I don't have much to say on this game, but I will say that this is a must win game for both teams if they want to make the playoffs, and additionally for Indy, if Lin Dunn is going to be coach of the year, the Fever needs to get on a hot run to finish the regular season.
Reading material besides on just games
The Random SB Nation Song of the Day: I will play The Offspring's "Pretty Fly" for yet another '90's song.
What if? We talk about it all the time and dream about an alternate history. The only problem is that alternate histories are just fantasy. Can you imagine the Washington Mystics today as one of the WNBA's most storied franchises, with Sue Bird as their franchise player and savior over the last decade? While much of the stuff written is fantasy, it isn't totally out of the question, only if the balls fell the Mystics' way in 2002 because she realistically could have been in DC. Read this delusional post here.
Speaking about What-Ifs?
While this Sue Bird: Washington Mystics Sue-perstar of the ages post is featured with our SBN NBA comrades for What-If day, this is a very prime opportunity for you guys to write your What-If scenarios on other teams. They don't have to have a rosy outcome like Bird to DC, they could be situations like what if this free agent came or what if that same free agent didn't come, etc? I know you all have something in mind on how you'd like to re-write league history. :)
A note on just dismissing any notion that Bird would be an All-Time great for the Mystics...
I have received some feedback whether here and even from friends that the Sue Bird in DC piece I wrote is just too outrageous outside of a realistic scenario with Bird getting drafted to DC or that Abe Pollin, Marianne Stanley, Sheila Johnson, or Ted Leonsis would manage to mishandle Sue Bird grotesquely if she played here. Fair enough and I actually agree only because I can do so with hindsight when the Mystics fail to get those special players and we've seen what happened when the Mystics missed out on the crucial pick and picked someone who didn't stay long term.
But I will repeat what I said in that piece. It is a very optimistic take where I re-write history from that moment on. And I will add this. The Mystics' reputation in 2001 certainly wasn't great, but it wasn't where it was in the 2012-2013 offseason because now we have more of a track record to see their performance and even their mismanagement. So I may be a bit too defensive about my Sue Bird to Washington, DC scenario, I don't think it's fair to say that in 2001, without the hindsight we have now in 2013 that Abe Pollin, Marianne Stanley, and the Mystics would manage to waste Bird's talent out the window or just compel Bird to demand a trade to the Connecticut Sun even before Ted bought the team.
Some players just get everything clicking very quickly. Blake Griffin did for the Clippers and Robert Griffin, III did for the Redskins, both dysfunctional organizations and they still have signs of it. Sue Bird did the same in reality for the Storm, another doormat franchise at the time, and you can't just convince me (or even Nate who actually thinks that it could happen if things fell into place) that she wouldn't turn a franchise around by herself in the nation's capital.
Getting back to the task at hand,
So, WHEN you guys write your What-if scenarios, don't feel stifled. Reset that major moment in your team's history and then rewrite it, for better or for worse. Have fun with it! I certainly did.
And what about the youngsters?
The boss emailed me this link from the San Jose Mercury News from a blog post by Tim Tawakami, who reports on the San Francisco 49'ers where head coach Jim Harbaugh talks about taking responsibility for not developing wider receiver A.J. Jenkins properly and was having a hard time making the final roster there. I'll just give you a quote on him taking responsibility though there's a lot of great stuff here. Much of it is applicable to the WNBA which doesn't really promote youth development:
Q: Is it realistic to think Baldwin can win a starting spot by Week 1?
Harbaugh: I know a lot of people have been making some sport of A.J. and Jonathan and my comments and that type of thing.
I really feel the same as I did a year ago when I made those comments. That I don’t think it’s fair to bully or label a young player. Though I fully understand that people are entitled to their opinion and their perspective.
However, I prefer that the criticism–I would appreciate if the criticism is directed toward me. I’m responsible and I certainly accept that.
Actually, I welcome it.
Q: When you say ‘I’m responsible,’ what are you responsible for?
Harbaugh: I’m responsible. I’m responsible for helping pick the draft picks and fully responsible for coaching the players up. So I willingly accept those responsibilities.
If only WNBA coaches would say something like this, like Corey Gaines before his termination, or Trudi Lacey before hers. Even Mike Thibault could say, "If Tayler Hill fails here, it is first and foremost my responsibility. I drafted her here," that would be quite refreshing. At least he does actually say he's responsible for losses quite often.
That is all I have on my plate, so enjoy the games, and write up some alternate histories! I look forward to reading any and EVERY crazy situation in the book!
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