WNBA at NBA All-Star Mailbox
The four WNBA stars who will be participating in the event are hometown heros Lisa Leslie and Nikki Teasley, 2003 WNBA Rookie of the Year Cheryl Ford, and recently retired San Antonio Silver Stars guard Jennifer Azzi.
So, what are these four looking forward to most about NBA All-Star and the Shooting Stars event?
Leslie, Teasley, Ford and Azzi took some time to answer fan questions from Los Angeles.
How do you feel about the competition and how do you think it will turn out? Have fun and I'm looking forward to this upcoming Wnba season. (KJ from Detroit, MI)
Ford: "You have great basketball players here. I think we're going to have a good show going on, and I'm pretty excited about it. I can't wait to actually get out there."
Cheryl, you accomplished so much in your first season -- rookie of the year, wnba championship. How can you top that in year two? (Dave from Milwaukee, WI)
Ford: "I don't know. The next thing I can go after I guess is the MVP of the league and number one in rebounding, so that's what I'm going to try to do."
Is this your first time at the NBA All-Star game? What event are you looking to watching most? (Rachel from Atlanta, GA)
"Yes it is. I want to see the slam dunk and the rookie challenge."
Dear Nikki Teasley: I'm your biggest biggest fan. How does it feel to be apart of the NBA All-Star weekend, and playing against your teammate in the Radioshack Shooting Star? (Felicia from Memphis, TN)
Teasley: "First of all, it's a blessing to be in the All-Star events, it's a blessing to be able to give back to the kids like we have, because that's what it's all about. The kids are our future, so it's about them seeing us and us entertaining. And it comes from a lot of hard work and dedication, but I'm definitely blessed and I'm having fun. I'm going to get out there and play against my teammate and hopefully we win. She has a good team but I've got a couple of good guys on my team also, so we're going to have a lot of fun."
This question is for Nikki aka. (lady magic), what was going through your mind when you made that tremendous behind the back pass during the All Star game this year? (Ken from Canyon Country, CA)
Teasley: "The one thing that I love to do playing basketball is to entertain and try to bring fans to the game. And I thank God that that was one of the things I was able to do last year at the All-Star game. That's what a lot of people talk about now, is the pass that I did… To be in the limelight and the center of attention and to have God shine on me like that was a great moment. And it did help bring some more fans to the game, and that's what I'm most thankful for – not the individual accomplishment with getting the MVP, I'm more thankful for bringing more fans to the game."
Jennifer Azzi, after completing a spectacular career, what are you going to do now? Maybe coach, become a trainer, or what? Are you looking forward to sitting on your couch this summer eating popcorn and watching the WNBA on TV? Well, you are and always will be awesome as a team player and individually. Thanks, "D" (Deshae from Walker, LA)
Azzi: "No sitting on the couch. I am not a sit on the couch person. I have some business things going on that I am definitely interested in, and different charity work, a lot of different things are coming up. And then working with our fitness business, Azzi Training, and working on wellness programs"
I see a lot of men coaching womens basketball--college and WNBA. Would you like to see some women coaches crossover to coaching some men's teams--college and NBA? (DrSkyHoopster from Dallas, TX)
Azzi: "It doesn't really matter to me one way or the other. I think as long as someone's qualified, then that's all that matters, and if they know the game and understand the game. What I would like to see is more WNBA level players getting into coaching, players that have played on an elite level getting into coaching."
This question is for Jennifer Azzi. Do you feel you will miss playing basketball and being around your teammates now that you have retired?
(Michelle from Salisbury, NC)
Azzi: "I definitely will miss a lot of it. I will absolutely miss the time on the court, the time with the team. I will not miss the travel, the moving, just the whole side of it that people don't really see. And after a lot of years, it can definitely wear on you, and I think I'm also ready to have new and different challenges, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to miss it."
Lisa, I am a so huge fan of you from L.A! What's you feeling about play against your teammate Nikki Teasley? Good luck with Lakers and go our Sparks!!! (Sonia from Los Angeles, CA)
Leslie: "I think it will be a lot of fun because that's a win-win situation. No matter how well she does or I do, we both are very proud of each other and we both represent the same organization, so I'm excited."
You're from LA and your playing in front of LA fans, family, and friends how does that feel? (Daphne from Inglewood, CA)
Leslie: "This is definitely home for me, and I'm excited to be in front of our own crowd. I think both Kobe and I, we're used to being in All-Star games and receiving boos most of the time, so this will be nice to get some people to applaud for L.A., for the West, and for people in purple and gold out there."
WNBA Vice President of Player Personnel Renee Brown said Duke's Iciss Tillis is "A younger version of Lisa Leslie," do you agree with her comparison? (WNBA Fan from Kansas City, KS)
Leslie: "I think Iciss definitely has the potential to be a strong force. I don't know that she would play the five, I think she's too small for that. I think she's a tweener between Sheryl Swoopes and myself in certain ways because she's so thin, she's quick to the basketball, she can shoot, she has that kind of versatile game, but then she's so slim you don't expect her to do the things she does, and that's always been the thing on me being that I'm normally about 30 pounds lighter than the girls I'm playing against in my position, but I'm able to be effective. I think she'll be really good at this next level."