Mystics Coach Mike Thibault Apologizes to Lynx for Comment on WNBA Travel Issues

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2022

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 14: Head Coach Mike Thibault of the Washington Mystics talks during the game against the Phoenix Mercury on July 14, 2022 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault issued an apology for his comments about the Minnesota Lynx's travel issues ahead of Sunday's game.

Mike Thibault @coachthibault

My apologies to <a href="https://twitter.com/LynxCoachReeve?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LynxCoachReeve</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/minnesotalynx?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@minnesotalynx</a> for my reaction to the question asked of me at my pre-game press conference today. It’s not who I am and I should have just answered the question without the extra dramatics.

The Lynx had issues with their flight Saturday and did not make it to Washington until around midnight ahead of Sunday's 3 p.m. ET game. WNBA teams fly commercial, rather than on charter flights, which can at times create a hectic travel schedule.

Minnesota had played back-to-back games Thursday and Friday, making the time delay with the team's flight Saturday even more of an issue. When Thibault was asked before the game about the issues facing the Lynx, he offered no sympathy.

"I'm tired of hearing about them," Thibault said. "I'm tired of hearing about it on Twitter. It happens to every team. And I get it. Every team would like to get in feeling fully refreshed. But they got here last night. They didn't play yesterday. I know it's a long day. But everybody goes through that."

The WNBA contacted the Mystics about potentially moving Sunday's game back to the evening in order to accommodate the Lynx, but Washington refused.

"We have close to a sellout today, and it's not like they were arriving this morning," Thibault said. "I know it was a long travel day; we've all had them. We really weren't in a position to accommodate them unless there was a much more mitigating circumstance than there is right now."

The Mystics earned a 70-57 victory, with the Lynx shooting just 33.3 percent from the field and making only four of their 20 three-point attempts. Minnesota's 57 points were its lowest total of the season.

Despite Thibault's harsh comments, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve responded to his Twitter apology by writing: "All good, Coach. We have years of respect behind us - this situation won't change that."