Chat with Lauren Jackson
Jackson was the 2010 WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, two-time WNBA champion and Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson stops by to chat about the 2011 season.
Jackson won her third WNBA MVP award last season by averaging 20.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. She has made a huge impact on the league and her team since entering the WNBA in 2001. In addition to the three MVP awards, she also was named to the WNBA all-decade team and has won three silver medals as a member of the Australian Olympic basketball team.
Help vote this seven-time All-Star to yet another All-Star game as balloting opens up Saturday, June 11 at 8 p.m. ET.
Send your questions now and join Jackson Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:26 PM)
Seattle Storm's Lauren Jackson will be here in a few minutes to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (2:27 PM)
Lauren is here!
In Australia, what is the difference in the game...more or less physical?
Lauren Jackson (2:28 PM)
I think talentwise, we don't have the talent that the Americans have. The population is a lot smaller. The game is more physical over here. It's more professional. In Australia, culturally it's different too. Here, it's something that you can strive to career wise. In Australia, you need another job besides playing basketball.
Lauren, what are you looking forward to the most about this season?
Lauren Jackson (2:29 PM)
Getting back into the season. I'm looking forward to our team to get rolling. Over the last few years, it's taken us some time to gel. I'm looking forward to getting on the road, playing on the road, traveling. Having fun. I'm at the stage of my career, I want to enjoy the last few years of my career.
Hi Loz. Firstly, glad to see you back healthy from the achilles injury! I have followed you on twitter and it sounds like you had a very relaxing off-season. Do you think because of that time off it will take you a while to get back to top form again?
Lauren Jackson (2:31 PM)
In Australia, I was working very hard at rehab. I was in the gym every day. It's not like I was at the beach every day, which would have been lovely, don't get me wrong. It will take me some time to get used to the physicality. But I'm not too concerned. I feel really refreshed. That's a good thing. In the next few days as we really get into the season, I feel really confident.
Getting younger everyday...LOL, An Olympic gold! Where does that rank in the whole scheme of things?
Lauren Jackson (2:32 PM)
That's sort of the only thing that I haven't done in my career. The Australian team has always been so good to me. I feel like I'm doing everything I can to help the team play for that medal. It's one of those things that America has the best players in the world, no doubt about that. we know we'll have to play special to win gold. It will be my last Olympics, so I want to give it all I have because my country has been so supportive of me and what I've been through.
Caleb Currier (Onida, SD)
Whoops didn't finish...How were you able to get back?
Lauren Jackson (2:34 PM)
I think with our team, we have a lot of veterans and belief in each other. It's something that just doesn't happen, it's built up over time. For us to get down that many points, hopefully it doesn't hapen again. We're too proud to have games like that. It was a little humiliating. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, so to speak. It happened a couple of times last year as well. You feel horrible after them. In those moments, you realize how much the games mean to you. I went to breakfast with Sue this morning and we talked about some things. We feel confident we'll be better.
Based on the first couple of games, who do you think is your biggest competition in the East and the West?
Lauren Jackson (2:35 PM)
Obviously, Minnesota, it goes without saying. They were just unbelieveable last night. The efficiency that they played. I don't think I've seen a team that good in the WNBA. They'll be the team to beat. Playing them early was good, now we know what we have to do.
Bird fans fly in any weather! (Louisiana)
How much has the WNBA helped the Australian women prepare fopr the Olympics?
Lauren Jackson (2:36 PM)
My opinion is that it differs from some of the others. The girls should be over here playing. This league makes you better. If I didn't come over here when I did, I would never be as good a player as I am now. Never. The younger players that have the talent should give it a go. Even being in the WNBA will give you opportunities in Europe. I think it's very important that the younger players try to get gigs over here and try to make it work.
Hi Lauren i was wondering what is it like playing with Sue Bird your whole wnba career? Oh yeah and your the best in the world and Seattle loves you
Lauren Jackson (2:37 PM)
She's been amazing. She's a great player. She's a stabilizing person in my life. On the court, I can't imagine being over here and not playing with her. She's the best point guard in the world and she makes you better. I'm just privileged to know her and call her my good friend.
Jodie (Avoca Beach, Australia)
Do you think flopping is cheating? Should floppers be fined? Should coaches get a video review and flopper gets t'd up?
Lauren Jackson (2:38 PM)
Yes, I do think so. I think it takes away from the game. But unfortunately with the refs, it's hard to see who's flopping and who's not. Technically, we're told not to flop. Every season the refs come around and tell us the consequences. But yeah, I think it should be banned. I'm not a fan of the flop.
Kaileigh (Port Orchard, WA)
Basketball has a large mental aspect to it; Do you find yourself getting distracted with other issues instead of just playing the game?
Lauren Jackson (2:40 PM)
I think so. It depends on who you are and deal with things. I know people who step on the court and forget about everything off the court. For me, I think too much. Every day I'm thinking about my family or what's going on. I hold on to things. There is definitely a mental aspect to it. For me, when I get to that point where I can't really focus on the game, I go back to where it's on the play ground. You leave all your issues off the court. When I get distracted, that's where I go, the play ground. I'm human, so things are going to effect you.
Matt (Sandusky, OH)
After playing in the WNBA for 10+ seasons, what is the biggest difference that you have noticed in the league from your rookie season compared to today?
Lauren Jackson (2:41 PM)
I think the game is evolving. You're starting to see players now do things that the guys can do. It's fun. Some of the rookies coming through now have the world in front of them. THe players are getting better. It's great. More athletic. Tall, everything.
Birdy 10 (LOUISIANA)
Swin cash brings a lot of energy to the Storm...what are the roles of some of the other Storm players?
Lauren Jackson (2:42 PM)
As we've all played together for so long, we're comfortable in the roles we have for each other. When we do have off nights, we're able to look back on it and say this is what I didn't do right. We have the maturity as a veteran team to analyze our parts. Swin definitely brings so much energy. Without her, we wouldn't have won the championship last year. I'm sure we'll get back there again.
I'm thinking about travelling somewhere in the fall with Australia as one of the places in the running. Convince me why I should go there.
Lauren Jackson (2:44 PM)
It's beautiful. What else can I say? Australia is amazing. It's a beautiful country. It's weird that I feel as connected to that land. The water, rain, it's all beautiful. Go to Sydney. It's the most beautiful city in the world.
Lauren Jackson (2:44 PM)
Thank you very much. It's been fun. Go WNBA!