Photo Credit: theseattlelesbian.com
The Hype Magazine had the opportunity for an in-depth and candid interview with one of the best basketball players to ever pick up a basketball male or female. That player being global icon, Lauren Jackson now if you ask her, she will tell you that “ She had a great career, but I do not know about those accolades.” The Hype Magazine was fortunate to be granted access to cover Lauren’s Retirement Ceremony earlier this year in Seattle Washington, where the Seattle Storm raised her number 15 into the rafters of Key Arena. It was a night that saw the Storm defeat The Washington Mystics 80-51. In addition, it was also filled with countless video tributes from current and former; coaches, players, opposites, her Olympic teammates, and the WNBA President Laurel J. Richie.
Photo Credit: sbs.com.au
During the interview, it was stated that Lauren and her counterpart on the court Sue Bird reminded Interviewer Landon Buford of the WNBA’s version two dynamic duos. One of those being the obvious John Stockton and “The Mailman” Karl Malone and being another great duo during their time in Seattle of Shawn ‘The Reignman” Kemp and “The Glove” Gary Payton. In response, Lauren stated “It is truly an honor to be mentioned with basketball players that have done so much for the game of basketball.
Lauren also shares with us who she thought was her toughest opponent while playing in the WNBA. In addition, she talks about if she is selected, to The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and who she would like to induct her. We at The Hype Magazine would like to thank Lauren for taking the time to talk with us and you enjoy the conversation below!
When you hear your name with other basketball greats like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett. What does that me to Lauren Jackson the person, being that you are a future Hall of Famer in your own right?
It is a really special class! It doesn’t feel real because my career ended very abruptly and I did have an amazing career when I was in the States, but being able to retire with such talented individuals such as you mentioned is a huge honor for me and it just does not get any better than that.
You and Sue Bird are arguably the best one, two punch in the WNBA History, can you tell us how you both were able to complement each other so well on the court?
I think a lot of it had to do with us coming into the league a year apart and really having so much in common from our ages, playing style and having to grow up together in the league helped us complement each other on and off the court. Sue definitely brought out the best in me and I know that as a basketball player. I am not sure if I actually played with anyone else as well as I did with Sue, maybe Kristi Harrower, but not at this level. Sue and I just had that immediate chemistry on the floor, she is the sort of player if I ever needed to understand something she was always there to certify things. That was just the type of relationship we had and those are the type of memories I will cherish and never forget.
How much does the 2016 WNBA’s Rookie of the Year Breanna Stewart remind you of yourself at this stage of her career?
I think its more of the expectations and everything that it brings she has come into the league with a large amount of pressure and she has really risen to the challenge. She is a very talented individual and it is pretty exciting to watch because Breanna is such an amazing player.
You have won countless awards, championships, and 3 Olympic silver medals, are there any of those achievements that you will cherish the most?
I think everything that we were able to accomplished in Seattle to me from the championships to the all-star games with Sue was very special to me because I put in some much time and effort to make a name for myself and the championships in the WNBA would have to be at the top of my list.
Is there any community events to raise awareness towards domestic violence, that you will be involved with going into 2017
recently attended an event to raise awareness towards domestic violence called “1800Respect” and its the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence living in Australia to call anonymously to receive advice and counseling services.
During your career was there someone besides Lisa Leslie, that you enjoyed competing against?
I cannot really say I always enjoyed playing against Lisa Leslie it was a continuous battle and it’s not something that I think I thrived on. What I can say is the competition and the emotional high is something I enjoyed the most, but another tough opponent would have to be Sylvia Fowles. She really pushed me as well and every time I had to guard her it felt like I was running into a brick wall. Sylvia was one of those players that really brought the best out of me and I can not say it was the most enjoyable moments for me, but I have to give her props. She was the one player out of everyone else in the league that made me want to battle the hardest. Even to this day, we have a great relationship because of our battles over the years and I thank her for that.
Is there anyone that you have in mind at this time to help induct you into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame?
I have such a special relationship with Sue our friendship and then my Mother and Father they have been the ones who have been through everything with me and they would probably get the most joy doing it. As far as a coach, I would have to say, Brian Agler, my parents, Tom Maher, and Sue.
Photo Credit: The Australian
Who were some of the individuals you wanted to model your game after coming up at a young age
t was not one particular person, but both my parents represented Australia and being that athletics ran in the family I was able to improve on those traits. People always use to tell me I had my father’s athleticism and my mother’s veracity and tried to emulate them as much as possible on the court. Where that was putting up 500 shot a day or the little details that made them both great players. They were both my role models we really did not any woman basketball players on television growing up so, my family was really the competition that helped me early on in my life.
Who are some of the musicians you used to listen to help prepare you for games during your career?
Early on artist Marilyn Mason, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, and things of that nature. But as I got older it was more Australian artists Mid Night Oil, Crowded House, INXS, and AC/DC.
Photo Credit : Melbourne Boomers
Can you tell us what your new role with the Melbourne Boomers of the WNBL will entail ?
I am the commercial operations manager for the team and what that entails bring in sponsorship opportunities, community events as well as media coverage. We do not have the staff that the I was a part of during my time in Seattle since there are only three of us, but it gives me the professional experience that I did not have . It gives me entry level experience to prepare me for future opportunities.
Finally, do you have any ambitions to rejoin the Seattle Storm in some form or capacity in the future
es, we kind of discussed some things during my time back in the states earlier this year and if they did offer me a position I would definitely be interested, but we will have to wait and see what the future has in store. Seattle was my home for such a young time and being able to come back this past July was very special to me. I need a place like that and Seattle was able to provide it. So, I would like to thank the Storm organization for what they have done for me and my family.
Featured Photo: ESPN