I think we've improved, for the simple reason that we've been together another year. We had some setbacks, where Emeka missed alot of time last year, but we've improved our depth..veterans like Othella Harrington, guys who are good in the locker room.
The biggest moment of my NBA career had to be reaching the NBA Finals. Most people would say the block or steal on Michael Jordan, I can't argue with that too much. But for me, it was reaching the NBA Finals.
This offseason, I've been working on a mid-range game. A lot of young guys, including myself, are shooting the three or going to the hole for a dunk or contested shot. But this season, I am working on a mid-range game to make it harder to guard me.
The one area I really feel we need to work the hardest on and improve in, is reducing turnovers. If we can cut back on our turnovers per game in addition to continue to improve defensively and with our offensive execution, I think we can be a vastly improved basketball team.
It's a big difference, because, as a starter, I feel I will be out there a lot longer and earlier and get more chances to get things done on the court. Off the bench, the opportunities to contribute are not as high.
Portland is great. It's just like Seattle, where I'm from. And it's very close to home, which is very convenient. The fans have been great to me too, they've really supported me and I'm just concentrating on performing for them and my teammates and doing what I can to help us win games.
Well, I always use my size and speed to defend. I also wanted to get in front of players and fill lanes, and work off the picks. I also wanted to use my strength and anticipation and size to keep focused on what I needed to do for the entire 48 minutes. Even if they could sustain their offense at the beginning, usually by the end of the game, all the effort you put in would eventually pay off.
Consistency is something we need and that is sometimes a problem with young kids. Also, accepting roles is important. Not everyone can be the star. Players need to accept their roles and that is sometimes a challenge.
From being in the league a long time, I've hard to guard a lot of players ... Garnett, Barkley, Olajuwon, Pippen. I think the hardest was Yao Ming or Shaq.
Joe Maloof, Sacramento Kings and Monarchs owner
Aug. 31, 2005
I love the Monarchs. Gavin and I, when we purchased the Kings, decided to purchase the Monarchs as well. We knew we were getting the finest women's athletes in the world. It is a great sport, a great group of athletes and this is going to be a very successful league.
I think I probably enjoyed playing with Dream the most of anybody. He was a great talent and he was so amazing. Plus to work with someone from another culture was special. Of course, playing with Shaq and Kobe and Tim Duncan is great too! Oh, I almost forgot. For all you youngsters out there, The Dream is Hakeem Olajuwon and he was a great, great player.
I definitely feel we will be a better team next year. We have pretty much the same team...except for losing Finley in the Amnesty Rule....so I think we will be even better. I wear No. 42 because my brother wore No. 24 at Florida State, so I turned that around and also, I was always a big James Worthy fan.
The 100th victory to me, means it's just one more step to the playoffs this season. That is our goal, to get back into the playoffs and challenge for a title and every win helps that happen. But, I do acknowledge the accomplishment of getting that many wins as a female coach and I'm very proud of that achievement.
Coming off the bench last season made me realize it's more important who finishes the game than who starts the game. So, I'm not really concerned with whether I start or not. It's more about getting the minutes and doing what I need to do to help us win games when I am on the court.
Definitely. I think we're gonna miss what Larry brought to the team, but when you lose a guy, in return you have Chucky Atkins a proven veteran who knows what it takes to be successful in the playoffs. And we all know that Caron Butler is a good player. I think we can get those guys and Antonio Daniels on board, we can actually improve as a team. I think we can do even better than last year.
Everyone gets along, so we stay in touch. But we're all individuals and busy with our family and friends, we're mainly in touch over the phone. When we can, we meet up in Oakland and practice together. The offseason is really a chance to chill with the family and friends.
One thing is that I have always been taught, and more so now. Michael Cooper always used to say respect all, but fear no one. If you put it that way, it might sit better with people. To say it the way you said it might ruffle some people the wrong way. I understand where you're coming from, and there is nothing wrong with being confident. Just respect everyone.
It felt good! (Laughing) Obviously dunking on Horace Grant and Michael, in those circumstances, is just an incredible thing to happen. I'm happy I was able to make that play, and I'm fortunate I was in that position where I could make that happen for my team. I'm very happy to be a part of Knicks history in that way.
Definitely like the first half. Every team in this league is gonna try and improve and we're the same. We want the second half to be better though, we want to improve by addressing some deficiencies in our losses and by having fun out there playing.
It's been great. I went out to eat yesterday and when I walked in the people there started applauding. It's a real treat and I look forward to doing my job on the court to return the great feelings I've been getting from the fans here.
