Lisa Leslie Q&A: ‘Basketball is basketball; it doesn?t have a gender’ (USA)
After adding a number of new stars over the offseason, the Big3?s third season gets underway on June 22. Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie?joined the three-on-three league several months ago and she will be coaching Triplets, which is a team that features Joe Johnson, Al Jefferson, Jannero Pargo, Chris Johnson, Alan Anderson and Sergio Gibson.
Leslie is the second woman to become a head coach in the Big3. She joins Nancy Lieberman, who won the championship and the league?s Coach of the Year award last season (in her first year as a head coach).
Over the course of Leslie?s 12-year WNBA career, she averaged 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.4 steals. She won two WNBA titles, three Most Valuable Player awards, two Defensive Player of the Year and four Olympic gold medals. She is also the WNBA?s all-time leader in points (6,263) and rebounds (3,307). In 2002, she made history as the first WNBA player to dunk in a game.
HoopsHype caught up with Leslie to discuss her decision to coach in the Big3, the adjustment from five-on-five to three-on-three, being a trail blazer, the state of the WNBA (and basketball as a whole) and more.
When did you decide to get involved with the Big3 and what attracted you to the league?
Lisa Leslie: I actually watched the Big3 with my husband during the first season and I loved it. I used to play three-on-three at Venice Beach, so I really respect the game when it comes to three-on-three. What a lot of people don?t understand about three-on-three is how physical it is and how important it is to be a two-way player. You really have to play well on offense and defense or you?re going to get exposed out there. I really enjoyed watching the first season of the Big3 and I thought it was a huge success.
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