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Extension Keeps Jackson Where She's Happy

Kevin Pelton, StormBasketball.com | Aug. 2, 2011

Lauren Jackson doesn't really see signing a contract extension with the Seattle Storm Tuesday as a big deal. Jackson has known all along she was planning to stay in Seattle past the end of her current contract. The multi-year extension just makes it official.

"I think it was inevitable, I guess," said a low-key Jackson on Tuesday morning. "It's good. I'm excited about it. Signed, sealed, delivered."

For the Storm organization, it is important to know that the three-time WNBA MVP will continue to call Seattle home.

Lauren Jackson.
Neil Enns/Storm Photos

Jackson found it inevitable that she would extend her contract with the Storm.

"From a team standpoint, it's great news," said Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Brian Agler. "We still have arguably the best player in the world who's going to be finishing off her career here in Seattle."

When she was an unrestricted free agent after the 2008 season, Jackson had a decision to make. The chance to play in Phoenix with close friends like fellow Aussie Penny Taylor was tempting, but ultimately Jackson determined she had no interest in playing for any other WNBA team but the Storm. Since then, Jackson has made that clear by re-signing in the spring of 2010 and now extending that contract.

"I think during that time she had to really think a lot of things through a couple of years ago," said Agler. "She probably realized back then this is what she wanted to do."

Part of what her decision-making process reinforced is how important Seattle, the Storm and the team's fans have become to Jackson.

"It's like my home," she said. "I spend more time here than I do in Australia. Just being in Australia and coming over here, I feel like Seattle embraced me."

Now, when Jackson arrives in the Emerald City after being away, there's a sense of homecoming, a sigh of relief.

"I can go to my apartment," she explained. "I can just chill with all my stuff. I'm settled here."

"She likes it here," added Agler. "There's a lot of reasons for her to be here. She's got a home here. She's played her whole career here. She's got great friends on the team. It's just a matter of communicating on the type of contract and going from there."

Agler didn't exactly hand Jackson a blank contract, but he let her take the lead on the details of the deal, giving her the flexibility to come up with an extension that makes her comfortable.

"We really left the option open to her in regard to how long she wanted to sign and those things," Agler explained. "She's signing a contract that will get her close to probably ending her career here."

Jackson wouldn't have it any other way.

"As I've gotten older, it's become more important to me to have that legacy in one city," she said. "Seattle's definitely been my home, so to speak, in terms of growing up here and being in the league every year. I will be until I retire."

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