This evening, the BasketCases had the opportunity, the pleasure -- and the privilege -- to meet the Mystics' new GM, Angela Taylor. All we can say is, now we BELIEVE!
First, we'd like to give credit to Mystics COO Greg Bibb. Hearing him tell us and a handful of other long-time fans about the process that resulted in Angela's hiring was both informative and very affirming. Greg talked about the 7 criteria that the organization was looking for in the new GM. (Read his blog for specifics.) Particularly interesting was his admission that he didn't really expect to find a single person who would score an A+ on all 7 criteria. But, to his pleasant surprise, he did. One candidate (of about 40 considered) stood head and shoulders above the rest. And after meeting Angela tonight, we have to say, we can see why!
If you read our post below, you know that we were already very impressed with Angela's résumé. However, in person, she's even more impressive!
Just like Greg Bibb has on the business-side, Angela has a plan on the team-side (plus the know-how) to change the culture of the Mystics from that of underachievers to a solid, consistently successful franchise. After listening to Greg and Angela, we can only conclude that gone are the days of trying to patch a team together for short-term, single season success (not that we've had much of that). In this new era, the goal will be to lay a strong foundation with young players and make player-personnel decisions based on more than single-season concerns. Can Angela turn the franchise around overnight? Probably not (though she'll certainly be trying). But will she succeed? Well, we wouldn't bet against her! As Angela said tonight, "You make your own luck." We like the sound of that!
The cyberworld we live in is a pretty remarkable place at times. After we posted earlier today, the BasketCases heard from a number of Minnesota Lynx fans (in emails and message board posts). To a person, they ALL said that Angela Taylor is an exceptional human being, someone they will truly miss, and an individual who could really help the Mystics franchise succeed. What better recommendation could we hear than that! (Many thanks to all the people we heard from . . . we really appreciate your taking the time to share your knowledge and feelings about Angela.)
Angela starts work on Monday, and her first order of business will be to hire a Head Coach. We learned tonight that many candidates have already been interviewed, with several more to be seen next week. According to Greg, we can expect an announcement sometime in the next few weeks.
If you're a Mystics season ticket-holder (and for the first time in a while, we're going on record as saying you should be!), you will have an opportunity to meet Angela yourself on Wednesday, November 5th. Don't miss this event. Meet her; talk with her; make up your own mind; and then tell us if you Believe.
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In the small world department . . . When Angela learned that we're also Terps fans, she told us that when she was at Stanford, she played against Brenda Frese, who was then a student-athlete at the University of Arizona. We didn't ask who won (but we do recall that the Cardinal snagged those two Nattys during that era, and Arizona snared . . . uhh, we can't remember how many. But we do know that Coach B has one now!)
Photo Credit: DC BasketCases
Friday Morning Update: The Mystics held a telephone press conference yesterday to introduce Angela to the local media. Read Mike Fratto's Washington Times report here and Kathy Orton's Washington Post report here.