Lauren Jackson led the WNBA in both scoring and rebounding this season.
AUBURN HILLS, MI, Sept. 5, 2007 Ė Lauren Jackson's trophy case now has bookend WNBA Most Valuable Player awards after being named the 2007 winner today.
Jackson, who was also named WNBA MVP in 2003, is now up to six postseason honors this year. The Seattle Storm forward previously was named the 2007 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and WNBA Peak Performer for both scoring and rebounding. Additionally, she was a first-team selection to both the WNBA All-Defensive Team and the All-WNBA Team.
Jackson led the WNBA in both scoring and rebounding in 2007, posting career-best averages of 23.8 points and 9.7 rebounds during the Storm's run to the postseason.
The Australia native spoke with WNBA.com's Brian Martin prior to Game 1 of the WNBA Finals to discuss her MVP season, her plans in the offseason, the WNBA Finals and the future of the Seattle Storm.
Q. Looking back on this season, what were some of your personal highlights from this season?
Jackson: I really didnít have any personal highlights, per se. Some of the things that we did throughout the year, when we showed some signs of brilliance were great, but other than that, I donít know. Definitely winning MVP and Defensive Player of the Year have been highlights for me."
Q. Were there any specific moments that stand out for you, such as your 47-point game?
Jackson: We lost that game though. Looking back on the season itís kind of a blur. I donít know if it is because it just happened. I think making playoffs and the little run we had at the end of the season were good moments. I remember even when we lost in the first game of the playoffs in Seattle, our fans gave us a standing ovation and that stands out as one of the memorable moments. Even though we got wiped off of the floor, our fans were still supportive and they stood up and they were amazing. That brought tears to our eyes, so that was probably one of the best moments."
Q. With the up and down season the Storm had, is there a bittersweet feeling when you receive awards like MVP and DPOY and there wasnít the team success to go along with it?
Jackson: Itís definitely bittersweet. I would love nothing more than to have led the team to the Finals, but unfortunately I donít think our team was good enough to be there this year. We were definitely up and down. Itís great to be getting all this stuff now, getting all the awards and everything, but it would have been better to do on a winning note."
Q. Will this MVP trophy go next to your 2003 trophy?
Jackson: "In Albury, where I come from, theyíve put up a museum with a few sporting stars from Albury, which is a very small town. My mom has put in most of my Olympic medals Ė itís only for a little while Ė my MVP trophy, my championship ring, so people can see it, itís pretty exciting. I think this one might stay in America for a while with me. Theyíre amazing trophies. Iím probably most very proud of this one, so Iím very happy Iíve got it."
Q. So what are your plans for the offseason? Will you be playing with the Australian team in the exhibition games with Team USA later this month?
Jackson: "I will be playing in those exhibitions. I have a few little niggling injuries at the moment. Obviously coming off the season, you get sick straight away and things like that, so I donít know how fit Iím going to be, but Iím definitely going to be there and supporting my teammates. It will be fun to get out there and play against the girls again. Iíll get to play against Sue, itís going to be weird to play against Sue, but it should be fun."
Q. Youíll be here for Game 1 of the Finals tonight. Are you going to stay in Detroit for Game 2?
Jackson: "Iíll be here tonight, but not for the game on Saturday. Iím going to go and pack all of my stuff and get ready to go home. Iím actually busting to get home at the moment. I just want to get everything organized and get ready for the Australian camp. Then Iím heading on back to Australia, which Iím looking very forward to."
Q. When will you get back to Australia?
Jackson: "I get back to Australia on the 22nd of September, then Iím going to go to Hawaii on holiday with some of the girls in October, which will be fun, then I head to Russia."
Q. It must be nice to get some time off between seasons and have some time away from basketball?
Jackson: "Definitely. Iím looking forward to it. Itís been a long, long year. I havenít been home in eight months, except for when my grandmother passed, and I like to seeing my family and I need one or two months to do that. We get down to the coast and fish and swim in the ocean and do all of those things that the Aussies do. So Iíve got to get that time in and spend some time with the family. My contract in Russia doesnít start until December so I donít have to go there until then. I get a good little break."
Q. Iím sure youíll be watching the Finals, do you have a prediction for this series? How do you see it playing out?
Jackson: "I think this series is going to be one for the ages. To me, Phoenix is just so talented, they just play so well together and with Diana leading that team, I donít think they can go wrong. But then Detroit, they are very experienced, they have Deanna Nolan and Katie Smith and Bill Laimbeer at the helm and heís a wonderful coach. I reckon, my prediction is that it is going to be five games and itís going to be a dogfight."
Q. I canít let you get off that easy. I need you to pick a team.
Jackson: "I want Phoenix to win because I want it to come back to the West and I want our girls - Penny, Belinda and Diana, too Ė Iíd love them to win, so Iím going with Phoenix."
Q. Obviously the future of the Storm has not been decided yet. How tough is it to be in the middle of this situation?
Jackson: "Iíve been with the Storm now since its second year, since 2001, and I canít imagine not playing in Seattle at all. I hope the team stays, I really do."
Q. If the team is to move, will you not play?
Jackson: "No. I donít think that I can relocate. Relocating is going to be very difficult for me. Itís okay. Iíll still be over here. Iíll be supporting, but Iíll be doing other things."