Things said and heard around the WNBA this week

Notes and Quotes: July 28 - August 3, 2008

"All 12 of the players… our goal is to win a gold medal. No setbacks, no downfalls. We are all on the same page about winning the gold medal, and we're willing to go out there and do everything we have to do to win it."
- First-time Olympian Sylvia Fowles after the USA's 10-point win Sunday over Latvia (

"I keep talking about (the 2006 world championships in) Brazil. We got beat. We're not the world champions. The ranking, that's all mumbo jumbo. We have to get that gold medal back."
- Olympian Diana Taurasi on whether or not the USA should be the favorite in Beijing (East Valley Tribune)

"Being this was our first time out, it wasn't one of our best performances but it was good, we got the win and so we are happy about that."
- Tina Thompson after Sunday's win over Latvia (

"I just want to just play basketball. I'm done with all the hoopla and just want to get on with it. Be here, enjoy the moment and make some memories."
- WNBA star Becky Hammon, who is playing for the Russian Olympic team in Beijing, on Monday's pre-Olympic matchup against USA (Associated Press)

"You try to get the jet lag out. Your lungs are burning a little bit and your legs are heavy. We had a good hard hour and a half. Birdie and I were sucking wind a little bit. The sooner you can get this out and get used to this time the better we'll be.''
- U.S. guard Kara Lawson after arriving in China and going through the team's first practice (Associated Press)

"It's wonderful to beat (the United States). It's a moral thing, letting us to believe we can play against top teams. They don't lose very often."
- Chinese Olympic team coach Thomas Maher (official Beijing 2008 Web site)

"It's the single-most important position for a lot of reasons. You have a team full of players who are used to having the ball in their hands at the end of the game and getting a lot of touches. You have to be able to manage that part and make each player feel like they're going to get the ball and score, even though they're not."
- WNBA legend and current USA Basketball assistant coach Dawn Staley on the importance of the point guard position, especially on a team full of All-Stars (Seattle Times)

"They all call me Auntie now. I don't have the words to explain it right. I've had lots of success at ODU and with Sacramento and different clubs. I've always wanted to bring the same to my country."
- Comets veteran Hamchetou Maiga-Ba on reaching the Beijing Games with her home nation of Mali (The Virginian-Pilot)

"It's always been the goal since entering the league. I think I'm a quality assistant, but I've always aspired to have my own gig. I've got the ego it takes and want to do my own thing."
- Shock assistant coach Cheryl Reeve on her hope of someday being a head coach (Courier-Post)

"I've been playing all year for nine years straight, no breaks, no anything. You get your body conditioned to do it. The extra time off could be good, but not necessarily. ... I like going and going and going. I like playing. It's what I've been conditioned to do."
- Sun forward Tamika Whitmore on the benefit (or lack thereof) of the Olympic break (Hartford Courant)