All-Star Practice Notebook

Would you like a starter?
Even injured and watching from the sidelines, top vote-getter Chamique Holdsclaw knows how to make a star-studded All-Star appearance. (WNBA Photo)

It's still up in the air as to who will fill Chamique Holdsclaw's spot as an Eastern Conference starter. The decision will ultimately be a game time decision by Eastern Coach Richie Adubato. did see local Orlando favorite Taj McWilliams-Franklin taking the floor with the starting squad at the beginning of practice. When the lights go dark and come back up at 8 p.m ET on Monday, will the duo of hometown hero Tari Phillips and Miracle forward McWilliams-Franklin blow the roof off TD Waterhouse Centre?

Shall we dunk?


Tari Phillips on the possibility of dunking:
"If the opportunity presents itself, I'll try to dunk."

Lisa Leslie on the possibility of dunking:
"Yes, I can dunk, I've done it in practice. Will I do it tomorrow in the All-Star Game? I don't know. I'll be more in tune for it in a game like this. I'll say this, if the opportunity presents itself, I'll try it."

It's a small world
With the myriad of amusement parks, theme parks, theme restaurants and tourist paradise hotspots, wondered if any of the All-Stars would take time out to hit some of the local happenings.

Here's what West starting guard Ticha Penicheiro had to say:


"There's Disney World, Universal Studios, Wet n' Wild, everything ... but we're not going to be able to do anything but concentrate on enjoying the All-Star festivities and making sure the fans have a good time. We're going to interact with them as much as we can. And sometimes it's overwhelming but that's the price of being an All-Star. There's other work to do and we're going to make sure we do that work."

Laid-back in the West
The West sure seems to take the All-Star Game a little more lightly than the East, perhaps because the West is 2-0 so far.

While the host Eastern Conference and coach Richie Adubato ran through plays and got to know each other's games, the West and coach Van Chancellor spent most of their time playing shooting games and cracking jokes.

Van had them engage in a young vs. old shooting showdown. The last baskets came from Katie Smith, who knocked down about a 40-footer, and Comets forward Tina Thompson, who in a rare display, didn't put it away when the "game" was on the line.

It's shoe-time!
Andrea Stinson has the initials of her brother on her shoes. (WNBA Photo)

Sting guard Andrea Stinson writes the initials "QAS" on every pair of shoes she has worn this season, including her All-Star shoes. The letters are the initials of her brother, Quinn Aliston Stinson, who passed away during the offseason.

Tamecka Dixon of the L.A. Sparks has been seen sporting gold shoes during recent WNBA action and had this to say about her kicks: "They are great shoes -- very light. I'm very quick on my feet with them. Everybody knows me by the girl with the gold shoes. One day I went out and got some gold shoes and the crowd response was popular. The shoes were great, but I'm not going to wear them at the All-Star Game. I'm with the Jordan Brand, so I'll wear something in that realm."

Will she be kicking up those gold-colored heels at a Lauryn Hill concert?

"Our grandmothers lived in the same neighborhood, so we kind of grew up together, we've been friends for a long time," Dixon said. "I haven't spoken to her in a while though, so despite what some people think, no I don't have anything to do with her performing here tonight. I want to see her, though."

Rita Williams and her electric blue shoes. (WNBA Photo)

Fever guard Rita Williams debuted a pair of sweet new electric "All-Star" blue kicks at the Eastern Conference All-Star practice on Sunday.

"I'm really into shoes and once I saw these, I knew I wanted to wear them. They're different and I like stuff that's different. They're cool. Everyone has been asking me about them," said Williams.

"They're Nike Air Hyper Flights. This is my first time wearing them. They have some all white ones that I'm going to start wearing (during the season)."

Hey now, you're an All-Star
Sol forward Elena Baranova, guard Jackie Stiles of the Fire, Storm center Lauren Jackson and Rita Williams of the Fever are the first All-Stars for their respective teams in history. All were expansion teams in 2000.

Baronova, on being an All-Star her first season back from knee surgery after tearing her ACL: "The toughest part was starting to play again. Because physically I was ready to play again, but mentally I wasn't. I was still thinking about the injury. That I could jump and someone could hit me from behind and I could get another injury. So this was the toughest part. I still sometimes crouch under the basket when I jump. But it's going away little by little. I think it's almost all gone, this thinking."

Western Conference All-Star coach Van Chancellor:

"This is a pretty good team, this West team. They just need to get a little bit of coaching and they'll be fine."

Teresa Weatherspoon gives new meaning to reversible practice jersey. (WNBA Photo)

Tari Phillips, an Orlando native, needs more tickets:

"Does anybody have any extra tickets for me? Wow, I need about a hundred more tickets, really. If anyone has even a couple dozen extra, I'll take them, but I need about 100!"

Teresa Weatherspoon on the Liberty wearing their jersey's backwards during the Eastern Conference All-Star practice:

"That's just the way we do it, New York style. We may do a few things backwards up there in New York, but that's how we do it."


Eastern Conference All-Stars: Quotes

Western Conference All-Stars: Quotes

Ask the All-Stars answers

Miracle All-Star Taj McWilliams-Franklin puts fashion foot forward

Check out photos from All-Star practice and more!