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LJ MVP Watch - Quotes

Opponents

COMETS FORWARD SHERYL SWOOPES:

"People will say she's not deserving because her team didn't make the playoffs. But if you look at her numbers and her defensive play this season, she deserves it. She's definitely got my vote. ... It's unfortunate (the Storm) didn't make the playoffs because then it would have been easy." (8/28, Tacoma News-Tribune)

LYNX COACH SUZIE MCCONNELL SERIO:

"She’s a great player who draws a lot of attention. One-on-one, she’s very difficult to stop. We sent double teams at her and tried to keep her off the boards. We did that for the most part, but she came up with a huge one at the end.” (8/8)

LYNX CENTER JANELL BURSE:

“I know how great of a player Lauren (Jackson) is. You have to give her over a hundred percent every time you play her, or else you're just going to get scored on. I was trying to play as hard as I could every time I was around her.” (8/2)

LYNX GUARD KRISTI HARROWER:

"Playing-wise, she (Jackson) should win; politics, I am not sure. If she doesn't win there is something wrong." (8/5, TheAge.com.au)

LYNX GUARD KATIE SMITH:

"hong kong: Hello katie. First off, congrats on both the season you and the lynx are having. My question is, if you had to pick an mvp excluding yourself for this season, who would it be?"

"Katie Smith: I'd say Lauren Jackson or Tamika Catchings." (8/1, WNBA.com chat)

"LJ is great. She’s versatile. She’s similar to Lisa (Leslie) in that she can step out and also play down low. She’s strong and is always a defensive presence inside. She has that little attitude about her and gets her team fired up. She just can do a lot of different things and is hard to guard. She’s doing nice things for her team when they need it. Her and Sue (Bird), that’s a 1-2 punch right there." (8/8)

"Yeah, we did a nice job of doubling her, but she passed out of it. When she puts the ball on the floor, you just have to stay between her and the basket and make her make some tough shots, which she did. We didn’t allow her to get off and shoot threes, but our posts did a nice job." (8/8)

LYNX FORWARD TAMIKA WILLIAMS:

“Lauren Jackson is an All-American. She can do it all, and if anybody on their court is going to take over the game, it’s going to be her.” (7/20)

MERCURY COACH JOHN SHUMATE:

“(Jackson’s) a great player. She was at home, she had a great night. Great players have great nights. She’s an Olympian, she’s one of the greatest women’s players on this Earth.” (6/7)

“This is a great basketball team. They have two of the top six players in the game. Lauren Jackson is a great, great player and Sue Bird is a great, great player.” (6/17)

MERCURY CENTER ADRIAN WILLIAMS:

“This is my fourth year and I think this is the third year I’ve guarded her. She’s getting better every year. She’s a great player and I actually enjoy playing against her.” (6/7)

“Lauren Jackson played an MVP game. She’s a great player.” (7/25)

SILVER STARS CENTER MARGO DYDEK:

“Lauren Jackson is a good player, but she’s not the only player the Storm has. Lauren has size, quickness, the outside shot – everything a good player needs.” (6/22)

SPARKS COACH MICHAEL COOPER:

"Lauren Jackson is Lauren Jackson. She’s the same Lauren Jackson she was the first time we played them. She’s putting herself in the MVP race. She did it all tonight. We did a couple of things to try and contain her, but it was a good team effort by them." (8/6)

GUARD TAMECKA DIXON:

"(Lauren) pulled out the offensive arsenal on us tonight with all kinds of (stuff) that I’ve never seen her do before. She played well, but we didn’t put up a fight." (8/6)

STING COACH TRUDI LACEY:

“We knew Lauren Jackson was going to be tough and she finished with 22. We tried everybody on her and couldn’t find an answer. … Whenever they needed a basket, they went to Lauren.” (6/30)

“Definitely (Jackson should be MVP), I think. I have a lot of respect for Lauren because I’m sure she’s had injuries, but she’s played through them and been there for her team. You have to have tremendous respect for somebody who does that.” (7/31)

“Lauren has been playing exceptionally well. Anne (Donovan) has done a great job with her. She seems to be very poised and playing with a lot of confidence. She’s playing within herself and being a great leader for her team.” (7/31)

"There's no question Lauren is on the top half of the list because of her consistency and durability. An MVP certainly has the skills and ability to dominate a game, but part of being an MVP is getting your team to the next level." (8/6, Seattle Times)

STING FORWARD ALLISON FEASTER:

“Seattle got great production from Lauren Jackson and Kamila Vodichkova. Guarding Lauren is tough for anyone. I think Shalonda (Enis) is 6-0 and Lauren is 6-5, so it’s tough to get a hand in her face. We just didn’t contain Lauren down the stretch and get the key defensive stops.” (6/30)

STING GUARD DAWN STALEY:

“Lauren hit some tough, tough shots. She got into a comfort zone. She was able to shoot over us.” (6/30)

“Of course (she’s an MVP candidate). Any time you get 20 points and 20 rebounds, that’s a huge feat for any player, but that just doesn’t come by any player. I think she’s having a terrific year. They have to get some more wins and go a little further in the playoffs for her to get the MVP. Right now, with Lisa Leslie out, she’s playing the best basketball in the league.” (7/31)

