1-On-1 With Delisha Milton-Jones
Why did you leave the San Antonio Silver Stars?
The team was losing games and struggling with injuries to major players. There was a shift to start grooming younger players and allow them the season to grow. As a result it affected my game, playing time and stats. Both parties had respect for each other in this decision; it was an amicable split.
Is New York a good fit for you?
I felt New York would be a good fit because Bill Laimbeer is a player’s coach and more importantly, a post player’s coach. He understands the importance of getting the ball inside and rebounding. Some teams are allowed to live and die by the jump shot. Bill is the complete package. He’ll play to get the ball inside, set a screen for his post and open the game up.
What’s been your biggest challenge joining the team?
Just coming in towards the end of the season. I’ve had to learn quickly but I feel I have an advantage having played against the Liberty earlier this season. For me it’s about learning the call, learning why, learning what is it for and the timing. Ultimately, the game is the game… if you spread the floor and rebound you’ll be good.
What do you think coach Laimbeer expects from you?
Bill knows I’m going to play D, rebound and score. I think I can be a double digit scorer. I can help him with his rotations because I can play the three or the four and play either small ball or go big.
You’ve been in the league 15 years, what is your reputation as a player?
(Laughs) People see me as a busy bee out there, even like I’m dirty. But once I’m a teammate they see I’m competitive, physical and take no plays off. I’m the type that you hate to play against but you love to have on your team.
What are your thoughts on fellow veteran Katie Smith?
Katie is the most underrated veteran with star power that I’ve ever seen. Think about it, Katie used to put up 40 points without a big supporting cast. She put Minnesota on her back. She won chips in Detroit. She’s hard nosed, competitive; she’s like a bull. You can depend on her to hit her shot, play D and you can respect her. I still feel she’s not being recognized enough now in her final season in the league. We need to do her justice. I feel it would be a huge injustice if the league doesn’t recognize everything she’s given this game. To this day she’s still relevant. They should roll out the red carpet for her.
How do you last so long in the WNBA?
I enjoy being a professional. I spend time talking care of myself. I stay up with the newest technology and treatments. I do my research to stay healthy.
You played yourself in the famed movie “Love and Basketball”, (so cool!) what was that experience like?
It was fun! It was one of those things you didn’t understand how big it would be while it was happening. I look at it today and have to laugh! People recognize me from the movie more than they do for basketball. I just say, yea, that was me!
Describe New York Liberty fans, as both an opponent and now as a member of the home team?
Liberty fans are hard core! They are die-hards! In New York the fans bring a different element to the WNBA and have a special connection with their team. I can’t wait till they have a home; a home-home at Madison Square Garden. It affects the players and the fans. Playing at The Garden is a dream; it’s iconic.