McCray managed to lead the Mystics into the play-offs for the first time in the 2000 season with only 14 season wins, where they failed in the Conference Semifinals at the New York Liberty . After the Mystics ended the 2001 season as the worst team in the entire league, head coach Tom Maher and general manager Melissa McFerrin resigned. With Marianne Stanley the assistant trainer of the Mystics has been appointed as the new head trainer. Under the leadership of Stanley, the Mystics made it back into the play-offs in the 2002 season . This was mainly due to the good performance of Holdsclaw and in the 2002 WNBA draft selected Stacey Dales-Schuman . In the play-offs they clearly won 2-0 in games against the Charlotte Sting , but they were knocked out in the Conference Finals just 2-1 against the New York Liberty. After the Mystics clearly missed the play-offs in the 2003 season, Stanley was dismissed as head coach and Michael Adams took over the post of head coach of the Mystics for the 2004 season .

Midfield and sale of the franchise (2004 to 2007)

In the 2004 season there were more and more rumors about Holdsclaw and that she was not very happy playing for Washington. At the end of the season Holdsclaw was out for the remainder of the season for unknown reasons. Rookie Alana Beard managed with great performances to lead the Mystics into the play-offs, where the Mystics were eliminated in the conference semifinals against the Connecticut Sun. In the 2005 season , Richie Adubato was named the new head coach of the Mystics. This season, the previous owners Washington Sports and Entertainment sold the franchise to Lincoln Holdings LLC. Holdsclaw was also transferred to the Los Angeles Sparks for DeLisha Milton-Jones . Despite these big changes, the Mystics played a good season and narrowly missed the play-offs. In the 2006 season they made it back to the play-offs after winning 18 of 34 games. But as in the play-offs two years ago, the Mystics failed because of the Sun in the conference semifinals. After the Mystics threatened to miss the play-offs in the 2007 season , Richie Adubato was released during the season and replaced by Tree Rollins . The Mystics finished the season together with the New York Liberty in fourth place. Since the Liberty was able to win most of the games in direct encounters, the Liberty got the last play-off place.

New start and return to the play-offs (2008 to 2010)

Also in the 2008 season they didn’t find their way back to the play-offs and could only win 8 of the first 22 games. Then Rollins was fired and replaced by Jessie Kenlaw , who looked after the team for the rest of the season. Due to this poor placement, the Mystics were able to secure a good draft pick at the 2009 WNBA Draft . In the lottery, the Mystics were awarded the second draft pick. For the draft, they chose the young Marissa Coleman . Before the start of the 2009 season there were some personnel changes at the Mystics. Julie Plank has been named the new head coach and Angela Taylor has been named the new general manager. Despite these many changes, the Mystics managed to play a consistently positive season for a long time and were the last team to make it into the play-offs. Crystal Langhorne, who was selected sixth in the 2008 WNBA Draft , received the WNBA Most Improved Player Award . In the play-offs, the Mystics met the Indiana Fever , which ended the season as the best team from the East. The Mystics could not stand against the Fever and lost the series with 0: 2. In 2010 the team played the most successful regular season in its history. With 22:12 successes, the Mystics ended the preliminary round as the best team in the Eastern Conference for the first time. Although the team had the first home advantage in a playoff series, they failed 2-0 in the first round at the Atlanta Dream .

Further seasons without great success (2011 to 2016)

The good regular season 2010 was followed by two very weak seasons for the Mystics. The team achieved only five and six wins in 34 games each season. These budgets are among the weakest any long-standing WNBA franchise has seen. In the 2013 , 2014 and 2015 seasons the Mystics at least reached the playoffs again, but failed again in the first playoff round. 2015 was the seventh first round defeat in a row. In 2016 , the team ended the season in last place in the table and thus missed the playoffs for the tenth time in the club's history after three playoffs in a row.

