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July 27, 2019

Elena Delle Donne

Las Vegas, Nevada - Postgame

Team Wilson - 129, Team Delle Donne - 126

Q. Elena, I know you came out on the short end of this again as captain. Are you going to revisit your drafting strategy in the future?
ELENA DELLE DONNE: No. I'm just glad it was a really good game and Team Delle Donne woke up in the second half a little bit. But I thought it was a really great game for the fans. It was exciting. Got a lot of threes up, so it was good.

Q. We asked A'ja and Kayla, there was a moment just seeing you guys all out there, it looked like everybody was sort of tearing up over Erica. It seems like this is a moment nobody expects from an All-Star Game that it would mean that much to win an MVP. Can you share your thoughts on her journey and what you saw out there?
ELENA DELLE DONNE: Yeah, just looking where she's come from, and probably at times feeling like she was the only one who believed in herself, and that's why she's here, because she never doubted herself. She continued to believe. She's worked so hard. You can see it in her game from year to year, her improvement and the way she's been able to shoot the ball so much better now. It's super impressive that she can make strides like that so quickly.

It's a really cool moment for all of us players to share in it. We know how hard it is to get to moments like these, so to see her get emotional like that was really nice, and she should really soak this in.

Q. Your thoughts on the experimental subbing process, the hockey style kind of thing. Something they're trying out that's new.
ELENA DELLE DONNE: It was fun for an All-Star Game. I definitely don't want to see it in regular games. There was one time Sylvia Fowles came out of nowhere and got a rebound, and I was like, "When did you get in the game?" So yeah, it's cool for an All-Star Game, but do not bring that into our games, please.

Q. What's it like getting the support of people in the crowd like Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Megan Rapinoe out there supporting you and what you do? What does it feel to have people like that out here?
ELENA DELLE DONNE: It means so much, especially people who know the game of basketball and who respect it this much. It definitely means a lot for them to come out and support. For some reason, I feel like it helps get rid of those trolls a little bit. Unfortunately there's people out there that can't just respect women and respect them for dominating in a sport, but if they see Kobe Bryant respecting women dominating, then they're like, okay, I can get on board. So it's huge for people like that to step up and support us.

Q. You're pivoting back now to the Mystics, going for the championship. Any scouting you gained from being teammates with the Mercury opponents you're going to face on Tuesday night? And what are your biggest -- what is your biggest focus headed into this push for the championship?
ELENA DELLE DONNE: Well, DB [DeWanna Bonner] can shoot the ball from pretty much anywhere on the court, which we already knew, and BG [Brittney Griner] is impossible to stop with just one player, which we already knew. So yeah, we've got to get back now to practice and lock back in. I hope everybody had a good rest and they're ready to go. For us, our focus right now will be defense and defensive rebounding.

Q. The commissioner earlier was talking about the partnership with USA Basketball and she announced that you would be part of that. Can you talk a little bit about why you decided to sign up and be part?
ELENA DELLE DONNE: I mean, whenever USA Basketball calls, it's no question in my mind that I want to be a part of what they're doing. It's always excellence. It's an organization that's run the best, and it's great. Like we finally get to have kind of an off-season together where we actually train and get fans engaged and excited for an Olympic year coming up. So I think this is going to be huge, not just from a basketball standpoint but getting the country behind us.

Q. Away from the All-Star Game and getting back to the regular season, curious, when you make this next West Coast trip you're going to have to do a stopover in Vegas to make that up. How do you gear up for half of a game you're up but Vegas is playing some of its best basketball? Have you guys talked about that, thought about that?
ELENA DELLE DONNE: Yeah, we're going to have to prepare for it like any other game and just kind of not play a second half. So I feel like we're going to prepare for it, come out like it's the first half of the game, like it's 0-0. They're playing great basketball, like you said. They're really tough on their home court. You see their fan base. So we've got to definitely be ready and focused.

Q. What would you like to see from the WNBA five to ten years from now? Where do you imagine the game in the States as well as international?
ELENA DELLE DONNE: I think it would be nice to see every game like this. I mean, you see what happens when there's an investment in a team. I mean, the Aces are, what, two years young, and look what they've been able to do. It proves that it works. I think we can look to the Aces and see what they did this entire All-Star, what they've been doing with their team. You see them everywhere. They're marketed very well, and kind of take that model and run with it.

Q. Would you rather have more games during the season in the future, or would you rather have more teams?
ELENA DELLE DONNE: I'd rather have what generates the most money.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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