Editor's note: Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans will have a weekly conversation with a newsmaker in the WNBA. This week she speaks with Tulsa coach Teresa Edwards
Editor’s note: Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans will have a weekly conversation with a newsmaker in the WNBA. This week she speaks with Tulsa coach Teresa Edwards, a five-time Olympian who’ll be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in August.
Q: Did you make the trip to San Antonio for the All-Star Game on Saturday?
Teresa Edwards: No, I didn’t make the trip. I’m still filling in the gap from this transition, hiring coaches to complete the staff. It’s too much work! Then, I’m trying to make a practice schedule.
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Q: Your team is 1-14 heading into the second half of play, and the WNBA record for fewest wins in a season is three. Will you need an All-Star performance to avoid that mark?
TE: It’s not something we’re even entertaining right now. I’m too much of a winner to think like that. We understand the dynamics of what we’re dealing with here — it’s the second year. There’s been a whole roster shift almost each year. We have to create a face and an image and Liz (Cambage) brings that, as well as Tiffany (Jackson) and Kayla Pedersen; they’re playing some excellent ball this year. We just have to build … and in the process hope we win.
Q: You’ll take a break (Aug. 11-13) to be inducted in the Naismith Hall of Fame, missing the trip to Seattle. Do you have everything planned?
TE: That’s why I missed the game Saturday — I was out trying to find something (to wear) while I could breathe for a second. I’ve never been there. Why would I go? … My life has been based on work and rarely do you have leisure time. I figured one day I’d get there.
Q: Was it hard was to cut Marion Jones, whose jersey was a WNBA top-seller?
TE: Marion was a special young lady. Of course everyone knows her track history, but when you get to know her, I can’t tell you how much respect I have for her as a woman. It was a tough decision, I had to make it. (I’m) trying some different things and looks. I really think Karima Christmas should bring a different intensity and I’m hoping the big girl, Abi Olajuwon, that she brings us some good defense and finishing touches on the inside as well. We couldn’t stay the same.
Q: You were a head coach in the defunct ABL. Is this something you want to continue to do?
TE: I guess I’ll figure that out in two months at the end of the season, to be honest. I do like setting the tone and to direct and see if my directions lead to something. I stepped into the role with confidence, but I’m still learning and the kids are still laughing at me and that’s cool. I’m enjoying it and hopefully in two months, I’ll be saying the same thing.