One-on-One with Tangela Smith

By Vince Kozar,
Posted: April 16, 2007

The Phoenix Mercury traded their first overall selection in the 2007 WNBA Draft to Minnesota for All-Star center Tangela Smith. Ranked among WNBA career leaders in points, rebounds, blocks, minutes and field-goals made, the nine-year veteran caught up with to talk about her move to Phoenix and her first season with the Mighty Merc. Welcome to Phoenix! How does it feel to be a member of the Mercury?

Mercury center Tangela Smith: It feels really great to be a part of the Phoenix Mercury. I am very excited about joining the team and being involved in a great organization and playing alongside such great players. Where/how did you find out that you had been traded on draft day?

Smith: I actually found out that I had been traded from a friend of mine on my sidekick!!! I logged on to AIM and as soon as I did I received a message from her and so many other people telling me that I just got traded!!! I didn't believe her at first, but when I started receiving other IM's I started believing. I then got a call from my agent and he told me the news. I was shocked at first, but after the initial shock I was very excited. Youíve had to kind of carry the offensive load in Charlotte the last two seasons; how is your role going to be different in Phoenix playing alongside Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter?

Smith: Whatever my role will be I will just embrace it. I just want to be able to complement the players that are already there. Cappie and Diana are two great players that I am very excited about playing with and I'm sure that we all have one common goal in mind and that's to win as many games as possible. So whatever it is I have to do to help them out I will try my best to do it :) Talk about how your playoff experience will help this team get to the next level.

Smith: I've played in the playoffs for many seasons and from what I have experienced, I know that it takes a whole lot of commitment and dedication to the game. I know that it starts from day one. When you step on that floor in training camp you have to be ready to work hard and be dedicated to helping your team go as far as they can go. Whatever role you play in it, you have to make sure you are committed 110%. The season is so short and it goes by so quickly that you don't want to have regrets about anything. I just want to bring in some leadership and show by example how hard you have to work to make it to the playoffs. And once you get there, be ready to step up your game even more because itís another level. Any message for the fans who are so excited youíre a member of the Mercury?

Smith: To all the Mercury Fans. This will be my tenth year in the league and for nine years I've seen how great you guys are and how loud you can be. I am so excited that now I will be a part of such a great atmosphere. I've always loved to come to Phoenix to play because I love how hype you guys are. So be ready for a great season because I know we will be ready to give you one.