Things said and heard around the WNBA this week

Notes and Quotes: September 29 - October 6, 2008

"This moved me so much because I looked out there and I saw women, men, boys and girls, all there to respect us. I'm old enough to know a day when female athletes weren't taken seriously like this. I've had so many people come up to me and congratulate me out of the blue in the last 24 hours. I didn't even know most of them, but they were so happy for me. This isn't a women-supporting-women thing anymore. I think we're touching a lot more people now."
- Taj McWilliams-Franklin of the WNBA champion Shock, as fans formed a throng around her during Monday's rally in downtown Detroit, to the Detroit News

"The timing couldn't be better. If you look at what's happened in the city recently, and to what's happened to the Lions … we needed this."
- Detroit Interim Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., at his first championship rally as head of the city, on the Shock celebration, to the Detroit Free Press

"This is what we thought was going to happen when we started the season. We knew we had a good team, and we knew we had heart."
- Shock coach Bill Laimbeer after his team's 76-60 victory on Sunday to sweep the Silver Stars and earn the team's third title in six years, to the Associated Press

"Her will is never to lose. Players just can't get that. It's already instilled in them."
- Assistant coach Rick Mahorn on Detroit guard and Finals MVP Katie Smith, to the Detroit Free Press

"We just did not play well enough to win the series. It's about peaking at the right time, and we might have peaked a little too early. We had a great end of the [regular] season. We had our hands full with Sacramento and L.A. [in earlier rounds of the playoffs]. We had to work extremely hard just to get here."
- Becky Hammon on the Silver Stars' rough road in the Finals, to

"We haven't really felt like we've gotten to what we like to be, what we've kind of banked on all season."
- Silver Stars forward Erin Buescher on her team's struggles in the Finals prior to Game 3, to the San Antonio Express-News

"Well, you know, we can't make any excuse and say, 'Oh, it's the first time in the Finals, because that's just for lazy people. And, we are not in that category. "
- Silver Stars forward Sophia Young after posting a team-high 21 points and nine rebounds in a Game 2 loss at home, to the San Antonio Express-News

"I think it's fair to say it is a dynasty at this point -- fourth trip to the Finals in six years. It does make them one of the most successful pro sports franchises in any league in this decade."
- WNBA President Donna Orender on the Shock prior to Game 1 of the Finals

"Every city loves a winning team. We knew if we started winning, the fans would start believing and they'd start coming out."
- Silver Stars guard Vickie Johnson, who has played in the 12-year-old league since its inception, to the San Antonio Express-News

"We're where we are expected to be, in the Finals. That's who we are, that's what we're about. That's all we talk about from the start of the season, into the off-season, in the middle of the season and when entering the playoffs. Anything else is a lost season for us."
- Shock coach Bill Laimbeer prior to the Finals, to the Detroit Free Press

"Taj is damn near the oldest player in the league, and there she was making plays for us down the stretch. She's a very smart player. She isn't quick, and she doesn't jump very high, but she knows how to play basketball."
- Laimbeer on midseason pickup Taj McWilliams-Franklin and her influence on the team since coming over from Washington, to the Associated Press

"This one hurts. We had come so far all year. This was the conference finals. We came so close. This one was tough. It hurts a lot."
- New York Liberty point guard Loree Moore after falling to the Shock in Game 3, to the New York Daily News

"We always think we have a chance. When you have belief like that in your teammates and yourself, you can put yourself in positions that seem impossible to overcome, and you overcome."
- Becky Hammon after leading the Stars to victory in Game 3 against the Sparks, to the San Antonio Express-News