Sparks 99, Mercury 94

Postgame Quotes

Posted: May 17, 2008

MERCURY HEAD COACH COREY GAINES: “They played hard. I can’t ask for more. Cappie just flew in and Dee just flew in; we haven’t practiced together yet. I was happy. We didn’t win the game. Of course everyone wants to win, but you can’t win every game and we did what we needed to do.”

(On Candace Parker)
“Candace is Candace. She scored a couple of threes and rebounded. I knew that was her game from the get go. I saw her play in college and now I get to see her play a lot in the WNBA. She’s a good player, but I’ve got some good players too.”

(On Cappie Pondexter)
“I wasn’t worried about Cappie. She’s what we call a trooper. I talked to her this morning and showed her a couple of plays. She said, ‘I’m ready coach. I’m ready.’”

(On the end of the game) “We were right there. It wasn’t like there was some terrible mix up or players were confused. We just missed a couple of shots and they hit a couple of shots.”

MERCURY GUARD CAPPIE PONDEXTER (32 PTS, 7 ASSTS):“I feel extremely positive. We only have five players from last year’s championship team and everyone else is new, so we’re still trying to get a feel for each other. I think our inside depth is really good this year. Crockett did a great job of playing physical, pushing Lisa around and making her work for her points.”

(On the last shot)
“I was grabbed twice when I was trying to take the shot. I apologize to the team for getting a technical foul. It was a critical moment and we still had a chance to win the game.”

(On Candace Parker’s performance):
“When you have a 6’5” player who can do a lot that makes it really difficult on the other team. It was the first time we saw her, so I am sure we will have a different preparation the next time we meet.”

(On the rivalry with the Sparks)
“They’re tough. They are really good and so are we. Every team in the west will end up being a rivalry cause that’s how stacked and loaded each team is this year.”

(On the Championship Ceremony)
“It was very emotional. We all went to the back and I was worried because I couldn’t find the rest of the team, but then I realized that there are only five of us coming back. That kind of hit me, but you know every team is different every year. It was great to get the rings and the crowd was awesome. It was all around a really great scene today.”

(On Parker’s debut)
“Tell me about it, and that’s how good she is. She’s proven that and now everyone in the world of professional basketball, men’s and women’s, know this young lady can play. She was a hidden jewel at Tennessee. Tennessee is a big name college but not a lot of people got a chance to see her if you didn’t have certain television or a chance to see the final four. On a Sunday, in a premiere type game, she showed you what she’s all about.

"We’re going to do many things with her and we’re going to move her around a lot. That’s the luxury we have with her. I liken her to Magic Johnson when he came into the league. When he came into the league with the Los Angeles Lakers, everybody was like, a 6-9 point guard? Nobody could fathom that. But he came in, did what he did and became a legend. I think she’s going to do that on the women’s side. She can handle the basketball, she can post up, she can shoot the three; she showed her whole reportie tonight. We’re glad to see the spark.

"We’ve got a pretty good team. There are some knots we still have to get loose and some things we want to get accomplished, but it was a good win for us today.”

SPARKS FORWARD CANDACE PARKER (34 PTS, 12 REBS): “Obviously, it was better than I expected. You know, coming out I just wanted to play hard, and I was a little nervous. I think my team mates did a good job of just keeping me in it mentally and not allowing me to get frustrated.

"I hate to say it, but we always seem to wait until the fourth quarter to put the nail in the coffin and really put them away. Honestly, it was just finding the mismatch and my team mates did a great job of getting the ball to me and moving afterwards. It’s crunch time and we needed the win and I think all of us buckled down to win the game.

"We knew we were coming in here on their ring ceremony, it was on television and it was the kickoff to the WNBA season so we knew we were going to have to counter that and Coach told us they were going to make three runs at us and we had to be able to withstand those runs and make runs ourselves. So I think we did a good job of bringing energy and taking the fans out of the game and I in the second half, we kind of came out slow and we had to really pick it up.”

(On Parker)
“It’s going to be great. I’m catching up, my wheels are spinning and I’m going to get better and better we’re going to be good. She’s already a phenomenal player but there’ are things we can always improve on and once she gets that and fixes little things that need improving, the sky’s the limit for us. We’ve just got to stay together and stay healthy.”