WNBA announced game cancelation 15 minutes before scheduled tip-off
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The Las Vegas Aces (12-14) opted out of Friday night’s game against the Washington Mystics (15-11) after rain storms on the east coast created a travel nightmare for the team.
“The WNBA announced today that tonight’s matchup between the Las Vegas Aces and the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena has been canceled,” the WNBA commented in a statement released via at 7:15 p.m ET.
The league announced earlier that the game, originally scheduled for 7 p.m ET, would be delayed to an 8 p.m tip-off. The game was moved “due to the travel issues experienced by the Aces,” the statement said.
Washington weighs in
The Washington Mystics also released a statement, ensuring all tickets for the cancelled – not postponed – game would be refunded. Fans were also offered complimentary tickets to a future Mystics game. The team account tweeted video messages from 2018 All-Star captain Elena Delle Donne and Natasha Cloud.
“I’m really disappointed that the Las Vegas players and organization didn’t come to compete,” Mystics head coach Mike Thibault told local reporter Gene Wang. “If you’re there and in the city and can play, you should show up and play.”
Veteran Monique Currie added: ” I can’t be in their shoes, and I don’t know how they’re feeling. It’s been a long day for them. I do understand that, but the competitor in me, I know that I would have played.”
Las Vegas Aces players respond via WNBAPA
According to social media reports from Aces players, the team spent several hours delayed. 2018 WNBA All-Star Kayla McBride indicated on her Twitter account the team landed in Washington, D.C at 2:22 pm. ET, a full 24-hours from their original departure time. Below is an excerpt from Las Vegas Aces players statement released through the WNBA Players Association at 9 p.m ET:
"“To all of our WNBA fans around the world,We regret that the Aces were not able to take the court tonight against the Washington Mystics.We trust that you know this decision was not made lightly. There is nothing we enjoy more than playing in front of the most rabid fans in professional sports night in and night out, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and disappointment that was created for the fans, workers and anyone else who may have been affected bytonight’s cancellation.Given the travel issues we faced over the past two days–25+ hours spent in airports and airplanes, in cramped quarters and having not slept in a bed since Wednesday night– and after consulting with our Union, and medical professional, we concluded that playing tonight’s game would put us at too great a risk for injury.This issue is bigger than our team and this one unfortunate set of circumstances, and we look forward to being a part of future discourse in the hope of preventing such incidents in the future."
What does this mean moving forward?
Coming into the night, the Aces stood 1.5 games behind the Dallas Wings (14-13) for the eight and final playoff spot. The Washington Mystics are currently chasing the Minnesota Lynx (who have an identical 15-11 record) for the fourth seed and a chance at a first-round bye in the 2018 WNBA Playoffs.
Reports as of now are unclear if the game will be considered a forfeit or not. Espn W writer Mechelle Voepel tweeted: “Source close to WNBA informed me there will NOT be a decision tonight on whether Aces-Mystics is a forfeit or how it affects standings.”
Voepel went on to report the league will review the circumstances before making an announcement.
Voepel recently wrote about the upcoming CBA negotiations in respect to salary increases. However, players have made it clear via social media that officiating and now perhaps travel are also issues worth further conversation.
High Post Hoops will update this story as more information becomes available.