We all know Lindsay Whalen. We know who she is and what she’s done. In an era where the term has been become an overused cliché, Whalen genuinely is a Minnesota icon. She’s as recognizable as the Paul Bunyan statue and well known as the State Fair. I had a chance to ask her a few questions before Tuesday’s 85-82 win over New York.
DZ: You guys have had an up and down first half, how would you describe the team’s progress so far?
WHALEN: Well we have a game right before the All Star break, so we’re focused on that and we will come out here and play hard tonight.
DZ: As a veteran player, in the last 10 years or so what’s gotten easier for you and what’s gotten harder?
WHALEN: I think easier… you’ve seen every coverage, you’ve seen the way teams play things so you’ve seen all types of different ways that people are going to play a pick and roll, a post-up so you are ready for that, you’re in your rhythm, you’ve done it for so many times that that’s kind of; you’ve expected that. Harder, is just the players are getting so much better, which is great, which is a great sign for the league and for women’s basketball. Players are getting a lot better which is really good, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. There’s supposed to be challenges like that, it’s supposed to be harder and whatnot, but in the last 10 years we’ve been to six finals, won four so it’s been a good ten years.
DZ: Now transitioning with your other job too as well, what’s the biggest difference in mindset between being a player and a coach?
WHALEN: I’ll probably find out when I’m a coach. I mean I am doing both right now but I am still playing, I mean that’s been my – I’m in the season so I’ve been able to do some things as far as coaching but I think it’ll come a lot down to more film study, a lot of preparation, a lot of mental part of the game, motivating your players, but I’ll be able to know that a lot more once I really get into it. Once I really get into full coach being there. This season, I’ve been there when I can but this is, right now we’re 10 games to go so we’re really trying to make a push here towards the playoffs and making sure that we’re playing really well this second half.
DZ: Do you have any big plans for the All Star break?
WHALEN: I’m going to go recruiting for a couple days and I’m going to come to the game and that’s about it.
DZ: As your career winds down as a player, what would you like your legacy to be?
WHALEN: That’s not for me to really worry about, I’ve left it all on the court. I’ve accomplished everything as a probably that you could do as a pro, so I don’t know, just good teammate, hard worker. All those type of things, I think the body of work will speak for itself.
See more of David Zingler’s 2018 player interviews:
June 29: Tanisha Wright
June 8: Logan Morrison
June 4: Mitch Garver
April 17: Brian Dozier
April 15: Ryan LaMarre
April 14: Addison Reed
January 27: Chip Lohmiller