More successful years (since 2017)

In 2017 , the Mystics reached the playoff with a positive balance and successfully contested a playoff series for the first time in 15 years and only failed in the semifinals against the eventual champions from Minnesota . In 2018 the Mystics won 22 games in the regular season, equaling the club record from the 2010 season. After a bye in the first playoff round and successes against the Los Angeles Sparks and the Atlanta Dream , the team was in the WNBA for the first time. Finals. These were then clearly lost 3-0 against the Seattle Storm team . In the 2019 season , it was possible to increase to 26 regular season victories. With a 3-1 win in the semifinals over the Las Vegas Aces , the Mystics reached the finals again, where they got the upper hand this time against the Connecticut Sun 3-2 and celebrated their first WNBA championship.


season Audience
audience average
1998 15,910 10,864
1999 15.306 10.189
2000 15,258 9,072
2001 15,417 9,075
2002 16.202 9,344
2003 14,042 8,826
2004 12,615 8,613
2005 10,088 8,172
2006 7,839 7,479
2007 7,788 7,742
2008 9.096 7,948
season Audience
audience average
2009 11,338 8,039
2010 9,357 7,834
2011 10,449 7,955
2012 8,639 7,457
2013 7,838 7,531
2014 8,377 7,578
2015 7,714 7,318
2016 6,929 7,655
2017 7,771 7,716
2018 6.136 6,769
2019 4,546 6,535
From 1998 to 2018, the Capital One Arena was home to the Washington Mystics
As of 2019, the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena will be the new Washington Mystics venue

The Washington Mystics played their home games from their inception until 2018 in the Capital One Arena (until 2017: Verizon Center ). The Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Capitals (NHL) and Georgetown Hoyas (NCAA) also played in the hall. As of the 2019 season, the team will be based in the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena with 4,200 seats. The Mystics played a home game in the Capital One Arena in 2019.

Audience numbers

Despite the team's low sporting success, the number of viewers in almost all seasons was well above the WNBA average. In some seasons even five-digit values ​​were achieved. After the team sometimes called themselves the spectator champions, as they had the highest average attendance in some seasons, the number of visitors has declined in recent seasons. In 2016, the lowest audience participation in the team's history was achieved and for the first time the team was below the WNBA average. In 2017 there was an increase and a cut above the league cut was achieved again. Although the 2018 season was sportingly successful, the audience response fell surprisingly significantly. With the move to the new hall with 4,200 seats in 2019, the average was further reduced.

Achievements and honors

Sporting successes

In 2010 , the team achieved the best record of the Eastern Conference in the regular season but failed in the first playoff round. The Mystics were the last active WNBA franchise that hadn't reached the finals for a few years. The team was able to remedy this flaw in the 2018 season . The WNBA finals were reached for the first time, but these were lost to the Seattle Storm team . 2019 , the Mystics have the best record of any team in the regular season again reach the finals, this time against the Connecticut Sun could be made successful.

Individual awards

Despite the long lack of team success, members of the team received numerous individual awards.

Most Valuable Player : The first Mystics player to be named a WNBA MVP was Elena Delle Donne.

Finals MVP Award : After the team won the WNBA championship in 2019, the final MVP award went to a member of the team as usual.

Coach of the Year Award : The award for the best coach of the regular season has so far gone to the Washington team twice.

Most Improved Player Award : The award for the most improved player has been awarded twice to players on the team.

Rookie of the Year : The Mystics had the number 1 draft pick so far and Chamique Holdsclaw confirmed these experiences by winning the award as the best newcomer to the league. After a strong rookie season, Temeka Johnson also received this honor.

Peak Performers At the beginning of the WNBA, players in the team were regularly successful in the awards for the best statistical values. It has not been won for over ten years.

