Washington Mystics

WNBA considering IMG Academy in Florida, MGM Resorts in Las Vegas as sites for 2020 season

WNBA considering IMG Academy in Florida, MGM Resorts in Las Vegas as sites for 2020 season

NEW YORK -- Two people familiar with the situation say the WNBA plans to hold games at just one location if there is a season this year and that the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas and the IMG Academy in Florida are the top candidates.

There is still not date when the 2020 season will tip off.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the possible locations haven't been publicly announced. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told the AP last month that the league was considering a handful of scenarios that included playing at one or two sites.

Details of the logistics of how the league and its 12 teams would operate at either location remain unclear.

Engelbert told the AP once again on Tuesday that the league has talked about a number of options, but declined to confirm whether IMG Academy or MGM topped the list of possible destinations.

"We're looking at the pros and cons of a number of different locations," Engelbert said.

The commissioner reiterated once again that health and safety of the players and teams was a top priority.

The league postponed the start of its season in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The WNBA was supposed to begin play on May 15.

If the league goes with MGM Resorts it would have a few options of where the games could be held, but one would likely be ruled out: Mandalay Bay. That is the home court of the Las Vegas Aces, who are owned by MGM Resorts. The league wouldn't want to give the Aces even more of competitive advantage.

IMG Academy is in Bradenton, Florida -- about 100 miles from Disney World near Orlando where the NBA is negotiating to restart its season in July.

The commissioner did confirm one of many topics of discussion with the union: Players were paid Monday and will receive another check in a couple of weeks.

The players, who earn a base salary between $57,000 and $215,000, are usually paid nine times during an Olympic year, but were paid one 12th of their salary this week. The plan is for players to receive checks over 12 pay periods.

The league and union will evaluate where they are at the end of the month as far as starting the season and whether players will continue to get paid next month.

Normally players would be paid every two weeks starting on June 1 with their last checks coming at the end of the regular season.

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How to watch Mystics vs. Sky NBA 2K simulation

How to watch Mystics vs. Sky NBA 2K simulation

With the 2020 WNBA season on hold, the Mystics continue to defend their 2019 title on the virtual court in NBA 2K simulations.

This time around, Mystics fans can watch the Mystics take on Elena Delle Donne's former team, the Chicago Sky, Wednesday night on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here's everything you need to know to watch, including information on special guest appearances by Aerial Powers and Kiara Leslie.

How to Watch: Mystics-Sky 2K simulation

Who: Washington Mystics vs. Chicago Sky

When: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 6 p.m.

Where: NBC Sports Washington (channel finder) or streaming on the MyTeams app

Guest: Mystics players Aerial Powers and Kiara Leslie

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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Mystics guard Natasha Cloud calls for end of silence around racism in powerful essay

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Mystics guard Natasha Cloud calls for end of silence around racism in powerful essay

Mystics guard Natasha Cloud penned a powerful personal essay in The Players Tribune published Saturday, calling for individuals, particularly athletes, to not be silent on issues of race. 

In the essay, she asks fellow athletes to stand up with her to call out racism without politely opting out of the conversation. Athletes, as she notes, have the power to help influence and change behavior. They have the "ability to really change things."

Her essay is following the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, who died after a police officer put his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes. His death has sparked outrage and civil unrest in the community and in several other cities across the country. 

Cloud says that she is tried of herself fearing for her life and for other black people for fearing for their lives and the systems that uphold white supremacy.

That’s what’s so scary about it to me. That’s what’s so crazy about it, and so frustrating. And if I’m being honest, that’s what pisses me off. Because it’s like — those racist cops who keep killing us? There’s way too many of them, that’s for sure. But we’re going to keep on speaking out, keep on shining a light at their behavior….. and eventually we’re going to get them the hell out of the paint. Relatively speaking, that one’s easy. But you know what’s not as easy?? You know what’s harder to shine a light on? The millions of people who are helping to protect those racist cops, and who are helping to insulate those in power, by staying “neutral.” That right there is what’s exhausting to me. It’s all the people who think that — in 2020!! — they can still somehow just politely opt out of this [explective].

Cloud is one of many professional athletes to speak out following the death of Floyd including the Wizards' Bradley Beal and Nationals' Sean Doolittle.

In her essay, Cloud also highlighted the response from Mystics teammate Elena Delle Donne in an Instagram Story in the immediate aftermath of Floyd's death. Since, Delle Donne has posted Nike's new campaign "Don't Do It" which calls out racism on her accounts as well.

"I saw Elena’s post, and I was just like….. Ahhh, I [explective] KNEW my teammate would have my back. I knew it. And that felt so good. That’s the MVP of our league, one of the most famous white basketball players alive, and now everyone is seeing how real she is. How she didn’t hesitate — she got in there. And it was like, even that ONE post on its own, it took just a little bit of the weight off my shoulders. It made me feel just a little less powerless in this world," Cloud said. 

In the past Cloud has spoken out against gun violence in DC, holding a "media blackout" to address gun reform in D.C. Since arriving in the WNBA she has been a huge vocal leader of her community and measures her success by her impact.

Read the full essay in The Players Tribune