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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

May 9, 2007 at 6:28 PM

Guilty pleasure

Sometimes I’ll check out the TV show “The Game” because as a coach’s kid, it’s always interesting to see how the women behind-the-scenes are depicted in Hollywood. This Monday the WNBA will get a little plug via a guest appearance by Los Angeles center Lisa Leslie.
Of course Leslie, 34, is now eight months pregnant. Word out of LA is that she’s huge from the front, but you can barely tell she’s pregnant from the back. On “The Game,” you can see a little bump (scroll down).
After preparing her new Dallas home for baby, Leslie is at training camp mentoring the new players and helping everyone get acclimated, according to a team spokeswoman. The Sparks aren’t counting on the three-time league MVP to return for the upcoming season, then quickly add that knowing Leslie, she probably will.
It reminded me of a funny start to an interview with Storm coach Anne Donovan after Leslie made the winter announcement of her pregnancy. I teasingly asked Donovan if she was one of the coaches to send a gift basket since LA appears out of the race for the Western Conference championship without its star.
“A gift basket? No, I was not,” Donovan replied as if the idea repulsed her. The two are friends as Donovan is the coach of USA Basketball and Leslie is a three-time Olympian. During the WNBA season it’s on, however.
“Lisa is saying she won’t come back, but if she has the baby in June, she could very well come back by the end of the season,” Donovan continued. “I don’t think you can completely count her out.”
True. Sheryl Swoopes and DeMya Walker are two mothers who not only returned weeks after delivering their first child, but won WNBA titles, Swoopes in 1997 with Houston and Walker in 2005 with Sacramento.
But the Storm (read: Lauren Jackson) may not have to deal with Leslie this season, anyway. With a due date in June, she’ll miss the matchup at Staples Center on June 24 and the July 3 game at KeyArena and July 10 match back in LA.
There is the season finale on Aug. 17 at KeyArena. Leslie loves theatrics, so my bet is she plays that night and leads the Sparks deep into the postseason.
Or maybe that’s just her hormones talking.

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