It's a great time of year
As I write this, we are sitting in the Cleveland airport during a stop-over on our way to Indiana. We will face the defending WNBA champion Fever at 8 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN2.
It’s always exciting to play on ESPN in front of a national audience. We don’t get to do it very often, and I love the fact that so many of my family and friends from all over the country will be able to watch me perform. There is always an extra buzz in the air.
Wednesday night will also be special because it is the first time we have been to Indiana since the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. The last time we were there, Indiana beat us with a shot at the buzzer in Game 2 and then came back to beat us at home in Game 3. They won the series and went on to defeat Minnesota for the WNBA championship.
It’s a tough game whenever we play the Fever. Both teams may not have the records they expected when the season began, but it’s early and this will be a big game for us. Personally, Indiana is always a challenge.
For me, this is usually a fun time of the year. We are just getting into the heart of our WNBA season and the NBA Finals are going on. As some of you may know, I am a huge New York Knicks fan, and have been for as long as I can remember. My parents were addicted to the Knicks when I was growing up in Queens, so I guess it was natural for me to follow their lead.
Back then, the Knicks were good enough to contend for an NBA title, but never quite good enough to win. Those were great teams, though.
My first memory of the Knicks in the playoffs was a four-point play Larry Johnson converted to help the Knicks win Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana in 1999. And then there were all those tough matchups between the Knicks and the Miami Heat. Those two teams always seemed to be fighting, and Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy was in the middle of everything. One memory that will always stand out to me from those Heat-Knicks playoff matchups was the shot Allan Houston hit over Dan Majerle, a floater he made that helped us win the game. Those were such intense playoff series.
Because of those memories, you might not be surprised to find out I am rooting for the San Antonio Spurs in this year’s NBA Finals. But not for the reason you may think.
I love Tim Duncan and his game. Just the way he approaches his work and how he sets the tone for his team every night. That is something I would love to mirror.
It’s going to be hard for the Heat to go to San Antonio and win some games. There is a great atmosphere at that place. The Spurs always seem to rise to the occasion, especially when they play in front of their home fans.
We won’t be in front of our home fans Wednesday, but I am going to do what I can to rise to the occasion against Indiana. Playing on ESPN against a great opponent should be enough to bring out the best in any athlete.
Hope you all will be watching!