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May 2, 2006 at 9:08 AM

B-verified

When a player speaks in third-person, you tend to think they have the capability to not only nickname themselves, but get people to follow along. New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury did it with his “Star-bury” tag and I would have bet money that Betty Lennox did the same.
And lost.
Turns out new assistant coach Heidi VanDerveer of that VanDerveer lineage started the whole “B-Money” phenomenon.
“I should have trademarked it,” she said in a recent interview.
Lennox and VanDerveer were together in Minnesota when the player was a rookie and the coach was an assistant under Brian Agler. Lennox, fresh off winning the 2000 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year honors, was torching the Lynx baskets with prime-time shots and VanDerveer shouted something like, “You’re hot! You’re B-Money!”
It stuck. One, because Lennox hates her first name. (“I don’t know what my mom was thinking. I don’t look like a Betty,” she said on Monday) And two, because Lennox exited that training camp to average 16.9 points and be named an All-Star and Rookie of the Year. It’s still her best statistical summer in five WNBA seasons.
“I think she has it [the moniker] on a belt buckle,” VanDerveer said.
For the record, it’s not on a belt buckle. A fan made Lennox a silver, diamond-studded money clip displaying the name, which she keeps in her trophy case in Missouri.
“When [Heidi] came to this team, I guess she told Anne [Donovan], ‘You know, I really nicknamed Betty ‘B-Money,'” Lennox said. “Anne called me up and said, ‘Did she really?’ I said, ‘Yeah! She gave me that B-Money name.’ The reason why she gave it to me is I’m a hard worker out there who tries to make every shot and it [the name] fits real good.”
Lennox played in China this past offseason where she said she dropped weight from not eating the food. She returned to Storm training camp healthy after suffering injuries in both wrists last season and noticeably bulkier.
“Are you saying I look bigger?” she when asked whether she had been lifting.
Yes.
“Thank you,” she said.
Lennox, anticipating doing a lot of driving and creating with the league’s new 24-second shot clock, focused on building up muscle. Quick scoring has never been a problem for the Storm, but the new rules could help Lennox continue her rise to that rookie season shooting form. She averaged 11.2 points last summer, her best since 2000.
Woof, woof
So, I’m chillin’ in the Sonics locker room this past season either waiting for Ray Allen or someone after a game when Nick Collison called me over to look at his socks. The man wears beat-up white polo shirts with spots on game day, so it was no surprise that these NBA-logo socks were tattered. He starts telling me a story about his dog (forgot what kind) and how it loves to play with Collison’s socks, but only the NBA ones.
“It was funny because the other day he barfed and Jerry West was face up in the middle of it,’ said Collison of the logo finding itself in the middle of the pile.
Adding more humor to the story, Collison still wore the non-puked one.
For the record, he made $1.8 million last season, but who am I to tell a person how to spend their dough?
Total fake
Lauren Jackson bulged eyeballs when media spotted a massive dragon tattoo crawling up the outside of her right shin. It was temporary, though. Jackson doesn’t have any new tats, that she’ll tell us, and only got the fake to freak her mother out before leaving Australia for Seattle.
“It worked!” she said.

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