Elena Delle Donne is calling out WNBA officiating, saying she is being treated “like a rookie” by referees.
The Washington Mystics expressed her frustration with foul calls (or lack thereof) during Sunday’s grueling road loss to the Connecticut Sun, the same team the Mystics will host Tuesday night.
“I’m just going to say it,” Delle Donne said. “I’m so sick of being treated like a rookie with calls. If I get fined — whatever. It’s unbelievable. I’ve been through too many back surgeries to — whatever.
“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, who stepped up and took over.”
Both Delle Donne and Shakira Austin finished with double-doubles in the loss, but Delle Donne found herself in foul trouble five five while Austin had four. Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones each had five fouls for the Sun.
“It’s all just about timing — knowing when you should probably do certain things and when you should take advantage and be aggressive one-on-one. Still figuring it out,” Austin said.
Still, Mystics players agreed that the rough defense contributed to some issues. First-year Mystics head coach Eric Thibault received his first technical foul in his new position.
“I wouldn’t say it spooked us or anything like that, but it definitely takes you off your rhythm, especially as an offensive team that has a flow,” Mystics guard Ariel Atkins said. “Obviously you would like a few calls to go your way, but if you put the game in the hands of the ref, you always lose.”
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
After a physical game vs. Connecticut, Elena Delle Donne "so sick of being treated like a rookie with calls." pic.twitter.com/LcycpxNHNL