You asked, they answered. Here's what the Sue Bird
, Lindsay Whalen
, Lauren Jackson
, Nykesha Sales
and more had to say in response to your questions as they prepared for Game 1 of the 2004 WNBA Finals in Connecticut.
Hey Sue, Congrats for making it to the Finals, and for breaking the record for playoffs assists. I dont even have a question cuz the way you are play...answers all. But I do wanna know how did you and your team celebrate for winning and eliminating Sacramento? I Love you....You got madd game!
- Mari (Key West, FL)
Sue Bird: "If I was in Key West, I'm sure it would have been a little bit of a different party, but we had to get up early and go to Connecticut the next day, so we did what we could with the little time we had."
Prior to winning the Western Conference Championship on Tuesday what is your most memorable moment in the WNBA?
- Ray (Washington DC)
Bird: "As a team, my most memorable moment was making it to the playoffs my first year. Personally, it was watching Lauren get the MVP trophy last year."
Sue, you showed alot of grit playing as well as you did in game 3 of the WCF's. How were you able to concentrate with that mask and a broken nose?
- Bob (Washington)
Bird: "You just have to put all of that aside and try not to let it affect you. Injuries are like 90% mental, so if you can keep it out of your head, it won't affect you."
Lauren, we know you heard those MVP chants. Does that fire you up?
-Katie (Tacoma, WA)
Lauren Jackson: "Nah, not really. It makes me laugh. Our fans in Seattle are awesome and they support me through anything and everything and I love them."
For Lauren Jackson: knowing you are so fiercely Australian, which would be the highlight of your year: winning Silver for Australia at the Olympics or, should Seattle Storm win, winning the WNBA competition?
- Nanet (Alica Springs, Australia)
"Definitely the WNBA Championship, no question. The silver was great, but it's not gold. We lost it..."
Lauren, you said when you got back from Australia that you guys haven't really peaked yet... your 4th year in the league, MVP last year, being in the finals. Does it get much better than this?
- Katie (Mtn. View, CA)
Jackson: "No, this is the best. This is some pretty cool stuff. We just have to win it now, and that would be great. So much fun..."
Betty, You are my inspiration. I am amazed by your ability to bring so much energy and fearlessness to the court every night. How do you stay motivated and energized?
- Tammi (Seattle, WA)
Betty Lennox: "Basketball. When you say the word "basketball," I'm like a kid in a candy store. I just go ballistic. I have been playing since I was in the third grade and my life has been about it ever since. God has given me a talent and ability to go out and enjoy myself, and I have been doing just that."
Hi Betty - This is your first trip to the Finals - what are you most excited about?
- Frankie (Atlanta, GA)
Lennox: "I have been in the league for six years and this is my first opportunity to be at the Finals. I am excited that we made it this far, and I want to seize the moment and take advantage of this opportunity."
Since I'm also a PMHS and Purdue grad (you go girl!), how do the WNBA Finals compare to the 1999 NCAA championships??
- Ann (Loveland, OH)
Katie Douglas: "The WNBA Finals are a little different than the NCAA Finals. In '99, I knew that the team wasn't going to be together for long, with people graduating and the coach leaving, so that was different. As far as the WNBA Finals goes, it's different because it's not a single-elimination format."
How exciting is it for you to be in position to win a WNBA championship. Do you think that there is extra pressure in CT to excel than in other states because of Uconn's success? Go Sun! 3 championships for CT!
- Jess (Broadbrook, CT)
Douglas: "It is very exciting. As an athlete, you always want to compete at the highest level, to play in the Finals and end your season on top. Everyone picked us last, so it is gratifying to be in this position in the end. As for your second question, I wouldn't say there is pressure, but the expectations to perform and succeed are a little bit higher than in any other state because their men's and women's college programs have been so good."
Hey Katie! I was just wondering what kind of changes have been made to the team to prepare you all for the playoff games against Seattle? Good Luck!
-Kayla (Richlands, VA)
Douglas: "I don't know that there have been changes, but we are trying to keep it as normal as possible. Whatever we have done in the past has got us to where we are, the Finals, so we want to keep it consistent. There won't be anything crazy or over-the-top."
Yo Kesh! I've admired your game since college girl. You're tough & seemingly complete offensively & defensivly! Loved your trash-talking in the game of H.O.R.S.E. with Lindsay Whalen! How different does this opportunity feel from your NCAA Tournament finals?
- Brandon (Orlando, FL)
Nykesha Sales: "When I won an NCAA Tournament, it was as a freshman, and I don't think I appreciated just how hard it was. Since then, I haven't won another one. I can't take a lot from that experience because I don't remember it as much. I've been in the WNBA for seven years and haven't been close to this position. I realize now that it is a lot of work. Chemistry is important, finding the right coach is important, and creating that perfect connection is hard to do."
I wanted to ask any of the players from the Sun who were in Orlando how it feels to win the Eastern Conference title only two years after leaving Orlando. I know my friends and I wish they were here doing it so we could share in the experience and joy with them!
- Faith (Groveland, FL)
Sales: "We enjoy the support we had in Orlando. We still see the fans everywhere and I know they are pulling for us. They meant a lot for my career because I started in Orlando, and it weren't for them, our team would not be as good as we are today. Now, we have a new fan base, but they are still our fans. Everytime I go back there, they tell me they want to get another team there. But it will mean a lot."
Lindsay, which is more exciting, getting into the NCAA Final 4 or getting into the WNBA finals? PS. Hope you'll make a gopher game sometime this year.
- Becky (Rochester, MN)
Lindsay Whalen: "Wow, that is tough to say. I try and live in the present, so I am more excited about the Finals right now, but back in March in April, I was definitely excited about the Final Four. It's all about living in the moment."
Hi Lindsay! We are all cheering for you back in MN! How have you been spending this week of preparation? Good Luck!
- Emily Hamilton (Minneapolis, MN)
Whalen: "I've been preparing by watching film, I watched the other teams play on Tuesday night, I eat right, sleep and get excited about it. And play my Playstation. College Football 2005. Go Husker. They are a tough team, but I try and play with a middle-range team and take them to the top in the "dynasty" mode."
Lindsay, Congrats on making it to the finals! First a final four and now this!! Just wondering...how do you think you team is going to stop Lauren Jackson?? Thanks and GOOD LUCK!
- Kallen (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Whalen: "She is tough. We are just going to go out there and see what we can do. We'll make it hard for, but she is a great player and a talent in this league. We'll throw some different looks at her, make her feel uncomfortable. We will switch things up, do some trapping and other things to throw her off."
Lindsay, i have heard and read many comparisons to you to Sue Bird. . . thoughts on that comparison? i think you are two different type of players but both possess a greatness that is so much fun to watch. Good luck in the finals!
- Kerri (Minneapolis, MN)
Whalen: "It's great to be compared to Sue. She is an Olympian, an NCAA
Champion and has done great things for the WNBA and women's basketball. To be
compared with her is an honor, and hopefully I can live up to the expectations."