Krystal Thomas Blog: 'Banding Together'

By Krystal Thomas / @Simply_KT

Hi, Merc Fans!

I am so very excited to be writing for PhoenixMercury.com and giving y'all the inside scoop of your favorite professional team! I hope that you enjoy!

For my first blog, I figured I would start by talking about the first half of our season -- which, needless to say, has been very foreign to players, coaches, staff and fans alike. Starting the first half off with a record of 4-15 is not exactly what any of us envisioned at the beginning of the 2012 season.

We expected to deal with the loss of Penny prior to the season, but the numerous injuries that followed were a shock to everyone. Still, I feel that in spite of these injuries, there is so much to gain from this season, and that this team has stuck together in spite of all of events going against this group.

One of the best things that has come from this season is the rise in youth of this Mercury squad. At one point earlier in the year, the oldest player on the floor was 26-years-old. We coined ourselves the "26 and Under Club" and it is a theme that we have embraced greatly.

The experience that all of us players have gained from this season is invaluable. You have seen a team grow and evolve night in and night out. Have we been perfect? Absolutely not. Have things been pretty? Not in the slightest. But this group has shown nothing but passion and heart each and every night, and has refused to let down at any point.

One example of this was when we were down by almost 30 points vs. the Los Angeles Sparks and then closing to within seven points in the 4th quarter. Of course, it didn't end in a victory and wasn't the outcome that we wanted, but it is just a prime example of how much we have been able to fight and learn on the fly.

We also have grown much closer as a team off the court. If you are in the locker room for just five minutes, you will experience anything from someone causing an uproar of laughter and plastering smiles across every face, to wrestling matches and practical jokes. As with any team, there have been challenging moments, but they have also allowed us to grow infinitely. We have done many different team events off the court to continue to build our camaraderie. We have done everything from go-karting to cookouts. My favorite team events are the cookouts because I can eat all day, every day!

In conclusion, I know many people can look at this team or this season and say, "How does a team stay together in a time like this?" or "Why would a team stay together in a time like this?" My answer is very simple: Why would we not band together? We are all in this season together. No matter what, each and every day we walk into the locker room or onto the court we represent the Phoenix Mercury and the WNBA. We have an opportunity each and every day to do something that individuals only dream of. So win, lose, or draw there is no reason whatsoever to give nothing short of your best at all times.

And when a group of individuals has this same mindset, as the group you have seen throughout this season does, you have everything to gain. So, expect a resilient group to be on the court for this second half of the season that will fight under the lights every night to put 'W' in the win column!

That's all I've got for you today, Merc Fans! Stay tuned for what's next!

- Krystal