June 8, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Who’s wearing ‘big boy pants’ in Washington?

Alex and Jenn discuss what's going on in Washington D.C. from the sideline to Shakira Austin

In the latest episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, Alex Simon of Bay Area News Group and Washington Mystics beat writer Jenn Hatfield talk about Jenn’s recent feature on the Thibault transition (from Mike to Eric) in Washington D.C., the Mystics’ offensive struggles and Shakira Austin‘s second season.

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Jenn talked about the transition between Mike and Eric, including what goes on during practices.

“[Mike Thibault]’s very much giving up the reins. He’s trying to be quiet. … And in practices media are only allowed in the last bit of practice. And whenever I’ve been able to make it to practice, Mike’s just sitting there like leaning back with his arms behind his head, his feet are outstretched, he’s basically lounging in a chair on the side just watching. But since we’re only there for part of it, I wondered if that was really the case all the time. So I asked a couple players does he say anything or is he just sitting there like that the whole practice? And they’re like, no, that’s what he does. He just watches and [Myisha Hines-Allen] noted she doesn’t know what goes on upstairs in the offices, like, maybe Mike’s providing more of his input there. But he’s very much not ‘meddling’ in practices.”

The pair also discuss Austin’s play so far this season as the center/forward is averaging 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

Jenn said, “Shakira has been incredible for them. And I asked her just yesterday, in the post-practice, media availability. I said ‘Shakira are teams guarding you differently this year, with how well you’ve been playing?’ And she said, basically, yeah, a little bit, but they can’t change it that much because Elena Delle Donne‘s next to me, so it’s not like they can load up on Shakira Austin, at least not with the starters in the game.”

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