Things said and heard around the WNBA this week.

Notes and Quotes:
July 18, 2005

Sacramento's Yolanda Griffith, to the Sacramento Bee:
"I had fun. I always have fun at the All-Star Game. Today, it seemed more loose. We were determined before the game to come out and get a win. But it's a matter of having fun. You can take it seriously, too - when they were getting too many offensive rebounds, we just huddled together, and we were like, 'OK, it's time to get serious now and take care of thevictory,' and that's what we did."

Minnesota Lynx guard Katie Smith, on topping the 5,000-point mark in her professional career :
"I think later it will have a better meaning. I didn't knock down a couple (of shots) that were open, but we moved the ball and played well together. The shots I got, I took them. It wasn't like I was going to go out and shoot 20 times to make sure I got (the milestone).''

Smith is the first woman to score 5,000 points in her professional career.
J. Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty Images

Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault, as told to the Hartford Courant:
Were so much better than we were a year ago. Were an unselfish team. I think the playoffs and being in the Finals taught us a lot about ourselves. How to grow up, how to handle expectations, and I think thats the hardest thing seeing everyone coming after you, and getting good at it.

Storm guard Sue Bird:
You want to put yourself in a position where you dont have to win five of your last six games just to get in the fourth (and final) spot (in the Western Conference playoffs). Its easy to lose sight of that because (the postseason doesnt begin) until August. But something weve been talking about as a team is the playoffs and where we want to be, and what position. Whenever that word gets thrown around everyone seems to play harder. That was the theme last year, thats the theme this year is the playoffs.

Shock forward Swin Cash, on her return to action:
Im very blessed and Im honored to even be here right now. If you would have told me this about a couple of weeks ago, I would have been like, I dont know about being here.'"

Liberty guard Becky Hammon, to the New York Post last week:
"Anyone who has followed our team over the years knows that we have always played hard. So when people start questioning your work ethic or effort, that does something to you. And when it's your coach, it really means a lot. I look at myself as an example of how to play all out every game, so I took it personally," Hammon said. "I realized something had to change.

Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, on the hiring of Joe Bryant as assistant coach of the Sparks:
''We are excited to have another Bryant involved in the Lakers/Sparks organization. Joe is a good guy with a sound basketball mind.''

Mercury coach Carrie Graf, on her team's recent winning streak:
"Three in the row is nice. That's the thing with this league. It's just like the game. It's a season of momentum and it's a game of momentum."

Fever forward Tamika Catchings:
"For me, I wanted to come out here and say, 'Hey, we're a lot different than we were last year.' We're better. We've got more weapons. We're a better defensive team, a better rebounding team."

Lynx guard Amber Jacobs:
"This has always been a dream of mine, and just being able to make the team last year was an incredible experience. Being able to be on the court at crucial times in a game or at the end of the game, obviously shows (coach Susie McConnell Serio) is confident in me.

Sparks forward Mwadi Mabika, on her return last week:
''I'd say I'm 90-95%. It's been tough, having to watch. It's the first time I've had surgery, the first time I've had to be on the bench this long. But I feel I can do everything I did before.''

Storm coach Anne Donovan, on her experience coaching in the All-Star Game:
"It was great to coach all-world players, to score 122 points and not care if they defended or not. That game has no pressure on it, so enjoy it."

Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes, after Tuesday's loss to the Liberty at home:
"It doesn't hurt so much that we lost the game, it's how we lost. It seems as though everybody went somewhere during the All-Star break and it looked as though we had 3 days off. Our practice yesterday reflected that. We weren't ready to play this game today; we had no energy, everybody was flat. Unfortunately we couldn't get it done tonight and when we did, it was too late. They out-played us down the stretch. We had a lot riding on this game and now we have to go back to the drawing board and get back to what we were doing prior to the All-Star break."

Liberty forward Crystal Robinson, on her game-winning shot against the Comets:
"We wanted to score, we didn't want to go into double overtime. Vickie Johnson told Ann Wauters if they come down, kick it out and I got a wide open shot. We stayed together and just battled. They missed shots in the end and we made shots. I think Sheryl missed her last 4 or 5 shots and when you make her miss shots like that you have to score on the other end. You have to seize the opportunity."

Mystics guard Alana Beard, on the Mystics current west coast road trip:
"It's going to be tough. It will say a lot about where we are as a team. It will say a lot about where we end up this season. This is a big trip, no doubt."

Lynx coach Suzie McConnell Serio on her team's first half performance:
"We haven't lived up to our potential. I give this team a C. That is really disappointing. I think some games we have played well in spurts. We haven't put together a solid half and we haven't put together a complete game. We need to learn to take what we've done well into the second half."

Mystics coach Richie Adubato, on the play of rookie guard Temeka Johnson:
"Usually Temeka is able to go by you. But her pull-up jump shot . . . it's amazing how she can get it off on bigger people. She's done that to people 6-foot, 6-1."

Silver Stars center Chantelle Anderson, on the team's need to rebound in order to improve:
"We know that's an area we have to improve if we're going to get any better."

San Antonio's All-Star guard Marie Ferdinand:
"I've been blessed with great genes."

Ann Wauters, on Minnesota's Vanessa Hayden, after New York's loss to the Mynx on Friday night:
"She's a big girl. I expected it from her. I knew it was going to be very physical."

Monarchs guard Kara Lawson, on her health status:
"I'm about 80 percent back right now. The ankle is doing OK. When you can't play for so long, you lose your conditioning and your rhythm. It's like you're starting over (in training camp). But I feel good about where I am right now. I'm ready for a strong second half."

Storm forward Lauren Jackson, after Saturday night's win over the Sparks:
Weve been working on our offense all season. The last couple of games, things have just started to flow a lot better. Hopefully, we can finish the season strong.

Sun center Taj McWilliams-Franklin on teammate Lindsay Whalen:
"It's just her overall aura. She's more in control, knows what she wants to do; she's not waiting for someone else to give the OK. It shows in our games."