- The Washington Times - Friday, June 11, 2004

Just minutes before the Washington Mystics’ season opener three weeks ago, star forward Chamique Holdsclaw grabbed the public address microphone and uttered memorable words to the fans at packed MCI Center: “Y’all are going to get your money’s worth this year.”

Those fans are still waiting for a return on their investment — and Holdsclaw’s promise.

With last night’s 74-60 loss to the defending WNBA champion Detroit Shock, the Mystics remain winless at MCI with an 0-4 record. Overall, the Mystics are 2-5, languishing at the bottom of the WNBA’s Eastern Conference.

As for Holdsclaw, she wasn’t talking last night. The Mystics’ leader refused to speak to reporters after the late-game collapse.

“When we play as a team, we win basketball games. When we stray from that we won’t win basketball games, I don’t care if it’s on the road or it’s here at home,” Mystics guard Stacey Dales-Schuman said.

Nothing really has changed for the Mystics since 1998, their first season in the WNBA. Washington is the losingest team (67-132 for a .336 winning percentage) in the league’s eight-year history.

Much has been made of the Mystics’ home winless streak this season, but matters have been worse. In 1999, they lost their first five home games to open a 12-20 season.

The franchise’s longest home losing streak is six straight games in 2000, 2002 and 2003. Last season the Mystics went 3-14 at MCI Center.

The Mystics have lost their home games by an average of 10.5 points. The Mystics’ two wins have been by a combined three points. One play here or there, and the Mystics easily could be 0-7. The Mystics nipped the Fever 68-67 on May23 and ambushed the Shock 65-63 two games ago in an 11:30 a.m. game.

“That was a game they caught us by surprise in trapping our posts,” Shock coach Bill Laimbeer said of the first time the teams met. “We didn’t expect that at all. We turned the ball over. Call it a morning game or whatever; we didn’t come and protect our homecourt.”

No need to remind the Mystics. This season hasn’t reached the quarter pole, but fans apparently are getting restless with first-year coach Michael Adams. Last night a sign in the stands read, “Fire Adams.” He’s the seventh Mystics coach in seven seasons.

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