Press Conference: Q and A with Tamika Whitmore

Tamika Whitmore
Q: What excites you most about the move?
A: ďComing to Connecticut, the fan base is incredible. Iíve always hated playing there because you really canít hear anything. I just think with this move being made, it allows for a lot of things on the basketball court, with Asjha and myself, both of us are interchangeable. Itís not going to matte who takes that ball out, it will be a fast-paced tempo game because weíll take the ball out quicker, take the ball up the floor. I wonít be playing with just a one dimensional player on the other block. You canít double team her because I can shoot outside and you canít double team me because she can shoot outside. Lindsay knows how to distribute the ball to anyone anywhere they need it or where they want it. All and all, everyone on this team understands basketball.Ē

Q: Did the move come as a surprise?
A: ďYeah, it did. It was kind of a surprise, because I wasnít thinking that Katie would want to move because she was in such a good situation. I was in a good situation in Indiana, but change is good. Iím really looking forward to playing there and being a part of the Connecticut Sun.Ē

Q: Talk about playing for Coach Thibault.
A: ďIf he needs to pull a play out of thin air, he can pull one out of thin air. Heís very open-minded toward his players and he understands the game, he knows the Xís and Oís of the game. He sees things that not necessarily every coach can see. Iíve only had the opportunity to play for one other guy like that and that was Richie Adubato. Iím really looking forward to getting that bond with Coach T and getting the ball rolling in Connecticut. Coach T and I have always had a good rapport. Heís always been joking with me and clowning with me. I actually asked him to see if he could get me a couple of years ago, but he just didnít have the right moves to sign, trade, do whatever. I asked him a couple of years ago if I could play for him and I am really excited about that.Ē

Q: Can you talk a little bit about your toughness and intimidation down low as well as your ability to give this front line a little more ďumphĒ than theyíve had in the past?
A: ďWhen I started playing, I would say I was a wuss. My mom told me that if I wanted to play, I had to toughen up, so she just basically took me out and beat me to death. I really donít try to intimidate anybody. I just try to let them know that I donít care how big you are or whatever; Iím not going to back down. Iím just going to keep coming and keep coming, and to me thatís what a winner does and thatís what Iím trying to do Ė get a championship.Ē

Q: With you being a veteran and some younger players coming in to Connecticut, will you look forward to helping them out?
A: ďI really do look forward to each generation coming into the WNBA. To me itís fun. Itís kind of fun and itís funny, to watch them learn the style of play in the WNBA, especially coming from college and overseas. Seeing them, how they adjust to it, I enjoy it. Iíll be there to help them if they want my help. Iíll offer it. I like to stay after practice, I like to come early before practice, so Iím pretty much a gym rat.Ē

Q: Do you think that the trade will make the Sun/Fever match-up even more exciting to watch now?
A: ďI think it kinda ads to the pot a little bit. I think that was a rivalry before I even got to Indiana. Katie got the opportunity to go home and Iím happy for her, and I get the opportunity to win a championship. Both of us are moving in a right direction I think.Ē

Q: From and outsiders perspective, what have you always liked when you see the Sun play and what have you always thought they might need?
A: ďI think they needed someone who is a bruiser in the paint, someone who is willing, if you hit my point guard, like Charles Barkley said, just let me know and donít worry about it, Iím going to get them back. Its just part of the game, its not tennis, its not ballet, itís a full contact sport and I like to give contact and I like to get it. I think itís part of what theyíve been missing and also too that with Asjha and I being interchangeable. Both of us are very versatile on the court and it will be really hard to guard, two post players down there.Ē