Season overview

Abbreviations: Sp. = Games, S = victories, N = defeats

season Sp. S. N Wins in% space Play-offs
1998 30th 3 27 10.0 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
1999 32 12 20th 37.5 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2000 32 14th 18th 43.8 4th, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-0 ( New York Liberty )
2001 32 10 22nd 31.3 8th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2002 32 17th 15th 53.1 3rd, Eastern Conference Victory in the Conference Semifinals, 2-0 ( Charlotte Sting ),
Loss in the Conference Finals, 1: 2 ( New York Liberty )
2003 34 9 25th 26.5 7th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2004 34 17th 17th 50.0 4th, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-1 ( Connecticut Sun )
2005 34 16 18th 47.1 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2006 34 18th 16 52.9 4th, Eastern Conference Conference Semifinal lost, 2-0 ( Connecticut Sun )
2007 34 16 18th 47.1 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2008 34 10 24 29.4 6th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2009 34 16 18th 47.1 4th, Eastern Conference Conference Semifinals lost, 2-0 ( Indiana Fever )
2010 34 22nd 12 64.7 1st, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-0 ( Atlanta Dream )
2011 34 6th 28 17.6 6th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2012 34 5 29 14.7 6th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2013 34 17th 17th 50.0 3rd, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-1 ( Atlanta Dream )
2014 34 16 18th 47.1 3rd, Eastern Conference Conference Semifinals lost, 2-0 ( Indiana Fever )
2015 34 18th 16 52.9 4th, Eastern Conference Conference semifinals lost, 2-1 ( New York Liberty )
2016 34 13 21st 38.2 5th, Eastern Conference not qualified
2017 34 18th 16 52.9 3rd, Eastern Conference 1st round win, 1-0 ( Dallas Wings )
win 2nd round, 1-0 ( New York Liberty )
loss in the WNBA semifinals, 0-3 ( Minnesota Lynx )
2018 34 22nd 12 64.7 2nd, Eastern Conference Victory in the 2nd round, 1-0 ( Los Angeles Sparks )
win the WNBA semifinals, 3-2 ( Atlanta Dream )
loss in the WNBA finals, 0-3 ( Seattle Storm )
2019 34 26th 8th 67.5 1st, Eastern Conference WNBA semi-final win, 3-2 ( Las Vegas Aces )
WNBA champions , 3-2 ( Connecticut Sun )
total 736 321 415 43.6 12 play-off appearances in 22 seasons
18 series: 7 wins, 11 losses
47 games: 18 wins, 29 losses (38.3%)

Head coaches

Period Trainer
1998 Jim Lewis
1998 Cathy Parson
1999-2000 Nancy Darsch
2000 Darrell Walker
2001 Tom Maher
2002-2003 Marianne Stanley
2004 Michael Adams
2005-2007 Richie Adubato
2007-2008 Tree Rollins
2008 Jessie Kenlaw
2009-2010 Julie Plank
2010–2012 Trudi Lacey
since 2012 Mike Thibault


Squad of the 2019 season

As of November 3, 2019

No. country Surname position Date of birth Experience
2 United StatesUnited States Myisha Hines-Allen Forward 05/30/1996 1 season University of Louisville
5 United StatesUnited States Kiara Leslie Guard December 6, 1995 Rookie North Carolina State University
6th BelgiumBelgium Kim Mestdagh Guard 03/12/1990 Rookie Colorado State University
7th United StatesUnited States Ariel Atkins Guard 07/30/1996 1 season University of Texas at Austin
11 United StatesUnited States Elena Delle Donne Guard-Forward 09/05/1989 6 seasons University of Delaware
15th United StatesUnited States Natasha Cloud Guard 02/22/1992 4 seasons Saint Joseph's University
20th United StatesUnited States Kristi Toliver Guard 01/27/1987 10 seasons University of Maryland
21st United StatesUnited States Tianna Hawkins Forward 03/02/1991 5 seasons University of Maryland
23 United StatesUnited States Aerial Powers Guard-Forward 07/17/1904 3 seasons Michigan State University
30th United StatesUnited States LaToya Sanders Forward center 09/11/1986 6 seasons University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
32 United StatesUnited States Shatori Walker-Kimbrough Guard 05/18/1995 2 seasons University of Maryland
33 BelgiumBelgium Emma Meesseman Forward 05/13/1993 5 seasons -

First-round voting rights in the WNBA Draft

Since 1998, the Mystics had a total of 24 draft rights in the first round of the WNBA draft in 23 seasons so far , whereby they are currently the only team of the WNBA that has selected at least one player in the first round of each draft. In two drafts, two players could even be selected in the first round ( 2002 and 2012 ).

With Chamique Holdsclaw , the franchise has so far been able to select a player in the first position. She also lived up to the expectations placed in her and was voted the best newcomer of the year after her first season in the WNBA . Due to the weaker sporting performance, the team was able to select a player from the top 3 six times. The team's second Rookie of the Year was only drafted in sixth place with Temeka Johnson .

In the 2017 season , Tayler Hill and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough , two players selected by the team in the first round of the draft, were in the club's squad.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Washington Mystics Draft History. WNBA, accessed July 21, 2012 .
  2. ^ All-Time WNBA Draft Picks. WNBA, accessed November 30, 2016 .