I love this question. Games usually start at 7, and I get to the lockerroom about an hour or two beforehand, sometimes we go to chapel together beforehand. And, after the game, I'm in there too....win or lose. It's harder after a loss, because these girls really put it all out there and try their best and they feel it when they lose. But I'm there to support them...either way. That's what it's all about here.
I think I came to the final decision, probably mid-March and it was extremely hard. I spent the whole offseason having to decide what I wanted to do, and in the end, it was a decision I had to make to commit fully to coaching. It came down to that and I decided it was time to do it.
Seung-Jin Ha made a great deal of progress this year, if he were coming out of his freshman year in college, it would be considered a good first step for him. We look forward to him continuing to mature, but we think that will take time and it could be a few years away before he is an impact player in the league. But he works hard and is very dedicated to the game and we like that.
Pat Coyle, New York Liberty head coach
May 17, 2005
I think the talent level and the athletic ability of the players coming in has really increased. We have very athletic players now, who might not make a roster, because that talent level has really increased over the years.
Best part about narrating on the DVD is looking at over 50 years of basketball in Philadelphia. I got a chance to watch Wilt, Dr. J, Moses Malone, Mo Cheeks, Charles Barkley AND myself! And the other thing, was seeing basketball from where it started in Philly, from the Syracuse Nationals and Warriors all the way up to today's Allen Iverson Sixers, which was pretty cool.
Temeka Johnson: I agree. Playing with Alana and my other teammates, I think we can be really good. It should be a great experience competing with the other guards in the league and I'm really looking forward to it.
Lauren Jackson: The toughest center to guard, one of the toughest is Margo Dydek, because she is so, so tall. She can just stand there and block your shot! Lisa Leslie is a good player and Cheryl Ford is so strong, she is hard to guard too.
Kevin Pritchard, Director of Player Personnel, Portland Trail Blazers
April 29, 2005
That's another very good question. I think the most important thing a coach can do is analyze the skill sets of a team. When I opened the hood on this team, I kinda saw a racehorse engine. Sebastian has open court skills and speed. Darius Miles as a three/four is one of the fastest players in the league. And Pryzbilla is another guy who can play an up-tempo game. With the new handchecking rules, if you can get in transition and get easy baskets, you can win in this league. Plus, it's more fun to watch! These are the greatest athletes in the world, so why harness them and slow them down? That takes some of the excitement out of our game.
Yes there is. We started with Hubie Brown and a guy named Al Labalbo, who went on to coach with Louie Carnesseca. Mike Fratello. Brian Hill. Herman Kohl. Dick Vitale, Rollie Massimino. Most of us were in high school at the same time...except Hill and Fratello who were a bit younger. But we really had a great group that lived basketball as much as any group of coaches in the country. One story, I recall, was when we came out of a sports bar one night at 2 am. It was me, Hubie, Fratello, Dick Vitale and Kohl around Paterson, NJ and we were moving garbage cans around talking about how to cover the pick and roll. We got so loud the cops came over, thinking there was a riot, but we were just passionately trying to figure out the best way to defend that pick and roll! The cops knew us, let us go, and we continued the heated debate later on in the diner, using the salt and pepper and sugar shakers.
We feel fine. We want people to keep underestimating us and saying we can't win with our running style. That will make it that much sweeter when we win it all. We won like 29 games last year and now 62 games this year, but somehow people don't respect us. But that's OK, we're just gonna continue to go out there and win games.
Ha-ha (Laughing) Um...hmmm...I better watch this. He's pretty strong, I try and take him more outside. But down low, he needs to go with a lot of up and unders, because I will block his shot. Either up and unders or fades. But, I'll take him outside and beat him there.
I love to evaluate talent, that is a great part for me, to watch players progress through the season, and look at them at the Final Four and the Combine. I really enjoy that part. The other thing I enjoy, is looking at other rosters and seeing how we can make the Mystics better via trade or free agent signings. I enjoy looking for the correct pieces of the puzzle and trying to build a winning team here.
Kendra Wecker has been all season, my favorite player in college. The tough situation for us, is twofold. One, will she be available at the third pick, and Two, it's the last position on the planet that we need to fill with players like Penny Taylor, Anna DeForge, Belinda Snell and Diana Taurasi. But, if she's the best player available when we draft, we'll take her.
