Some call her the GOAT, which is crazy, because she’s only 29. But the thing is, if Maya Moore retired today, she’d easily go down as one of the five greatest female basketball players of all time. That’s no cap.
So when I was offered the opportunity to interview Moore last month, I jumped at the chance. If I was writing a feature on Moore, I would have focused the interview on her life and psyche. But Steve Marsh had already deftly penned that feature for SLAM over the summer.
Instead, since I had only a 15-minute window (and just a fraction of that time to ask basketball- and career-related questions), I decided to talk to Moore about her future with the Minnesota Lynx, who appear to be entering a new chapter.
Typically coy with her responses, Moore said she was still reflecting on the past season and hadn’t seriously considered her future yet.
In one of her responses that didn’t get published (because of incomplete audio), Moore spoke about the Seattle Storm’s quick rebuild. Just three years ago, Seattle had one of the worst records in the league. And this season, they were crowned WNBA champs.
Moore said that having the No. 1 pick (two years in a row) helped that rebuild tremendously. And Sue Bird was the integral piece, carrying the burden of leadership while Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd gained their footing in the league.
Minnesota does not have the draft assets that Seattle did. And while this is conjecture on my part, I think Moore knows it would take Minnesota longer to a complete rebuild similar to Seattle’s.
Moore may not have the stomach to spend the rest of her prime with a rebuilding franchise devoid of assets. She understands this element of the league very well. But that’s just my two cents.
Here’s Moore’s response about the Storm’s rebuild (the part that I could make out clearly). Of course, to read the rest of my interview with Maya Moore, head to SLAMonline.com.
Does the Storm’s rebuild show you how quickly things can turn around with a few key moves? I believe Sue Bird even re-signed with the team at the beginning of the rebuild.
Maya Moore: You know, yes and no. I think, yes, because the difference between the best and the worst is so narrow, I think. But Sue, willing to—one of the greatest to ever play the game—her willing to commit to that rebuild, made those young players develop quicker than if she hadn’t been there.
Me being drafted to the Lynx with Lindsay Whalen, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Rebekkah Brunson, Seimone Augustus made me be greater, quicker because I had the leadership… [inaudible]
[…] take on leadership roles that they’re not ready for [inaudible] second-year players or third-year players, you have to be able to have the luxury of having at least one great leader around you. And a No. 1 draft pick gives you really good shot at getting a championship within the first four years.”