You may know Cappie Pondexter as the sweet-shooting New York Liberty guard – the one who has posted an 18.4 scoring average through the first third of the 2011 WNBA season. But that’s just her summer job. In the winter, you can find Pondexter in Russia hooping in the EuroLeague for UMMC Ekaterinburg. Or you can find her working for 4 Season Style Management, the image consulting company she co-founded.
Needless to say, Pondexter is pretty busy. But in the midst of her second season with the Liberty, the three-time WNBA All-Star caught up with Dime to share her thoughts on the WNBA season, the lockout, and the possibility of a woman joining the NBA, and much more.
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Dime: You guys are a couple games into the season. How do you think it’s gone so far?
Cappie Pondexter: I mean to be perfectly honest, it is a new system that we are involved in this year and we have a new coaching staff. The adjustment has been pretty easy for the most part. But I think we’re solid. We’re third in the East. We’re looking to climb even higher and hopefully get to the Finals and take it all.
Dime: I imagine it takes a toll playing for two different teams during the year. How do you keep yourself fresh and healthy for the WNBA season?
CP: Well I have the luxury of playing for one of the best clubs in Europe. We charter everywhere. We have the best medical staff in Russia, and we have a lot of great players. I play limited minutes compared to when I play in the WNBA so it’s definitely helped me in terms of putting a lot of mileage on my body. So I think that’s one of the plusses of playing for a really great team in Europe.
Dime: What’s the preparation like for you leading up to the WNBA season? What’s your routine to get ready?
CP: We are playing all-year round. There’s no in-between time to kind of get ready. But this year I took a two-week break because there were two weeks in between the season from the European and the WNBA season so I had the opportunity to go on a vacation. I pretty much just relaxed, got my mind clear, and did some running on the beach and worked out on the treadmill and did stuff like that.
Dime: I imagine there are a lot, but what are the biggest differences between playing in New York and playing in Russia?
CP: New York is a great city. There’s a lot of variety of places to eat, number one. Also a lot of places to go shopping. For me those are the plus things. In Russia…it’s just really expensive cause of the import/export. But they have some great places to eat as well. In terms of playing, of course, Europe is definitely more finesse than playing in the WNBA. I think they’re more skilled in terms of the overall ability. And here in the States, in the WNBA, we just kind of play off athleticism and just play.
Dime: If one league is more skill and one is more athleticism, which do you think you’re best suited for?
CP: I have a lot of experience playing international basketball, so it hasn’t affected me this late in my career. I actually enjoy playing in Europe because it allows me to develop my game so when I come home I’m doing a lot of things that I learned in Europe. It’s definitely taken my game to a whole ’nother level here when I play in the WNBA.
Dime: Now that there’s an NBA lockout going on and you’ve had a lot of experience playing overseas, do you think it would be smart for NBA guys to try out international basketball and go overseas?
CP: I can’t really comment on the lockout but I think if you want to have the opportunity to get to know a different culture…I think you should do it.
Dime: If there were a lockout in the WNBA, what would you do with your free time if you didn’t have to play basketball all the time?
CP: I’ve actually started a company. It’s an image consulting business. It allows me to get into my second love, fashion. That’s something I would definitely be doing as well as vacationing.