There’s more to New York professional basketball than the possibility of LeBron James joining the Knicks… There’s the guarantee of Cappie Pondexter, the new star guard for the New York Liberty.
With only five years in the WNBA–Cappie, 27, who was recently traded from the Phoenix Mercury– is a Rutgers University alum (2006 Big East Player of the Year), a three-time WNBA All-Star, two-time WNBA Champion, a Finals MVP and an Olympic champion. You didn’t know?
Madame Noire caught up with the new New Yorker and we got to chat about playing at the Garden, her successful side-gig–a Madame has to plan for the future–and how the WNBA still has a way to go…
Now you know.
Madame Noire: How has the transition been from Phoenix to New York City?
I’ve only been here for a month, because I just got back from playing in Russia. Because the WNBA season is only for four-months, I have to hustle. Playing in Europe is great because the crowds are really into it, there’s always a sold-out arena. But as far as this city, I’m happy to be here and ready to win a championship. It’s been a rocky transition, not in a bad way, but I guess when you’re comfortable in a certain place for so long, you have to take some time to adjust. It’s not a bad thing at all, I welcome the challenge.
MN: How is playing in the Garden? Does it feel like home yet?
As a kid, I always watched games at the Garden and dreamed of playing there. So now, even when I walk into the arena, into the locker room, I am overwhelmed.
MN: I’ve attended NBA and WNBA games and they have a very different vibe as far as being a spectator. Do you notice that same difference on the court?
A lot of people come to the games and always say that the vibe [at WNBA games] is totally different than the NBA. They say that it’s more of a fun and welcoming environment. We can’t jump as high as the guys, or do some of the things they do–purely based on physics –but we play the game.
To me, that says a great thing about the WNBA, we actually play the game and are more fundamental. It just shows the hard work that we have to put in. When you have people that realize that, it’s a great feeling.