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Original Issue

Deanna Nolan

The WNBA's assist leader believes the dog days of summer will end with the Shock back in the finals


On playing forcoach Bill Laimbeer
Detroit's a hardworking city, and that's what he wants us to be known for. Heexpects a lot. If my average is 18 points and I've got 14 in a game, he wantsme to get four more. It's funny how he and [assistant] Rick Mahorn are aspopular as they were in their Bad Boy heyday. In airports people recognize themfirst. Then they see a gang of tall women trailing 'em, and it's like, Oh, theymust be the Detroit Shock.

On why, incollege, she added an extra "n" to her name
Everyone said my name DEE-na. I thought if I added an n, people would pronounceit properly as dee-ANN-ah. But they still say it wrong.

On dogs
Three years ago my teammates got me a miniature pinscher for my birthday. Inamed him Duke Cooper. A couple years later I added three Chihuahuas: AustinBailey (left), Dallas Austin (center) and Jasmine Nicole (right). They're sosmall and cute that after getting one, I wanted another and another. They'relike tattoos in that way.

On outfittingthem
No one goes outside naked. The Chihuahuas in particular get cold—especially inRussia, where I play in the winter. I'd say I spend $1,000 or more a year onclothes. I'll walk past a store and see a T-shirt and think, this'll look greaton Dallas.

On playingabroad, for UMMC Ekaterinburg
You're a rock star. The gyms aren't big, but they're packed and fans range fromlittle girls to 75-year-old men. I'm not saying people here aren't into ourgame, but in Russia you step out of the locker room and 200 people wantautographs. You don't want to say no. There's always a little kid talking toyou in Russian, and you don't understand. You just talk back in English.