season, Angie and I would be scribbling madly trying to take
notes during these kinds of events. Invariably, we missed
stuff or couldnt remember the prize Dunn-isms correctly.
Technology, in the form of a tape recorder and dictophone,
to the rescue. We wont be recording and transcribing
everything (actually that would be Angie doing the transcribing,
Im just the idea guy), but we will for the important
is an important event. Not only is it the official kickoff
for the preseason march to Opening Day, it comes 2 days before
what may be one of the most important events in the Storms
young history Draft Day 2002. We all know by now what
the results of the Draft are no trades, no hesitations,
no questions Sue Bird is the #1 pick and were
keeping her. But on this day, there is all kinds of speculation
about trades, which draftees would fit in better or have more
impact and all sorts of other backseat GMing.
the event starts, people are catching up with each other,
the players are mingling and signing a couple autographs,
and the Sister Guitar
Band, set up on the side of the gym, is jamming away.
They have written 2 songs for the Storm that they will debut
for us after the Q&A. The fans are being asked to vote for
the song that will eventually be adopted as the teams
song (for those of you who didnt attend, you will be
able to vote at the bands website).
Its going to be a hard choice since both songs are strong
and should play well in the Key. If you vote, your name also
goes into a raffle for 2 tickets to a game, courtesy of the
band so vote already.
great thing about the crowd that is here is that its
not just the usual suspects. There is a core of dedicated
nutcases (like yours truly) who go to every event, game, appearance,
nose blowing, etc. Tonight there is about 200 people in attendance
which is easily twice the attendance at some of last years
early events. All in all, the atmosphere is energetic and
everyone is anxious for the season to start.
without further blather, here is the transcript from the Q&A
players are seated in front of the crowd, Coach Dunn is walking
around, Karen Bryant and the rest of the Storm staff is off
to one side. I have minimally edited the comments only
to remove the uhs, ums and other similar stuff.)
want to offer from my perspective all of the optimism and
excitement that all of us in the front office feel about this
third season and I hope that all of you as our most loyal
and core fans, our season ticket holders, certainly share
that excitement. I dont know about you, but the offseason
has been far, far too long for all of us. So it starts Friday,
obviously with the excitement around our back to back number
one picks and all of the events that will transpire not only
Friday but immediately after Friday leading up to what will
again culminate on a special night with Opening Night on May
30th in KeyArena. We have been very busy in the offseason.
From a fans perspective like Ive said its been
too long, but from a workers perspective, its
been just about right. Weve had a lot of work to do
to really ramp up a year round sales and marketing effort
to give the Storm the resources it deserves, to really make
this third season, the 2002 season, the best one yet. So we
feel like weve laid a lot ground work. Well talk
about, if we dont get to stuff tonight, you will certainly
hear in the coming weeks about a lot of the new initiatives
that we have. That many of you as season ticket holders will
be beneficiaries of, but certainly with all of our fans. I
dont want to take up any more time, but I do want to
actually introduce one of the biggest strides we made in the
off season: I actually had the privilege to go out and hire
some people specifically to be focused and dedicated resources
to promote the Storm on a year round basis and I want to take
a few minutes to introduce all of them. I have first of all
our ticket sales staff members who are here, Heidi Hanson
and Tanya Tesar are over by the door; and the other two members
of our ticket sales staff, Amy Burdick and Susie Jarosch.
As season ticket holders, you definitely want to get to know
them. Each one of you is assigned a personal account rep,
one of those four very special people and make sure you know
which representative is assigned to your account and they
can handle any needs that you have. They are there to take
care of you on a year round basis. So make sure you take advantage
of that. Our new corporate sales manager, Anthony ONeil
and two other new members of our team, our community relations
coordinator, all the way from New Hampshire, Sarah Childs.
Any of you who are interested in player appearances or having
Coach Dunn or myself come out and speak, Sarah is the one
you want to talk to you so make sure you remember that name.
And then our marketing manager, Sam Maccarrone. Im going
to go ahead and turn it over to Coach Dunn, let her give you
kind of an overview from the basketball perspective and then
we will get the players up here and really, this night is
for you, so we dont want to take up too much time. We
want to open the floor for you to be able to ask your questions
and get things that are on your mind addressed. But on behalf
of all of us, thank you for coming. Tonight is really the
first event that we have an opportunity for us to share all
of our excitement about the upcoming season, with more exciting
news to come very soon. We appreciate everything that you
do, appreciate your continued support. Without you as the
solid foundation you are as season ticket holders, we wouldnt
be here and what we do wouldnt have as much meaning.
So on behalf of the entire organization, thank you again,
welcome and heres Coach Dunn, Jamie Redd, Michelle Marciniak,
and Charmin Smith.
