Postgame Quotes: Mercury vs. Fever, Game 5 - Oct. 9, 2009

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Corey Gaines

Diana Taurasi

Cappie Pondexter

Lin Dunn

Tamika Catchings
Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines

Opening statement: "I've never been so emotionally tired in my life. The up's and down's of this series were tough. And you really don't think things like that will affect you until you get into that situation. I can't say enough about Cappie, Dee, Penny, Tangela, the whole team came through and especially Cappie. She got injured and I wasn't sure she was going to come back in the second half and she came back and boy, did she come back! It was a great win for us, great win for the city of Phoenix, great win for the organization. Just a great win. "

On the WNBA popularity after this series: "Hopefully people saw a great series. If people hadn't seen the WNBA before, I hope the up tempo style of play entices people to watch. I had a couple of friends of mine who had never watched the WNBA. Even though I was coaching, they didn't watch it. But after the first game of 120 points, they tuned in and they saw that style of play I don't consider them WNBA players. I consider them players. When I first started coaching in the WNBA, Coach Westhead, who is my mentor, who we owe this championship to as much as him being here right now… He told me, 'We're going to coach the players as players, not women, but as ball players.' And it's funny how they embraced it because they enjoyed being treated that way. Instead of being treated as women basketball players, we treat them as ball players. And they like the different style of play and they can do it, as you can see. "


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Mercury guard Diana Taurasi

On holding the championship trophy: "I never want to give it back. Just such a nice feeling when that buzzer went off for all of us. You know, a couple of us have won a championship, couple of us haven't. But when the buzzer rang, we knew we did something special and we did it as a group. Whether you play forty minutes or you play zero minutes, it is a team effort, a collective group. The people behind the scenes, I think for that is what everyone is so proud about. "

On women's basketball: "But the series itself showed where women's basketball is right now. It's at a really high level of play and of commitment from a lot of people."

On her play during the series: "You know, it had been a tough series, but you just you can't get frustrated. You can't always play as well as you want. You can't always make every shot. But the one thing I told myself is there is no reason to get frustrated. You've just got to go out there and put in the effort and play hard and things eventually turn for you. And today it did at a crucial moment. "

On whether the team can repeat: "Repeating is hard. It's always hard to do it the next year. Expectations, that hunger us against the world mentality, which obviously we didn't have last summer. But now you can look back on that experience and not let it happen again. "


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Mercury guard Cappie Pondexter

On her eye: "I knew I was going to be able to play. I wasn't going to let me teammates down that easy. Just got an elbow, couldn't see for a couple of seconds, but I was able to come back. "

Comparing the two championships: "It was still a lot of hard work, of course. And I said that I would be able to compare if this team won a championship. Without question, this is probably the best group that we've put together in the two championships, skill wise. You know, from the beginning of the season to the end, we worked really hard. Everybody stayed extra and that's why we're here. Such a great feeling right now, wow! It was definitely harder the second time around, but I wouldn't have I wouldn't be here without these girls. So I'm happy. "


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Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn

Opening statement: "Well, let me start by congratulating Phoenix. They have an absolutely terrific team, just great players, very well coached. They did what they had to do tonight in crunch time. I think we tied it up and they hit some big shots, did some big things and, um, they're they've had a great season. I thought we played about as well as we could play. I thought there were a couple of times that we missed some shots that maybe could have helped us win the championship, but they didn't fall down for us. We've had a great season. We're still absolutely thrilled to be a part of a great WNBA Finals, and we'll regroup. And, hopefully, this time next year we'll get us a trophy instead of Phoenix."

On Catchings' play: "The good news is she started out the first game with foul trouble that disrupted her rhythm. And since then, she was not in foul trouble and I think she has had a tremendous, tremendous Finals. Offensively, defensively, rebounding, steals, you know, just the heart and soul of this team. No one has greater will than she did."


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Fever Guard Tamika Catchings

Opening statement: "I think it's definitely a disappointment but want to give Phoenix their props. They came out and pretty much had their will all night long. We had an opportunity to beat them at home, and we didn't take advantage of the opportunity, so I think the disappointment for me lies in that more so than tonight. I mean, this year has been amazing. "

On missed opportunities: "You know, we had an opportunity to close it out at home; and we let that one slip away but I think we came out and fought hard tonight. Phoenix is a great team. I think it was a great series. It was great for the WNBA, and you had two of the best teams playing against each other taking it to Game 5. So now it's disappointing, you're going to have a winner and a loser. But like Tam[ika] said we're going to come back next year and going off this feeling right now, we'll have eight months to think about it and we're going to come back stronger."


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