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September 20, 2005

Kara Lawson

Nicole Powell


THE MODERATOR: Next up we'll have Sacramento forward Nicole Powell and Kara Lawson.

Q. Nicole, last year you was with a team -- well, let's not get into that. But how do you feel now? Last year you was frustrated with your playing time on the East Coast but this year now you're a champion. Tell us about it.

NICOLE POWELL: It just, excuse my voice. It hurts to talk right now. I've been screaming so much. I'm just so happy to be here. It's just incredible. Obviously it doesn't even compare. Just to come here and the team and to play with people like Yo and Kara and Ticha, I mean, it's been an incredible ride. From where we started in training camp, day one, meeting everybody, to now, it's just awesome. I'm just happy I came here. I can't really explain it. I'm just happy to be here right now. Happy to be part of it.

Q. You were a little worried about making the team, too?

NICOLE POWELL: Well, they got shooters here, too, you know. Coach Whisenant made the trade. He had a lot of confidence in me from the beginning. The entire coaching staff. And my teammates have been so supportive and you think that's what really characterizes this team. We have just trusted each other from day one. We have been encouraging through ups and downs, injuries. It doesn't matter what. We just stuck together. And we knew what we could accomplish and we did it.

Q. Kara, this team was, had so many things to get over this season. With your injury in the very first game, and then DeMya and then Ticha in the playoffs and everything like that, did it just make you guys tougher? Is that what happened?

KARA LAWSON: I think so. Injuries have a tendency to bind teams closer together. It forces other people to step up and realize their role and that they're a bigger part of our team. My injury early on gave a lot of our younger players, especially perimeter players, a chance to get a lot of minutes early in the season and get acclimated to the league. DeMya's injury gave Rebekkah Brunson a great opportunity to get minutes. And there's no way we win this game tonight without her performance. She was unbelievable the way she stepped up and played. Of course when Ticha went down, all of us on the perimeter had to step up and get through that Houston series. So we have a firm belief in one another and we know what we're good at and we try to do those things. We don't try to be another team. We don't try to recreate our identity. We have a firm belief and that stems from our coaching staff and captains that we can win the way we play. And we proved that tonight.

Q. How great is it not only to win a championship but to win it here on the home floor at ARCO Arena and in front of such a great crowd tonight? Kara, why don't you go first .

KARA LAWSON: Man, we, I tell you what, we wanted to win here so bad. Me and Nicole, we were real nervous before the game. We just talked about how it would be special to win it here. How we didn't want to go back to Connecticut. This was the most nervous I was before any game in my life that I've ever played, because of the importance of it, because how good that team is in the other locker room and knowing how tough it would be to win a Game 5 on their home court. So winning here with so many fans for this city that's never seen a title, for us to be able to win it at home and enjoy our family and friends, it's a great feeling to do it in ARCO, which we think we have the best fans in the league. So I'm glad we won. It's good.

NICOLE POWELL: Do you want me to answer? Same thing. Yeah, like she said, we were nervous. Before tip-off I was walking out there and I just looked around and the support we had was incredible. And I was like, "I'm just going to enjoy this." Sacramento's a great place. The fans -- Yo talked about this, they have been here supporting the team since it's been here. So to come here, it's just, the way they embrace the players, it's been awesome.

Q. You two are the hired guns for the Monarchs. In the second half, you didn't make a three until the second half. Were you looking to hit a big shot to get the team from the offensive doldrums, to get them going? I think you hit the first three, right? Nicole? And so what were you looking for, the three or was it just something that happened?

NICOLE POWELL: I don't think I was necessarily trying to make a big play or make a spectacular play. I think I just wanted play my game. If I got an open look, take it, be relaxed. Just shoot it like it's any other game. And we talked about that at halftime. We were a little bit nervous, but just to come out and continue to play our game and run it. So I didn't really try to do something special. Just stick with what I've been doing.

KARA LAWSON: I think you have to credit their defense in the first half. They really pressured Nicole and I and didn't want to us even catch the ball. And when we came off screens, they were right there. So our post players, especially DeMya in the stretch in the second half, getting a lot of one-on-ones and scoring, that kind of loosened everything up to us, and that's how we play, inside out. So if our inside scorers can get one-and-ones and be successful, then that's going to open up the outside for us.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts...

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