Things said and heard around the WNBA this week

Notes and Quotes: July 21-27, 2008

"I'm super excited. I've been getting this question ever since I was named to the team and now it's finally here. I'm excited about this team coming together and finally having a chance to see what we can do as a team and hopefully we'll get the chemistry right and bring home the gold."
- Fever forward Tamika Catchings on going to the Olympics

"What a great birthday present and a great way to go out on the break. We played against a very good team. You can see why (Sacramento) won seven in a row. They just don't give in. A lot of teams, going into the break, with a couple players banged up, might have given in, but they didn't. I wouldn't be surprised if they continued their run and get in the playoffs."
- Storm coach Brian Agler after Sunday's win over Sacramento that ended the Monarchs' seven-game winning streak

"We were picked to tie Atlanta for the worst team in the league at the beginning of the year. We have a very young team and we have lost some very close ballgames. We are still learning how to put two or three wins in a row together. No coach should be pleased with 13-13 because you want to be 26-0, but I think it's important you remain realistic as well."
- Lynx coach Don Zierden on his team's start

"Everyone needs to take a break mentally. I think when we come back we are going to look like a whole new team. We have five games left to give it all we've got."
- Betty Lennox of the Atlanta Dream on the upcoming break

"There was nothing about it about gender at all. I think we fight when we have a lot invested in something. You need a league with money at stake, stars, people caring and feeling it really matters that you win. It's a reflection of the fact that you now have these highly skilled, competitive athletes whose whole career and vision of themselves is of being a sports star, and they care about winning and losing, and the competitive juices are flowing."
- Orin Starn, a Duke University cultural anthropologist, on Tuesday's brawl and the differences in the women's game over time, to Newsday

"I knew the Lynx were going to be in a rebuilding year. I didn't want anyone on a professional level to think or say that I would use my wife's illness as an excuse for our struggles on the court. I didn't want to hear 'Poor Zierden, look what he is going through.' On a personal side, she said she wanted to fight this battle privately, and I wasn't going to mess with that.''
- Lynx coach Don Zierden about his family's decision to keep his wife Anne's cancer quiet, to the Pioneer Press

"The game gets emotional, and we're women who get emotional. But we have to learn to control it. You can't blame it on the officiating."
- Seattle legend Sheryl Swoopes on the increasingly physical play in the WNBA, to the Seattle Times

"Can she still compete at this level? I don't know. But I'm going to throw her in the fire"
- Shock coach Bill Laimbeer on signing ESPN's Nancy Lieberman, who is 50 years old, to a seven-day contract, to

"When I first started playing in World Cup competitions for the national team, our goal was sometimes not to be beat by 100 points. Now, we have become good enough to play in the Olympics."
- Hamchetou Maiga-Ba about playing for her home nation of Mali in the upcoming Beijing Games, to the Houston Chronicle

"I think we need to rally, we need to be more energetic at the beginning of the game. If we go out there like 'Huh?,' and be all about defense and getting those rebounds, we'll get those fast break points and easy points."
- Ivory Latta on getting her team off to better starts in games, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"I was trying to protect the whole game, the integrity of the game."
- Shock assistant coach Rick Mahorn on his role in the melee during Tuesday night's game against the Sparks, to the New York Post

"I definitely think the Southern drawl and the Southern accent has the ability to break ice with people. Before I even say anything, just the accent itself tends to let people's guards down and give you the chance that they'll listen."
- Fever coach Lin Dunn on the benefits of her Southern accent, to the Indianapolis Star

"It feels great to have my work in the community recognized. I love reaching out to kids and although making a difference in the lives of others is rewarding in and of itself, my hope is that this award encourages others to do the same."
- Sky rookie Sylvia Fowles after receiving the league's Community Assist Award for June

"Bill was a Clydesdale, he clodded around the court. We (the Lakers) were thoroughbreds, we ran."
- Sparks coach Michael Cooper on his longtime rivalry with Shock coach Bill Laimbeer, to the Detroit News

"The only time I made the playoffs was my rookie year. Last year we were out of the playoffs at this point. ... We had won like six games by now. Now we are winning, and I'm having a very fun time doing it. I don't think anybody is really checking out their numbers at this point."
- Nicole Ohlde on Minnesota's success this season, to the Star Tribune