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Mike Thibault apologizes after mocking Cheryl Reeve’s travel complaint

Mike Thibault lamented the league's travel woes on Sunday, which have been called out by players like Natasha Cloud (9). (Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)

Mike Thibault is apologizing for his actions prior to the Washington Mystics’ game against Minnesota on Sunday, in which Thibault said that he was “tired of hearing” about travel issues within the league.

“It happens to every team. And I get it. Every team would like to come in feeling fully refreshed,” he said. “But they got here last night. They didn’t play yesterday. I know it’s a long day. But everybody goes through that.

“I’d like to feel sorry for them but I’m sorry I don’t.”

Thibault also made a crying motion with his hands while answering the question. On Sunday, he tweeted out his apologies.

“My apologies to @LynxCoachReeve and @minnesotalynx for my reaction to the question asked of me at my pre-game press conference today,” Thibault wrote on Twitter. “It’s not who I am and I should have just answered the question without the extra dramatics.”

Prior to the game, Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve had called out the league’s travel schedule. The team played back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday before flight issues on Saturday delayed their arrival in Washington D.C. until midnight. The team was scheduled to tip off against the Mystics at 3 p.m. They later lost 70-57.

Reeve said on Saturday she contacted the league when the team’s issue began, but there was no response initially. When the league finally responded, it was to suggest flight alternatives. By that time, the team had already figured it out.

“I’ve been in this league a long time, and if you do this long enough, you’re going to be in these situations,” Reeve said. “I think when it comes down to the challenges that occur, it’s all about leadership and your ability to collectively work through that situation. Probably the greater disappointment was the lack of response. From our standpoint, there was no communication with the Minnesota Lynx. It was an epic fail.

“It was leaked to me later on there was communication with Washington. I alerted the league that we potentially had a problem brewing because I didn’t want them to find out on social media. I don’t think it’s acceptable that I don’t get a response. I can’t control how other people treat us … I thought we deserved more respect than that. We’re not happy that there was no consideration given to us.”

On Sunday, Reeve addressed Thibault’s response and apology.

“All good, Coach,” she wrote. “We have years of respect behind us — this situation won’t change that.”

A number of the league’s biggest stars have called out travel policies this season, as both COVID-19 and flight delays have plagued teams. All are calling for changes to the WNBA’s commercial flight policy.

The league has said it will charter flights for the WNBA Finals.