Westhead a "Shoe-In" for Foot Fashion Jokes

Mercury Notebook

By Mark Heller
Sept. 9, 2007

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. -- Maybe two wrongs can make a right.

Here’s how Mercury coach Paul Westhead recalls Footgate went down:

Westhead was giving the Mercury a pregame talk before Saturday’s 98-70 victory in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals.

“Cappie Pondexter said, ‘Coach, what’s up with your shoes?’ ” Westhead said.

The locker room broke out in laughter. The impassioned speech was no more.

“He was as red as the chairs,” Diana Taurasi said. “He was feeling the heat.”

Westhead said he owns two pair of black shoes, but only brought one pair to Detroit, and accidently took one shoe from each pair. Westhead was wearing a gator leather shoe on one foot and a loafer on the other.

“My wife is here and she didn’t know,” Westhead said.

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While the rest of the team kept quiet through the first four days, Pondexter was the only player who didn’t know, but the first to point out the fashion faux pas. Fashion consultants Taurasi and Tangela Smith pledged to buy him a pair of shoes today.

“You know coach is a little old, we got to get him in style,” Taurasi joked. “He needs some fashion tips. We’ll hook him up, though. We’ll get him ready for next year.”


Taurasi scored 30 points in Saturday’s win. She’s the third different Mercury player to score 30 in as many games. Penny Taylor scored 32 in the Game 1 loss, and Pondexter scored 33 points in the clincher of the Western Conference Finals against San Antonio.

The Mercury set a franchise record for 3-pointers made (16) and attempted (44).


After missing Game 1, Detroit All-Star forward Cheryl Ford was in the starting lineup, but only played 16 minutes and was pulled by coach Bill Laimbeer after four minutes in the third quarter. Ford has battled a knee injury for the second half of the season. ... San Antonio’s Dan Hughes was named WNBA Coach of the Year and Chicago forward Armintie Price was named Rookie of the Year.

COPYRIGHT 2007, EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Used with permission.