Tamika Catchings: DPOY Press Conference

August 17, 2006
On Thursday, Indiana forward Tamika Catchings was named the WNBA's Defensive Player of the Year. It was her second consecutive year honored as the league's top defensive player, having picked up the same award following the 2005 season. Prior to Game 1 of the Fever's first-round playoff match-up with Detroit, Catchings was presented with her trophy in a press conference at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Question: Tamika, this is your second one of these attractive trophies, where is the other one, and what are you going to do with this one?
Tamika Catchings: I have a little trophy case at home so I will put this one right next to the other one. I think I need to build a bigger case though, so hopefully Iíll be moving into a bigger house sometime soon.

Q: Obviously, you are an outstanding overall player, but how much do you pride yourself on defense because a lot of offensive players are not necessarily known as good defensive players.
TC: I really pride myself on my defense. Coming into this league I think I was really offensive minded. Over the years, looking at players especially Michael Jordan who is somebody that I respect, and used to watch, he is somebody that played the game on both ends, offensive and on the defensive end. For me, who wanted to be a lead player, I figured defense was one of the biggest things I needed to improve on. My coaches and teammates have helped me become one of the best defenders.

Q: Tamika, what does this game mean tonight?
TC: It is huge. Obviously, Detroit has managed to become one of our biggest rivals so coming into this game we know it is going to be really physical. The first game of the playoffs is a key game, especially with the series only being best of three; it is kind of like the first game is the most important game. For us as a team, we just want to be focused and come out and do the little things to win.