WNBA talk: Storm center Ashley Robinson talks about her chances of winning the WNBA's most improved player award
Our weekly Q&A with WNBA newsmakers.
Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans has a weekly conversation with a newsmaker in the WNBA. This week she speaks with Storm center Ashley Robinson, who is in the running for the league's most improved award, shooting a career-best 47 percent and averaging 4.2 rebounds. Robinson played for legendary coach Pat Summitt at Tennessee.
Question: Your nails are orange, is that in honor of Pat Summitt, who announced last week she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease?
Robinson: Yeah, I went and got my nails painted orange in her honor. Everybody is calling each other, trying to figure out what's going on, but we're all a product of Pat. She doesn't want to have a pity party, so we're not going to have a pity party for her. You see stories of dementia on TV and I think it'll be a sad day when she can't remember her legacy. But I hope by then there's a cure.
Q: Due to teammate Lauren Jackson's hip injury, you started your most games (12) since the 2005 season (15). How did that help you?
Robinson: It gives me confidence to play solid minutes. Now I know what to do and I've gotten to play with all these guys, so it won't be anything new when I'm out there. We got used to each other in a different way and gave (coach) Brian Agler a little more depth that he believes in.
Q: Brian said you should be the most improved player at the beginning of the season and you've lived up to that. Would you vote for yourself?
Robinson: When you look at my career and my season? Definitely most improved. Honestly, I played like no minutes last year. You go from no minutes to getting to play important minutes for the defending champs? I could make an argument for myself and I know the Storm Crazies are making an argument. But I'm never mad for other people's success.
Q: What about Tulsa Shock forward Tiffany Jackson, who has actually put up big numbers in past seasons?
Robinson: I've known Tiffany since she was 8. We're all from the same place (Texas). She's had a really good season and started for them, putting up big numbers. The thing that people forget is Tiff's had 20-point games, double-double games in New York (2008). She's done well her whole career. But if she got most improved, that would make sense. If Essence Carson (New York) got it, that would make sense. But if Tiffany got it, I'd be really happy. It'd be like somebody in my family getting it.
Q: You've shown more of your fashionable side this season, especially all the different hair colors. Does playing well help you feel comfortable with your looks?
Robinson: The WNBA is a small platform for us and when you get to play, it lets the masses see you, so that's where the hair caught on. Instead of sitting on the bench with the hair, you're playing with the hair. When the colors caught on, it became fun for the fans to request a color.
Q: You got upset at a blog site for commenting about your looks, why?
Robinson: It really made me mad. I went off on Twitter about it because nobody plays in the summer and makes the amount of money that I make, sits the bench, and blood, sweat and tears because you're pretty. I feel like that's bringing down the WNBA as a whole. Nobody makes it eight seasons because of what you look like. I don't see my face on any billboards. There's no perks to being pretty in the WNBA, that's why I get tired of hearing it. But it is a compliment, thank you.
Trending on seattletimes.com
Most viewed photo galleries
The Morning Memo
The Morning Memo jump starts your day with weather, traffic and news
The Seattle Times Historical Archives
Browse our newspaper page archives from 1900-1984
Career Center Blog