When the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2015 game tips off on Saturday afternoon, Maya Moore will be front and center for the Western Conference squad. The reigning WNBA MVP has continued to show off her innate ability to impact the game in a number of ways on both ends of the floor. Her play in the first half of the season earned her a starting nod for the Western Conference – her third consecutive appearance and her fourth overall.
“It’s definitely an honor to be voted in by the fans, to be appreciated by them. With all of the hard work all of the All-Stars put in – in-season, offseason, — just to go [to the All-Star game] at least with one of my other teammates (Seimone Augustus) is extra special as well.”
Moore has already posted her fair share of highlight performances this season, as have many of the other starters and reserves named to this year’s All-Star game. Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner are playing incredible basketball, and Skylar Diggins looked to be taking her game to another level before an ACL injury ended her season early.
Simply put, the best of the best are at their absolute best right now, and it’s made for an exciting first half of the season. For Moore, that the league’s best players are at the top of their game right now makes her drive for success that much stronger.
“You always want to have the most competitive situations when you’re stepping on the court,” Moore said. “I’m a competitor, they’re a competitor, so when the best are at their best, it’s going to make for some great basketball. So, I’m always excited to play anyone who’s playing well at any point in the season. That’s what we all look forward and I wouldn’t expect anything less from them, and I know they don’t from me either.”
Her drive to improve each season is, well, normal for a player many would consider to be the best in the league. She entered this season with a drive to become more of a leader for a Lynx team that came up short in the Western Conference playoffs in 2014. So far, she’s put that mindset on display, guiding the Lynx to the best record in the Western Conference (12-4).
But leadership isn’t exactly a character trait or skill that shows up in the box score. Leadership plays itself out in a number of ways. Moore has remained focused on continuing to improve as a leader, while also improving in areas that do show up on the stat sheet.
“Every year I come in trying to be more efficient – whatever that looks like,” Moore said. “I’m fortunate to be able to do so many things on the court, so being efficient can mean offensively, it can mean defensively just getting the better position, helping my teammates better, being a better communicator.
“There’s just so many ways I continue to be a better leader: making the right decisions in the right moments while staying consistent with the fundamentals of the game. That’s my main focus. You’re not going to see me adding something completely new to the game, it’s just going to be more of just trying to be efficient at what I’m already good at. And if you do see something new, it will probably be in a small way. At this point in my career, I am who I am. I just want to keep getting better at [being] who I am.”
If her performance through the first half of the season has anything to say about how she’s implemented those improvements, Maya Moore is doing just fine.