Posted at 6:56 PM on April 23, 2008
by David Zingler
Note: We've been contemplating making "Bleacher Bums" an all-sports blog; just to test the waters I've decided to place an occasional random non-baseball related entry. Any feedback you have on this idea would be greatly appreciated.
The Minnesota Lynx opened their 10th training camp on Sunday without most of the team's star players, including Seimone Augustus, Lindsey Harding and first round pick Candice Wiggins, who are fulfilling lucrative overseas commitments.
Second year guard Noelle Quinn is one of the few returning players in town at the start of camp. The 4th overall pick in the 2007 draft finished her rookie year strong after struggling early. She took some time out to talk to me about her mindset heading into the season.
DZ: I imagine this year has a different feel for you than last year. Can you talk about that a little bit?
QUINN: Definitely. Last year with the excitement of coming into training camp it was kind like I was coming in blindfolded. I didn't know what to expect with new coaches and a new environment. But now I am a second year vet and I have to take on more of a leadership role since I've been through it (before).
DZ: Did you have much contact with your teammates in the offseason?
QUINN: Yeah, I was in Russia, so I hung out with Seimone (Augustus) a couple of times. I just recently talked with her the other day and I talked to (Nicole) Ohlde not too long ago, she's overseas too.
DZ: Did you play overseas at all?
QUINN: I didn't play in games because my paperwork situation got complicated...I was on a team with Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and Tina Thompson. I was able to work out and practice with them and just get better and learn from them too.
DZ: Being a guard, you have a lot competition this year with Candice Wiggins and Anna DeForge coming in and of course, Seimone. How do you approach that?
QUINN: I think I have an advantage by being here early in training camp. I was just talking to Coach Z (Don Zierden) and I am actually running the point so it's a little bit different. I don't look at it as a competition; I look at it as our team getting better. What I can do to help the team is just come in here and work hard and get better. I just try to focus on that.
DZ: I notice you've been around here the last couple weeks, what have you been doing to keep yourself busy around town?
QUINN: I've been doing appearances and stuff for the Lynx. I am really a "chill" person, so I hang out at home, go to the Mall of America...random stuff (like) movies.
No offense to your interviewee, but please keep "Bleacher bums" an all baseball site. As I get older I find my tolerance for other sports waning with each fist-pumping-high-five-dancing touchdown or slam-dunk that's been seen a thousand times. Baseball is in a different category. Sure, some of the players mimic their cross-sports colleagues, but the game still seems bigger than any one player. Witness how much enthusiasm is still present after the steroid issues, and how no one seems to miss Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, or Sosa. In what other sport can your bottom rung players carry the day when the megastars are slumping?