Storm star Lauren Jackson opens up about life on and off the court every other Tuesday in an exclusive Q&A.
Today, growing pains in Seattle.
Q: Is it hard to believe you’ve been playing here 10 years?
LJ: Very hard. It’s gone so quickly. We’ve had three coaches. We’ve won a championship. If we do it again that would be lovely. It’s been a great, great experience. I’d never want it to change it. I would never take any of it back.
I remember being so scared (as a rookie), coming into a new city. I was 19. I’d been living away from home since I was 16. So I didn’t see it as a long-term thing. I guess being drafted, I didn’t really understand the expectations or anything. I didn’t understand any of it. I didn’t know what the difference was between Australia and American basketball. But after the first year I realized it was going to be my career, and where I was going to be. I had to get used to it.
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Q: When you look back, is it hard to believe how immature you were?
LJ: It has been a progression, getting use to getting older and being a role player on a team, moving away from home and having to grow up. I think I’ve done all right. I was young. I acted young, I did immature things, you know, and I’ve progressed to a point where I’m like, “I’m too old to be doing that crap anymore (laughs).”
I was a party kid. I loved a good time. I still love a good time. Kids do that stuff, and I sure did. I was a long way from home. Nothing to do in my spare time, so I got into some mischief. Never been to jail. I’d never hurt anybody. I have very pure intentions, but I do manage to get myself in some mischief. I get into situations where I think, “What the hell was I thinking?”
Q: Any glimpse you can give us of a young, immature Lauren Jackson?
A: What about skinny dipping at Alki Beach? It was summer, but it was bloody cold, I’m telling you. It was a bit of a dare. A couple of us went. I don’t want to implicate anyone in my narrative, but I had a couple of teammates and some friends with me. After a concert one night, we had a few drinks. … It was sooooo cold. Might been in there (water) for about five minutes. It was very late at night, so nobody saw. It was very innocent, harmless fun.
Q: That sort of thing is behind you now, right? No more skinny dipping?
LJ: I still get into mischief occasionally, so I’m not going to say it’s all behind me. These are the best years of my life, right? Gotta enjoy ‘em while I can, and I will.