- The Washington Times - Friday, August 13, 2004

Forward Chamique Holdsclaw did not rejoin the Washington Mystics yesterday when the team resumed practicing after an 11-day break.

Team officials refuse to disclose Holdslaw’s condition or whereabouts, making Holdsclaw’s return for the final eight games of the season appear doubtful. It also raises the question of whether her career with the Mystics is over as well.

The Mystics are calling Holdsclaw’s absence a “minor medical issue.” However, in an interview last week at her basketball camp, Holdsclaw all but eliminated physical ailments as reasons why she mysteriously left the team in the thick of a playoff race.

Mystics coach Michael Adams said he is prepared to enter the stretch run of the season without the WNBA’s second-leading scorer (19 points a game) and third-leading rebounder (8.3).

“I’d rather play with her than without her, but that’s not the situation we have, so we have to play with the other 11 players who come ready and hungry to earn their pay every day,” Adams said. “In my mind, I think we can get it done with the players that we have.”

Adams also said that Holdsclaw’s bizarre disappearance and uncertain return is now out of his hands.

“This is not my team, this is Mr. [Abe] Pollin’s team,” Adams said. “Whatever decisions that come up in the future will be addressed then. I have no further comment about it.”

The Mystics (12-14) are tied for the third-worst record in the 13-team WNBA even though they are 1 games out of first place. In the three games Holdsclaw has missed, the Mystics have gone 2-1.

Holdsclaw’s teammates declined to confirm if they have asked the franchise star to rejoin the team, which doesn’t play again until Sept.1.

“Chamique is my friend so all our conversations don’t revolve around basketball,” forward Murriel Page said.

Holdsclaw, who is 40 points shy of becoming the sixth player in WNBA history to score 3,000, is in her sixth season in Washington after the Mystics selected her with the top pick out of Tennessee in the 1999 WNBA Draft.

Labeled the female Michael Jordan after leading the Lady Vols to three straight NCAA championships, Holdsclaw has yet to take the Mystics anywhere beyond mediocrity. Including 26 games this season, the Mystics have gone 77-118 with Holdsclaw.

During that time, the Mystics have had only one winning season (17-15 in 2002) — the only one in franchise history — and made the playoffs twice. Holdsclaw has played for six coaches in six seasons and has taken the brunt of criticism for the team’s annual struggles.

In last week’s interview, Holdsclaw intimated her problem could be with the organization and Adams, who is in his first season with the Mystics.

“I don’t owe it to Washington Sports & Entertainment [the Mystics parent company],” Holdsclaw said. “I give what I can as a basketball player, and it’s something that is personally affecting me. The only people I feel for are those who are going to be there for me — that’s my parents, coach [Pat] Summitt and my agent [Lon Babby] — and those are the people, God forbid that I am dying, that are going to be there for me. And that’s the way I’ve always handled things and that’s the way I will. I don’t want no sympathy party for anything that is going on in my life. I stick to those who stick to me.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide