With seconds remaining in Game 2 of the 2002 WNBA FInals, the play was designed for Los Angeles' All-Star leader Lisa Leslie
. But as the New York defense swarmed the veteran center, it was the rookie point guard Nikki Teasley
who drained a three to give the Sparks their second consecutive WNBA title.
Teasley on what she thinks of when she sees the photo of that shot:
"I think of probably the greatest moment in my career right now when I look at this shot. I'd never made a game-winning shot ever in my career. This is the first one and obviously the biggest one. My first championship, my first real championship. It was just great for the game, for women's basketball. I think everybody enjoyed the moment, and I certainly hope it doesn't come down to that again. But if it does, I hope God blesses me again and I knock it down."
Teasley on when she knew the shot was good:
"I had no idea it was going in. It felt good, I got a good look at the rim. Of course, it was going to Lisa, the play was for Lisa, and everybody backed up and they triple-teamed her and I got a great look at the basket and I even got fouled! [Laughs.] That was the funny thing about it. But, I'm very blessed and fortunate that it went down for me."
Teasley on the moments after the shot went in:
"It was very clear. Once it went in, I was so shocked. I mean, everybody thought I was just excited, I was running around because I was happy, I made it. I was so shocked that the shot went in, but I couldn't celebrate too much because there was still two seconds left so I actually came up to play defense and to block [Teresa] Weatherspoon's half-court shot because I remember her hitting the half-court shot against Houston. Then, after that, everything was a blur because of the celebration and my family being there. It's all a blessing."
Leslie on Teasley's shot:
"Nikki Teasley's jumper, the three-pointer, was amazing because obviously everyone knew in the gym, in the arena, anybody at home, that the play was designed to go to me, and obviously New York knew that too and they covered me. But when Teresa Weatherspoon dropped in my lap, that was kind of like we couldn't even go to our next option, because even if I got the ball, who could I pass it to? So with Nikki Teasley standing there, she's a great set shooter, she's so much better standing than she is moving, I think, and that was just a perfect opportunity. Regardless of how many shots she had missed, I knew that shot was going in. But I made a move to go rebound, but once it went in, that was a shot that pretty much sealed it for us. And it was great for her, I think, on a personal level because Nikki has been through so much and so many doubters and she's a really sweet girl with a great heart and what better person than her to hit that shot."
Tamecka Dixon on Teasley's shot:
"Even though we were tied and didn't have any pressure on us to really win at that point, when I saw the shot go in, I was just overjoyed. It was one of those things that I think will always be in my mind forever."
(Photo: Noah Graham/WNBAE/Getty Images)