Maya Moore has experienced an amazing level of success already with the Lynx, winning three WNBA titles, a league MVP award and a Finals MVP award. But the great ones always are striving for more, and that describes the Lynx star. As Moore gets set for another WNBA season — one during which she will turn 27 — she chatted with the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand:
Q Early in camp, veterans Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson have been out. Have you changed your leadership role in their absence?
A Yeah, I think definitely I do. There are different ways to lead throughout a practice or a year. Whatever that moment needs is something I’ve always tried to be ready to do. … There is definitely a need to have consistent leadership in these moments in training camp right now.
Q How do you view yourself in the context of this team, going into your sixth season now, as you’ve matured along with a core of players that has typically been older than you?
A I definitely think there’s an expectation level that is not a young player’s expectation. But also, I’m still learning. I’m going to be learning until the day I retire. There is so much to grow and focus on in this game of basketball that I’m never done. I’m just trying to constantly learn those details and communicate those details to whoever needs help. When I was younger, I might have been more focused on just figuring out what I was doing — maybe as a rookie or second-year player. Now I know what I’m doing, so I can continue to help others.
Q People have been trying to say this team is getting old for a couple of years now, and you keep winning. How do you treat that outside noise?
A I don’t really hear too much of that. I don’t pay attention to a lot of people — I pay attention to a select few, and that’s worked out well for me. I just try to respond to anyone’s critiques with action. Whatever we’re doing on the court is who we are, and what we’ve been on the court over time has been great. I want to continue on that path. It’s a hard thing to do, because getting older is a challenge physically. But we have vets who take care of their bodies. It forces you to be more efficient, and your game gets even better that way.
Q Do you think big-picture about your legacy, even in the middle of your pro career?
A Yes and no. I focus more so on the day-by-day relationships that I have. I think legacies are most meaningful with the impressions that a person can leave on a group of people. Definitely just being competitive and working hard and trying to maximize the gift we’ve been given here on the Lynx is a legacy I try to leave every day. That can be a contagious mind-set, and we have several players like that. When you can have a legacy like that with a group of people, it’s even more special.
Q Like you said, you’re constantly improving. What more can you bring to your game this year?
A I think efficiency. Just continuing to make the right reads, the right plays, and keeping my body a well-oiled machine as much as possible. I want to be in great condition and shape so that it’s that much harder to guard me or play against me. Just trying to do what I can to elevate this team.