(Laughing) Well, I took over here in January and I wanted to get acquainted with the draft class quickly. I sound like a Steve Martin and John Candy movie, but I've traveled by car, train and plane all over this country from big cities to the plains of Kansas. I can't even tell you how many people we've seen, and then when you add in the video tapes and TV games, there hasn't been one day since I took the job that I haven't been looking at players.
I like playing with Damon, because he has lots of experience in the NBA. Back in my first game, he gave me lots of advice and helped me. He helped me adjust and learn about the game. Sitting on the bench and studying tape can only do so much, you have to do it on the court and Damon has helped me with that. For the second part, since I've been playing the fans have really supported me. They know that when I get on the floor I try my best. I also like seeing them off the court at charity events at hospitals and things like that. It's been great with the fans here at Portland.
I think, for one, Reggie is very outspoken. He was and is a true entertainer. He has style. And he hits those big clutch shots. But he will be remembered for his style and his clutch shooting. You could treat him like the enemy, but he would cool people off by hitting those clutch shots.
Ha-Ha (Laughing) You know, that depends. It depends. They all have their days, when Wilcox has his Snoop Dogg braids he's good. Then Shaun blows out the 'fro, and then you got Kaman with his own thing, how can I describe it, um....unorthodox? But they all have their own flavor!
Ha-ha (Laughing) I get alot of open looks on the baseline, so I really practice that shot! Once I got a chance to play, I've been able to make name for myself in the league and now that I have, I will keep practing that baseline jumper and other things to keep improving and getting better.
One thing I want you to understand, Wilt and I were never rivals. We were competitors. In a rivalry, one is a winner and the other vanquished. Neither of us were ever, vanquished. We were both winners and successful. Wilt and I were friends, even before he came into the NBA. When I went to his funeral, his nephew came up to me, and said he had a list of people to call in the case of his death, and I was No. 2 on that list. That's Wilt and me, we were friends. We would talk and discuss things, rarely about basketball.
Ha-ha (Laughing) Yeah, that was the first one to hit two treys....I went 0-for-7 and he went 2-for-10. Every time I went to take a shot, somebody's ball would hit mine and stop it from going in...there were like 20 people shooting. But, yeah, Shaq got me.
That's a hard one. I've been blessed to be involved with great organizations..the Lakers, the Knicks and the Heat, who were committed to winning and not just having superstars but guys who are like diamonds in the rough too. The Michael Coopers of the NBA, a second round pick, a sixth man, was one. Kurt Rambis was another guy, John Starks and Anthony Mason in New York who came up from the minor leagues. Bruce Bowen and Keith Askins. We have a guy now, Udonis Haslem who has won a starting forward job and hasn't given it up in the last two years. Players who have heart and guts and put it out there every night are the ones who I feel are under-rated.
Ha-ha (Laughing) Let me first say, when Jeff and I played one-on-one, it wasn't great basketball, no matter who won. But when we did play, I was two years older, so up until around high school, I mostly won. But Jeff was the better player, so as he got older, he was able to beat me. For some reason, we didn't play that much after that! Once he could beat me, it seemed we didn't play as much anymore!
I think college is a time to be a kid. It's a good transition to adulthood. You move away from home and learn and mature and pick things up and become an adult. I was confident when I left college that I could handle whatever I put my mind to.
I think it's very impoprtant that the Celtics and Amtrak are celebrating Black History Month. It is important because Black people before me did so much so I can have freedom and the ability to be free and express myself. For all of us. It is real important for us all to remember that and doing it for the month is a good step in honoring all those who came before us and paved the way.
Being vocal doesn't help MY confidence, it helps the TEAM'S confidence. It helps me direct the team from the floor, almost like a point guard does. I want my guys to know when a pick is coming or a situation is developing and being vocal is a great way to do that and help the team.
Joe Ash, Director of Scouting, Indiana Pacers February 2, 2005
Yes, I was. That was probably one of my more memorable scouting experiences. I traveled to both Beijing and Shanghai to watch Yao in games and practices. It was a rich, unique experience to see him playing there and to try and project how he may fare against NBA players. It was very interesting working with the Rockets in making that very clear choice. He was the No. 1 pick there was no debate about other players. It was Yao. There may have been some doubts by people who hadn't seen him play, but it's no surprise he's progressed and excelled the way he has.
I'm very proud, very honored to be playing in the NBA and representing my country and my people. I consider it a great responsibility to provide motivation to young Korean players. I take that responsibility very seriously and I will do my best to succeed for me and for all the people back in Korea watching me on television and following my career.