Storm Q&A: Adia Barnes

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Kevin Pelton, | February 27, 2007
The Seattle Storm announced Tuesday that former Storm forward Adia Barnes will be rejoining the organization in 2007 as color analyst for the Storm's radio broadcasts on new home KKNW 1150 AM. Barnes is currently playing in Russia on UMMC Ekaterinburg with former Storm center Suzy Batkovic and WNBA stars Lindsay Whalen and Cheryl Ford. She chatted with Tuesday morning - evening in Russia - via Internet phone. What's your take on this new position?
Barnes: I'm truly excited to come back to the Storm, one of the best organizations in the WNBA. I'm really excited.

Is broadcasting something you've thought about for a while as your future role?
It's definitely something I want to do down the line. I've played basketball for so long, so I've just been exploring my options. I had a good time doing some in-studio work for NBA TV; I had a lot of fun. I had a chance to do the 2006 World Championships and it was really exciting and challenging. I'm ready for the next chapter in my book.

"I thought, 'Oh, how hard is it to sit and watch and talk about the game?' but it was definitely a lot more challenging than I anticipated."
D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty
What was it like working as a color analyst for a few games during the World Championships?
It wasn't exactly what I expected. I didn't know what to expect. First of all, we were in the studio acting like we were in Brazil. That was a challenge because it was my first time. I was told it's a lot easier at the game because you feel the emotion of the game, you're in the game, you're seeing exactly what's going on. In the studio, sometimes the replays weren't right. There were a lot of technical errors. It was a challenge. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought, 'Oh, how hard is it to sit and watch and talk about the game?' but it was definitely a lot more challenging than I anticipated.

Did it open your eyes to things you hadn't thought about as a player?
Yeah, you don't think about half of it. I never knew that there were certain times the analyst was supposed to talk and certain times you're not. You don't think about those things as a player. You always think you sit there and talk about the game and what's going on, but it's totally different. I have much more respect for this side of things now than I had as a player.

How much did you want this position in particular?
Not until the playoffs last season did I know that there was a possibility this position would be open. It wasn't something I considered before. When I heard there was an opening, I love the Storm, I loved being a part of the Storm was there, I just thought this could be a great opportunity for me to get some experience, be with the team I love and the organization I've been a part of. I thought this was a great opportunity so I should go for it.

How does your experience playing for Anne Donovan and with many of the Storm's players help you in this role?
That's definitely going to be one of my strengths, because I have played with or against most of the players in the WNBA. Even overseas, I'm still playing against a lot of them. Playing for Anne Donovan, there's a lot of plays I know, I know her style, I know how the practices go, I know what she looks for conceptually from her team. Also, I know so many of the players - a lot of them on a personal level. I'm able to get through to the fans how this person is off the court, so they can get to know the player a little better. Then it's easy for me to interview Tully (Bevilaqua) on the road, or Cheryl, I've played with her this off-season. I've practiced with her every day and watched her get better, so me talking about what she brings from playing with her, it's just a different perspective.

How much is reconnecting with Storm fans a part of your excitement?
Well, Storm fans are the best fans in the WNBA. I've been a part of something like five organizations, and there is no fans and no organization like the Storm. I'm just excited to be a part of that. I think there is already so much enthusiasm and excitement amongst Storm fans. I think me being a former player is going to add to that, because they know that I know and have played against a lot of these players.

Are you able to increase your work with your foundation, Adia's Dreams in Action, in this new position?
It's going to help me a lot, because I've been gone. I've been in Russia, California; I've been away for a while. I haven't been as active as I wanted to be. Now I'm going to have the time to start doing more things again in Seattle. I started something great. I was the first player there to start a foundation; some of the things I implemented as a player, Simone (Edwards) and Betty (Lennox), they're still doing similar programs. I think it's great for me to be back and give to the community. That was a huge part of what I gave as a player, so I'm going to continue to do that on this level for sure.