12/14/09 – Women in the NBA?

Freaknick: Recently, David Stern told Sports Illustrated that he thinks a woman could play in the NBA within 5-10 years. Phil Jackson disagrees. Who would you side with and why? If not 5-10 years, do you think we’ll ever reach that point?

Cappie Pondexter: I honestly feel that a professional woman could compete in the NBA, but as a professional player myself, why would we? This is my thought process: It’s already hard for us to compete agaisnt the NBA on so many other levels. Also, it takes away from the hard work past players put into the WNBA to get it where it is now. I think it’s better if women players continue to make the WNBA the best professional league for women. We honestly got the skills to compete with men and at the end of the day “a hooper is a hooper” regardless if you’re male or female.

Cappie, doin' work in Ekaterinburg.FN: Do you think you could play with the guys? Are there any particular WNBA players that could?

CP: Of course I can play with the guys. I grew up playing with a lot of them. Players like Will Bynum, Luther Head,and Dee Brown. I’m a ball player so I don’t mind competing against men or women. Most women who play at the highest level at some point of their lives have played with guys.

FN: Now that you’re in Europe, could you see a female player playing in one of the male professional European leagues?

CP: I mean, of course but why would a woman want to?I mean if they’re paying a nice amount I could understand or if you’re about breaking barriers then it would be a great groundbreaking experience. I would definitely do it if it’s a solid situation but it’s also hard to realistically think about “what if”…

FN: How does a typical day in the Euroleague differ from a typical day in the WNBA? Are the hotels as nice? Practices harder/easier/longer/shorter?

CP: Well besides being in another country as opposed to just another city from your original home, nothing is different. I’m all the way in Russia where it’s like negative 30 degrees and growing up in Chicago where the weather is similar, it’s not a huge change for me. UMMC treats us really nice. We charter everywhere and sleep in good hotels. Our coach believes in developing great habits in practice so we definitely go twice a day, not really wasting any time. In the WNBA we don’t practice twice, but we spend a solid hour in the gym and definitely go hard! Both teams I play for are awsome in their own little way!

FN: Have your coaches over there helped you improve your game at all?

CP: My coach in Russia gives me a lot of room to improve on my one-on-one skills. He (Gundars Vetra) played in the NBA and Europe so he knows what’s needed to be the best player you can be. I enjoy playing for him and whatever he needs from me, I make it happen.

FN: Are you learning any Russian?

CP: I haven’t learned any Russian but I’ve done a lot of cool things in my city thanks to my translator. We hang out often so it’s pretty cool getting to know Ekaterinberg. Maybe after Christmas I’ll try and learn the language.

I just wanna say thanks to my fans for reading my blog and giving feeback. Any questions you guys wanna ask, don’t hesitate. I enjoy Q&A (Just send your questions to freaknick@euroleagueadventures.com). Also wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

P.S. – Should I rock long or short hair for the WNBA season? Wanna hear feedback.