September 16, 2009 |
It became the turning point of her final WNBA season. In a locker-room meeting, three-time MVP Lisa Leslie went from teammate to teammate and dissected how each could help turn things around for the struggling Sparks. That included herself. "I asked each person, 'Is it OK for me to be honest with you? You guys can be honest with me,' " Leslie said. " 'If I'm not working hard and I'm not bringing it, tell me.' " The Sparks (18-16) closed out the regular season winning 10 of their last 13 games and secured a No. 3 seeding in the Western Conference playoffs.
December 24, 2010 |
It had been raining all day and the gym floor was a bit moist, so Lisa Leslie mopped the hardwood while Imani Stafford, a high school junior, quickly laced up her basketball shoes. The scene surprised three men on the other side of the basketball court, who stopped watching a pickup game and stared as Leslie, 6-5, and Imani, 6-7, began doing drills at a Los Angeles health club. Shooting came first. Imani shuffled her feet as if she were running in place, caught the basketball and fired off a shot as quickly as she could.
December 21, 1989
Morningside High center Lisa Leslie, the State Division I girls basketball Player of the Year as a junior, has been named female winner of the Dial Award as the top scholar-athlete in the nation. Leslie and boys winner Robert Smith of Euclid, Ohio, were chosen by a panel of coaches, school administrators and sports journalists from across the U.S. who based their votes on athletic, academic and civic achievements.
August 10, 2010 |
Lisa Leslie is working on a new goal, one that has her trash-talking Charles Barkley. If she succeeds, "Charles won't be eating no more doughnuts," she says, smiling. As she watched the retirement of her No. 9 Sparks' jersey at Staples Center on Tuesday night, the women's basketball icon relished another moment in an award-filled career that spanned 13 seasons and ended in 2009. But her best moment, she hopes, will come as an NBA studio analyst for TNT, sitting alongside the inimitable Barkley.
February 4, 2009 |
The finish line, apparently, is in sight for a basketball icon. Lisa Leslie of the Sparks, WNBA pioneer and four-time Olympic gold medalist, is expected to announce that this will be her final season in the league, according to sources who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The Sparks are scheduled to hold a news conference this morning. They declined to comment on the development.
May 4, 1989 |
On the high school level, 6-foot-5 Lisa Leslie of Morningside and 6-4 twins Heidi and Heather Burge of Palos Verdes are dominant basketball players. Their size and athletic ability set them apart from most of their peers. But what would happen if Leslie and the Burges had to face college players who are older, more physically mature and, in some cases, equal in size? The three prep stars found out last weekend when they were among 70 college and 28 high school players who tried out for 10 spots on the 20-and-under U.S. Olympic Festival West team at Chapman College in Orange.