Editor’s note: Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans will have a weekly conversation with a newsmaker in the WNBA. This week she speaks with Storm guard Tanisha Wright, who is co-captain of the team in the absence of all-stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson’s due to injury.
How do you rate Seattle (7-10) headed into the second half of the season?
Wright: We weren’t able to win close games, not able to win tough games. We hurt ourselves in most of those games, those (poor) first quarters were killing us. But we understand we’re a better team than what we showed because we’ve seen glimpses. Not just for a quarter, but we’ve played some really, really good basketball.
Are you surprised you’d be in the playoffs if the season ended today?
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Wright: Nothing surprises me after the year we had in 2012. We lost like six or seven in a row and ended up sliding into the playoffs.
Which was tougher, 2012 with the injuries, or 2013 without Bird and Jackson and with all the new faces?
Wright: Last year was much harder. This season has at least been enjoyable. It isn’t all for nothing. The way we’re playing this year — the grit, the attitude, the not laying down — that’s a lot better than what we had last year. We’re doing a good job defensively. There are games where we’ve held teams to 60, 65 points. It’s fun when you have people to play with who have that type of (defense-minded) attitude.
Chemistry-wise, it’s a flashback to 2010, regularly hanging out in packs. How was “Fast and Furious 6,” by the way?
Wright: Yeah, I went with Nakia (Sanford) and them. For the most part, it was cool. There were some parts that; OK, this is a little bit overboard. But we had a good time with all of the action shots.
What, you didn’t think Vin Diesel jumping from a speeding car over a bridge to save his girlfriend, who leapt from a speeding tank, was plausible?
Wright: Yeah, that was just a little bit overboard.
Are you a fan of the series?
Wright: I’ve watched them all. Only the first two and the last two were good. “Tokyo Drift” with Lil’ Bow Bow was whack.
Back to basketball, when the season started, you were concerned about possible knee surgery. You took your doctor’s other choice to heal your knees naturally through rest and rehab. So, how are they feeling?
Wright: Taking a year off was probably the best decision of my career. It really allowed me to go home and shut off physically, mentally, everything and just rest. It gets achy but it’s not stopping me from what I want to do. Last year, I was a gimp. I don’t know what it is, but I just praise God. The healing He provided is amazing. I literally haven’t thought about it. I did what the doctors told me and it really helped.
Do you have more of an understanding of Sue and Lauren’s decisions, then?
Wright: Absolutely. When your body tells you to stop, there’s a reason why. Now I see that much clearer, especially the mental part. You want to be perfect out there and you’re not performing the way you’re capable of because of the injury. That’s stress. You take a hit mentally, too, and need to recover.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.