One-on-One With Kara Braxton

By Brad G. Faye, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: Aug. 1, 2010

On July 23, the Phoenix Mercury traded center Nicole Ohlde and a future first round pick in exchange for Shock forward/center Kara Braxton. Braxton, a six-year veteran, had spent her entire career to that point with the Shock and managed to capture two WNBA Championships with the organization in the process.

Now the product out of Georgia University is hoping to capture a third title as a member of the Mercury and the 2007 All-Star said she couldnít be more excited for the opportunity.

It hasn't taken Braxton long to fit in with her new ballclub. She scored a combined 15 points in her first two contests with the team, but really appeared to blossom when making her home debut in Phoenix on Thursday. In a 110-92 win over the Lynx, Braxton pitched in 20 points off the Mercury bench behind 9-of-13 shooting.

"We got Braxton for a reason," Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines said. "She can demand a double-team which can help create open shots for teammates. She's really a great passer and really has a good eye for that. Right now we're taking it step-by-step and we're first going to try and establish her down low. She can demand a double-team which can help create some open shots for teammates. She's the type of player who can make a big difference."

PhoenixMercury.com sat down with Braxton and asked the Florida native how she responded to the news that she had been traded and what she hopes to accomplish from this point forward.

PhoenixMercury.com: First, can you talk about your initial reaction to hearing you had been traded to the Phoenix Mercury?

Kara Braxton: It was mixed emotions, I was definitely both happy and said. It was bittersweet because I had really bonded with the girls on that Tulsa team and made a lot of great friends. But I was also happy because it would be a dream for any player to come to Phoenix. This team is loaded with talent and loaded with all-stars and I was really happy to be coming into a situation like this one.

PhoenixMercury.com: What do you think the Mercury were hoping you could bring to their ballclub?

Braxton: I think they were looking for a center or a dominant inside presence, and I think I bring that aspect. With me, they were also getting an extremely motivated player who like the rest of this team is very hungry to win another championship.

PhoenixMercury.com: You competed against a couple of the players on this team during the 2007 WNBA Finals. What did you learn about them during that grueling five-game series?

Braxton: Iíve been friends with Diana for a long time so weíve had a lot of fun matchups against one another. I just remember them being a tough team who was never going to let it be easy. They gave us a fight every night and nothing was handed to us. Both teams knew during that series you were going to have to give it everything to get a win against one another.

PhoenixMercury.com: You managed to step right in during your first couple of games and contribute right off the bat, including a 20-point performance on Thursday night. How have you managed to fit in with this ballclub so quickly?

Braxton: Iím just doing whatís expected of me and what they traded for me for. As far as I know, thatís to go out there and give them a dominant presence every night.

PhoenixMercury.com: Youíve managed to win the WNBA Championship twice during your career. How much would it mean to you to capture a third this season as a member of the Mercury?

Braxton: Theyíve won two and Iíve won two and weíre looking to get a third together. I think itís a good combination we have here and I couldnít ask for a better situation. I donít see us getting anything but better from this point forward. Weíve just got to take it one step at a time, but ultimately, getting that ring is what everybody in this locker room is shooting for.