What do you think your team will have to bring to beat the Shock in Game 5?
-Wesley, West Lafeyette, Ind.
"To beat the Shock? We have to B-E-A-T the Shock! B-E-A… just kidding. We just have to play our game and continue to make adjustments. Right now it's down to one game -- ONE GAME! -- and we need to go out there and have fun. We played 34 regular season games and a bunch more in the playoffs and it comes down to this one game. That's something. We have to embrace the moment. We can't let a single possession go without giving it all we've got."
I have watched some team videos and heard you and the team chant before
a game. What do you guys say?
-Sherrell, Window Rock, Ariz.
"I can't let that secret out. It's a 602 thing."
Which Detroit player needs to be stopped in order for you guys to win the
championship this year?
-Danie, San Francisco
"Katie Smith, Deanna Nolan, Cheryl Ford, Swin Cash, Kara Braxton, Plenette Pierson, Katie Feenstra, Tausha Mills, Ayana Walker, Pee Wee Johnson… Every last player needs to be stopped. At this point, it's not about one person. One person can't win a championship. It's going to take all 12 players."
How does it feel playing with DT being that she went to rival UConn?
-Quavis, Charleston, S.C.
"We argue about Rutgers and UConn at least once a month. But there's a reason why we're here together: her heart, her hard work, her experience, the things I went through never getting a championship at that level. I couldn't ask for a better teammate."
What is your weekly schedule like? How much "me" time do you get
as a WNBA player?
-Steve, New York
"I get a pretty good amount of time to myself. Being a pro is a lot different from how it was at Rutgers, where everything is about the team. Now, after practice, I'm pretty much on my own."
When will you be joining your USA Basketball teammates?
-Theresa, Piscataway, N.J.
"Hopefully as soon as we finish. I think we have a game tomorrow. So I'll join them after the victory parade." ;)
Who on the Mercury would you say is your toughest opponent?
-Betsy, Warren, Mich.
"I'd have to say DT. I played with Diana in college and on the Olympic team. And it's not even so much her skill level, but she's mentally tough. She'll play through anything. She doesn't feel like she can ever lose. And she'll always compete her behind off. You have to respect a player like that. "
The Phoenix fans are known as the X-Factor. If you had to come up with a
nickname for the Detroit fans, what would it be?
-Chad, Ann Arbor, Mich.
"I think we should call them the D-Block. Katie always jokes about how on defense we always like to put people in what she calls "The Chamber." Our fans get so rowdy and loud. And DJ Earl gets them so crunked, as he likes to call it. So I would call them the D-Block, because they help us to put the other team into The Chamber at the defensive end."
Both you and Diana were part of a star-studded cast at UConn. How you feel
about going against her and how do you feel about how much her game has grown?
-Talls, San Fernando, Trinidad
"Obviously, I'm probably harder against her than against anyone else. It's like playing against your kid sister. You always want to be one up on them. I don't want to let her get this championship away from me. When Sue won hers back in 2004, I was injured that season, so I told her the only reason her team won is because I took the year off (laughs). You want them to do well, but you don't want them to do well against you.
"But Diana has grown a lot since leaving Connecticut. She has really learned how to become a leader in bringing the Mercury back to the playoffs for the first time in a while. It's been a pleasure to watch and to play against."
I really enjoy watching Rick Mahorn as an assistant coach on the team. Tell
us some of the behind-the-scenes things that he does to help inspire you ladies.
I also know you and the team have a nickname for him. What is it?
"Rick brings a lot on the emotional side. He has four daughters, so he gets us pretty well. And he has his feminine side, where he'll just have an attitude for no reason. We're always like, 'You're a guy. Why do you have a stick up your ---- right now?' But he does a lot to get the team motivated and helps us to stay at a high level.
"There are also times when Bill goes… as I like to call it… crazy… or psychotic… or loses his mind, and Rick is always that one who brings him down to Earth.
"And a nickname? Cheryl does call him something, but I don't think it's something we can publish."
What would another title mean to you? Where would it rank in the college
and pro championships you've already won?
"It would mean a lot to me because that's kind of what I've been defined by. It doesn't matter what level I'm playing on, I've always been a winner. And to join this team almost six years ago, knowing where this franchise was, almost leaving town… and to look back on those years and to know I was a part of creating that tradition here, that's something I'll always remember. And that's something the people of this city will always remember."
Do you believe you will win the title again?
-Paige, Roseville, Mich.