Adubato Resigns as Mystics Coach

Tree Rollins, Nikki Blue
Interim coach Wayne "Tree" Rollins instructs the Mystics' Nikki Blue during the second half against the Chicago Sky on Friday. (Linda Spillers - Associated Press)
By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 1, 2007; 4:52 PM

Richie Adubato resigned as head coach of the Washington Mystics today. Adubato, who was beginning his third season with the team, leaves with the Mystics mired in an 0-4 start, the worst in the 10-year history of the franchise.

Assistant coach Tree Rollins will coach the team on an interim basis.

"Richie felt that it was in his best interest to leave our team," Mystics General Manager Linda Hargrove said in a statement. "We wish him the best in his future endeavors and look forward to our game tonight."

Adubato's departure came just hours before the Mystics were to play the Chicago Sky. The move is just the latest in a flurry of turnovers within the organization, which in the past 10 days has traded its longtime center Chasity Melvin and lost starting small forward Crystal Robinson, who retired as a player to join the team's coaching staff.

"We look forward to turning the season around with Tree's guidance," Mystics President and Managing Partner Sheila Johnson said in a statement. "Richie has served the Washington Mystics organization well and has been a positive role model for the team. We thank him for all his hard work and his leadership."

Adubato, 69, joined the Mystics in 2005 after a five year stint in New York Liberty, where he led the Liberty to Eastern Conference championships in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Known for his complex playbook, Adubato led Washington to the playoffs last season with a franchise best 18-16 regular-season record. He leaves the team with a coaching mark of 33-39.

Before coaching in the WNBA, Adubato spent 19 years in the NBA in various capacities, including as head coach of the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic.

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