Things said and heard around the WNBA this week.

Notes and Quotes:
August 1, 2005

Detroit's Katie Smith, after her first game with the Shock:
"It was a surprise, I was actually out in Sacramento, we had just arrived in Sacramento to play today, so I found out when I got out there. Total surprise to me and my teammates.."

Lynx coach Suzie McConnell Serio, after trading All-Star Katie Smith on Saturday:
"This was an unbelievably difficult decision. She has been the franchise for so long and a fan favorite. What it came down to was us not living up to the expectations we had and evaluating where our team is and where we want to be."

Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer, after the trade bringing Smith to his team:
"Katie brings a toughness, a work ethic, and a style of leadership to our ballclub that will push our younger players to improve on both ends of the floor."

New York's Becky Hammon, after last Sunday's road win in Minnesota:
"I was just choosing my times and it happened to be at the end of the game. This was the fourth game in a row on the road and we were tired. I think we just had to fight through it."

All-Star Becky Hammon and the New York Liberty had an up-and-down week.
Jesse Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Hammon, after Wednesday's home loss against Houston:
"We played a great 20 minutes in the first half. But as great as we played in the first half, we played that bad in the second half.

Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes after a loss last week, to the Express-News:
"When you shoot 26 percent, you're not going to win games."

Sacramento's Yolanda Griffith, after a 40-pt win over the Shock last Sunday:
"We played outstanding, it was a great way to respond after our loss to New York. We played defense like we are capable of playing and we were knocking down our shots."

Sacramento's Nicole Powell:
"I need to be aggressive on offense, that's something I'm trying to work on. I need to work on being consistent every game. It's always good to knock down that first shot like I did tonight, but you have to do other things like rebound and play defense when your shot isn't falling."

Silver Stars forward LaToya Thomas, after her first practice last week, to the Express-News:
"It's comfortable. I just played. I couldn't wait for this."

Mercury coach Carrie Graf, after winning against the Lynx on Friday night:
"It feels like we've finally got our team togethe. We are a totally different team than we were."

Mystics forward DeLisha Milton-Jones, after returning from a 3-2 road trip, to the Washington Post:
"People have kind of been sleeping on us so we've been kind of slowly creeping up on everybody, opening up eyes around the league. I think we shocked a lot of people on that road trip. I don't think many people thought we could go out there and beat some of those teams. But I hope they keep sleeping on us so we can slip up on them and be conference champs. They are going to be like, 'Where did this team come from?' "

Sparks center Lisa Leslie, to the L.A. Times:
"One thing when it comes to me; I'm used to setting goals and being successful, and being on top. With my job of playing basketball, it's a struggle for me right now. There's a frustration not being on top."

Sun coach Mike Thibault, of Asjha Jones:
"I think she’s definitely a candidate for the sixth man award."

Connecticut's Nykesha Sales, to the Hartford Courant last Wednesday:
"This is a big week for us. If you start to set your mind-set the right way early in the week, it will carry over. We need that [determined] mind-set in order to come out of this week with some wins."

Mystics forward Charlotte Smith-Taylor, to the Post, after Tuesday's home loss to the Comets:
"It just seemed like everybody got deflated when they kept hitting shots. We have to be tougher than that. We can't let a team hit a couple of tough shots and then say: 'Oh well, we can't stop them.' That's what we can take from this game. Mental toughness. We can't let ourselves get deflated like that."

Sheryl Swoopes, after the same game:
"Washington's a very good team, but in that loss at home, we just let them do what they wanted to do when they wanted to do it. And offensively, we weren't clicking. (Tuesday) we had a lot of players and especially players coming off the bench who gave us that lift in the first half when we needed it."

Comets forward Kristen Rasmussen, who had started in place of Tina Thompson, to the Houston Chronicle:
"It's basketball and you have to be a professional about it. It's a sport, but it's my work, my job, so I just have to go in there and do what I'm supposed to do."

Mercury forward Kamila Vodichkova, after starting Tuesday's game 10-10 before missing a layup with 7:37 remaining:
"I spoiled my percentage."

Storm forward Lauren Jackson:
"My goals never change. Every year I've been here my goal has been to win a championship."

Storm guard Sue Bird:
"We've shown signs of how good we can be. I have confidence that as long as this team makes the playoff, we can do whatever we want."

Sun guard Lindsay Whalen, on her plan to shoot more, to the Bristol Press:
"I know it’s something that I need to do to kind of extend the defense. It takes a lot of pressure off everyone else, even if I just shoot it because then we have good position for rebounding."

Sting forward Sheri Sam, the last player to get her championship ring, after picking it up in Seattle on Friday night:
"Just because I'm not in that uniform doesn't make it any less special It's been a rough year. We [Sting] kind of got a slow start and never got it going. I still believe in the talent on this team, though. ... Maybe this [ring] will inspire them."

Seattle's Janell Burse, after a career-high 27 points in a win on Friday night:
"I just came out ready to go. I was excited playing with Sheri on the court again. It was just fun. ... Like I keep telling everybody, I hope we're peaking at the right time because we really need it right now."

Nykesha Sales, before Saturday's game against Detroit, to The Day:
"We don't get sidetracked by this stuff. We don't know half the stuff that goes on between those two (coaches). It doesn't carry out to the players. We try to play some good basketball, some good professional basketball, and keep it rolling.... I think Laimbeer wants that kind hostility between everybody,” Sales said. “He's just the type of coach that likes to get under everyone's skin. I'm sure it's not just with coach, it's probably with other coaches, but our coaches are just a little more verbal.”

Connecticut's Katie Douglas's pre-game comments to The Day:
"I don't know about (the last game providing) extra motivation. There's motivation for us to protect our home court, to win against an Eastern Conference team. I think that's motivation in and of itself. All the other drama behind the game, that's really not going to involve us as players. We're going to just try to take care of business and take care of our home court. Obviously it's a big attraction for people to watch the game and pay attention to the game, but for us, it's about going out and playing well and not getting a (halftime) deficit like we did (Thursday) night. It's about playing well for 40 minutes.”

Monarchs center Yolanda Griffith:
"We're the ones with the targets on our backs. We know L.A. will be gunning for us."

Sparks coach Henry Bibby, after Friday's loss to the Monarhcs:
"I didn't think we came out and played hard. They pick you up, put a lot of pressure on you. Sacramento is playing well right now."

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