Storm Q&A: Anne Donovan
Seattle Storm Coach Anne Donovan was honored yesterday as the Sonics & Storm Legends Tour stopped at Green Lake Community Center to celebrate the two coaches who have brought major professional championships to Seattle - Donovan and former Sonics Coach Lenny Wilkens. Afterwards, Donovan chatted with the media about the Legends Tour, coaching the U.S. women to bronze in the World Championships last month in Brazil, watching the Sonics practice last week and more.
What is your reaction to being a part of this event?
Donovan: It's great to kind of come in on this 40-year tradition and history with the Sonics. To be recognized as a Storm contributor in this, it's awesome. And to be with Lenny as a coach recognized, it's special.
I just do what they ask me to do and make sure that I speak my mind, which is I hope we stay.
What kind of a sense do you have of the Sonics rich history?
For me, because I was such a fan, I watched Lenny, I watched Jack Sikma, I watched this organization from the East Coast, being one of the best that I identified. Coming here, winning a championship - a lot of talk about it being 25 years since the last championship. I think I have a pretty good understanding of how rich the tradition is.
Is it nice to be back in Seattle right now during the off-season?
It's always great to be in Seattle. This is my job, this is my hat, so it's always great to come back to Seattle and have fan events where I can touch back with people who have been a big part of this.
What do you take away from the World Championships?
I thought it was a great experience. I thought it was a valuable experience. It's an experience that's going to continue to motivate us to wrestle that gold back in Beijing.
Does losing take away some of the feeling of invincibility the U.S. women had internationally?
I think people that really know women's basketball knew that this was close. Everybody wants to talk about we've dominated for X number of years, and the reality is that we have not. We have won gold medals, but I wouldn't say we've dominated since I was involved, which was '98 in the World Championships. I get very excited about this team because I think we have a great foundation and we have great players to add to our team. When I look at the programs of Australia and Russia, they're not going to be adding the same significant pieces that we will. So I think our outlook is still pretty good.
What was it like watching Lauren Jackson win a gold medal?
It was great to watch her win it. We weren't involved in that game, so you could really sit there and observe Russia and Australia. When she won it, it was like a flash back to winning a World Championship here in Seattle, because she was almost child-like in her just joy of winning that. It was great to watch her, really.
Have you talked to Lauren since? She was reported to be in the hospital briefly.
Yeah, she came back with a virus, she said. She's fine - just one night.
Have you had the opportunity before this year to watch the Sonics practice during training camp?
No, I have not. It's been so great this year. My schedule has never allowed me to sit down and do that, so I can't tell you how valuable that's been. It's been an amazing training camp. Not having a point of reference, not having watched training camp since I was in Charlotte and understanding the rules have changed, it's amazing to me to see the intensity that he's (Bob Hill) got for over three hours - very competitive practices. So I've really enjoyed it.
What kind of notes have you been taking?
Just notes on drills and picking up what I can.
How often have you been watching?
When I've been in the office I've been watching. Several days.