Washington Mystics veteran Elena Delle Donne had a message for WNBA officials after battling in a 80–74 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Sunday. She was fined an undisclosed amount for the comments, according to Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post.
“I’m just going to say it,” the two-time league MVP said. “I’m so sick of being treated like a rookie with calls. If I get fined–whatever. I’ve been through too many back surgeries to–whatever. I just keep attacking, hoping that it’ll change. Hopefully, it’ll change next game, but there’s really nothing you can do in those moments.”
Delle Donne finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in the loss. The two-time MVP was also hit with five personal fouls, landing in foul trouble when the game came down to the wire with less than a minute remaining.
Shakira Austin, who is only in her second WNBA season, scored a career-high 21 points, adding 11 rebounds Sunday for the Mystics. After being called for four personal fouls, she nodded her head in agreement while Delle Donne spoke against the officiating.
Notable Sun players also landed in foul trouble, as Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones both had five fouls. While Delle Done feels that officials missed fouls committed against her, she's not going to let it alter her game.
After a physical game vs. Connecticut, Elena Delle Donne "so sick of being treated like a rookie with calls." pic.twitter.com/LcycpxNHNL
— NBC Sports Washington (@NBCSWashington) May 21, 2023
“I just keep attacking, in the end I hope that because I can elevate and jump over people, you can see that my arm is getting hit. I just keep attacking and hoping that it’ll change. Hopefully it’ll change next game, but there’s really nothing you can do in those moments. You just, when you see something, you’ve gotta still attack it. And thank goodness for Shakira [Austin], who stepped up and took over.”
Through three games, the six-time All-Star is averaging 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks. Last season, she averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds. It was her first full year since dealing with numerous back injuries beginning in 2019, when she helped lead the franchise to a title.
In October of 2022, she dropped a signature shoe with Nike, inspired by her decade-long battle with Lyme disease.
She led Washington with 27 points when the Mystics met the Sun again on Tuesday. Her performance wasn't enough for the Mystics to secure the rematch, which the Sun won 88-81.
Delle Donne and the Mystics will look for a win Friday when they visit the Chicago Sky.