The Storm

COACH ANNE DONOVAN:

“Lauren was just phenomenal. Who can guard Lauren Jackson when she’s playing like that: inside, outside, running the floor, hustling after loose balls. That kind of effort is what makes her one of the best players in the world.” (6/3)

“Lauren is just a monster. What I love about her is just when it seems like she isn’t having a very good game she just takes it over. The second half again tonight, she just took it over.” (6/10)

“Superstar players step up when it counts. We needed someone to fill Sue’s shoes and (Jackson) stepped up. She played great. She scored more than half of our points. She was really unstoppable, but one player can’t win a game.” (7/20)

“I’ve been talking about (Jackson for MVP) all year and I think the national media are starting to see it now. We need to just keep playing well as a team and reach our goals and I think everyone will start to recognize it. She should be given heavy consideration. Her focus under contact to finish down low when she is getting hammered by one and two people, people take it for granted when they watch Lauren now. If you think of how hard she is getting hit but she’s finishing shots and going to the foul line, that is truly a great player. She is making tremendous plays under a lot of stress and I don’t know if people really appreciate that. They just take it as a given that she is going to do that. There is no doubt in my mind she can do it outside and inside. She can be MVP for sure.” (7/25)

“The most impressive thing is not on the stat sheet. I told her I’ve played against a lot of cream puff teams in my day and I’ve never had 20 rebounds and Charlotte is not a cream puff. She did it against a very good team. The most impressive thing to me is against that zone it can be very frustrating if you’re the key player and you don’t touch the ball and you’re not the one getting shots. But she totally kept her composure and broke the zone down with Tully (Bevilaqua). So give her kudos for that because that’s not on the stat sheet. She could have gotten frustrated and lost her composure and we would have struggled but she found the open person quite a bit.” (7/31)

"She's MVP in my book, and I'll say it every day. She's dominant in so many facets of the game." (8/6, Seattle P-I)

"I know everyone will look at that game and go 'Lisa Leslie wasn't there and DeLisha Milton wasn't there.' But I don't care how you look at it, that was a dominating performance by the MVP of this league." (8/8, Tacoma News-Tribune

"I was really quoted as saying she didn’t deserve to be an MVP, which was never what I was saying. Lauren deserved to be an MVP – there’s no question she had the best season of any player in this league. But the fear was that us not being a playoff team and going on a five-game losing skid would really affect her chances of getting that. There’s never been a doubt in my mind, from day one of training camp, that Lauren Jackson was MVP this year." (8/26)

"Lauren Jackson is truly deserving of the MVP award. She dominated the court this season." (9/14)

FORWARD ADIA BARNES:

“She's playing better than all of the top players in the WNBA. And it's scary how good she's going to be. She's confident, and I don't think there's any reason why she shouldn't be. She loves to play and it shows. And she's a fighter. She's not soft at all. She's hard on herself, and that's one of the reasons she's so great. … Right now, she's playing like an MVP” (6/25, Seattle Times)

GUARD SUE BIRD:

“She’s definitely the MVP of our team and most likely the league. A lot of people see her scoring and rebounding, but it’s so much more beyond that – her presence on the court, her presence inside. As a point guard, I can immediately see the difference as far as when she is on the court and when she is not on the court. It’s just the attention that she draws. … She uses (the contact) to her advantage. She has great body control and is able to convert three-point plays. She is able to drive in there, take a hit and finish it. … She’s a 5-6 person in a 6-5 body the way she runs and the way she moves. She’s got the ability so she’s my first option in transition. A lot of the centers of the league just can’t keep up with her.” (7/25)

FORWARD AMANDA LASSITER:

“It’s great that we can go to Jackson, but I think everybody else has to step up and not put as much pressure on her. Lauren is a good player, and she’s going to step up to any challenge you put up to her. … She was hot, and at that time, you always want to go with your money player when she’s hot.” (7/20)

The Media

ESPN.COM COLUMNIST NANCY LIEBERMAN:

“She's a fierce, energetic competitor who also has a little bit of a wild side. She has been a star for many years but is now becoming a superstar, and will be the MVP of this league one day once she finishes her maturation down low and refines the traditional stuff. Jackson is tough enough to guard right now; she's 6-5 but can take you off the dribble like Tamika Catchings. No post can guard her on the perimeter.” (7/4)

"Still, Jackson is probably the leading MVP candidate. Both (Swin) Cash and Catchings are surrounded by more talent. Detroit is deeper than Seattle, which basically relies on Jackson and Sue Bird. If one of them doesn't play well, the Storm are in trouble, whereas if Cash has an off night, her great supporting cast can rally and still lead the Shock to a win." (8/11)

PHOENIX MERCURY ANNOUNCER MICHELE TIMMS:

"If she doesn't win (MVP) it'll be a joke. Catchings is having a very good season, Loz's is way better." (8/5, TheAge.com.au)

ARIZONA REPUBLIC WRITER JEFF METCALFE:

"Jackson seems to have done more for her team than any of the other candidates." (8/12, Indianapolis Star)