Dunn: Lets thank the Sister Guitar Band again. I want
to tell you what, if we had more time, wed have a dance.
They were great. You guys, thank you so much. We are so excited
to have you here tonight and the fact that you are here, just
before the draft and we are getting ready to kick off this
season, you are certainly key fans to us. We love your support,
we love your enthusiasm and we love you because you are going
to help us go a little bit further this year and lets
get in those playoffs. I want to tell you what, in the second
year if we could flirt with the playoffs and if we could beat
Houston, if we can beat Phoenix, and we can beat Utah like
we did last year, we are going to get a couple of really more
good picks in this draft. Im really excited about this
next season. I want to tell you something else, I just got
back from Australia, saw Lauren Jackson. She looks great,
her shoulders fixed. Shes playing well, She is
very excited about coming back. I want to make sure you guys
understand that. There was never any misunderstanding. Shes
called me twice, Coach, what are we doing? Who are we
drafting? Blah, blah, blah, blah. But Im not telling
a soul. The only person who knows who we are drafting is my
mother and shes in Dresden, Tennessee and she cant
hear so she wont answer the phone. Friday is draft day.
People have been calling me, writing me, emailing me, I cant
even check out at QFC without the cashier going Sue
Bird. Not even How much are the groceries,
its Sue Bird. Then I hear Swin Cash. Then
I hear Nikki Teasley and then I hear Stacey Dales. Who thinks
we should take Sue Bird? [lots of hands]
Swin Cash? [a couple of hands]
Did I say Stacey Dales? Stacey Dales. [a
few hands, including mine - Scott]. Trade the pick?
[silence for a sec, then a big no
from the crowd and the players]. Oh, interesting. Well,
we are very fortunate that starting in January and this is
an indication of the commitment that the new owners have made
to our team, Michelle Marciniak, Jamie Redd and Charmin Smith
have been here in the community; out doing appearances and
they have also been here in the facility working out. Its
been wonderful to have them back. And I cant think of
three better representatives in the community. Say hello Michelle.
You can tell shes from Tennessee too. Not born in Tennessee,
but shes been in Tennessee. Hows it been in the
Good, good. Ive been here since January 4th and its
actually been great. We have been out in the community a whole
lot and gotten an opportunity to just talk to a lot of kids
and talk to a lot of people and try to generate some support,
a lot of support for the upcoming season. Just like Coach
says, our goals this year are to make it to the playoffs and
I can sit up here and honestly say that we worked our tails
off in the offseason. I know everybody on our team is fully
committed to doing that and to making sure that that gets
done. So, Jamie
Thank you, Michelle. Jamie, how you doing?
Redd: Im fine. To just echo what Michelle said, I thinks
its been a great opportunity for us to be here, working
out with our coaches and stuff. I mean that helps us to get
a step above everybody else. You know, Michelle came in during
the latter part of season last year. To just be able to work
out with her and see her style and be competitive and talk
mess to each other and work out is just an incredible feeling,
as well as with Charmin. Just getting that gel, that chemistry
together, I think thats going to be important coming
in to training camp because the three of us have been here
so you know we will accept some responsibility for leadership
and helping other people out.
Exciting, Jamie. Where did you go to college?
University of Washington [applause of
course, except from those wearing Oregon shirts].
All right then. Now, Charmin from Stanford has her own microphone.
Smith : Thats how you do it. Im happy to be here.
Weve had a great time here in the gym working out and
trying to get better for this season, but Im also happy
to see everyone who is here in front of us back to support
us. Im assuming you are all season ticket holders and
if youre not, then youll be buying season tickets.
You know, this is great because we, were going to have
a great season and we want people to be there to share in
this excitement and if they are not in KeyArena, they are
really going to miss out this summer because we are determined
and we know that we can accomplish some wonderful things.
I want to thank you all for jumping on board and hopefully
you can grab a few friends and help us out this season at
Thank you Charmin. And we want to give you guys a chance to
ask us some questions. Before we do that I did want to mention
as Karen said shes had the opportunity to add to her
staff. Weve also increased our coaching staff. Two people
that were with us last year are here tonight, Missy Bequette,
in Basketball Operations, and Gary Kloppenburg one of our
assistants. We also have Chris Bown, who has been helping
out in player development, who also coaches at Holy Names
[a local Seattle high school]
and then yesterday or today or some time recently we just
announced the hiring of our other assistant coach and thats
Carrie Graf from Australia who has been in Phoenix for three,
four years now working with the Phoenix team. She brings a
wonderful list of credentials to our team with her experience
in the WNBA as well as coaching Lauren Jackson to the WNBL
Championship in Australia. Shell get here next week.
So we have lots of good things going on on that side of the
net. Now, youre here, you are our fans, and I see a
young man back there in the back with his hand up. Would you
like to ask the first question?