The Liberty's New Look

Retirements, Rookies, Trades

It hardly looks like Johnson needs any more challenges. She often leads in rebounds, scoring, and assists, and she's typically the one to end up with a loose ball. Adubato calls her "my most complete player," likening her to Rolando Blackman and Derek Harper, his star players when he coached the Dallas Mavericks.

Pointing the way: V.J. directs the action.
photo: Pete Kuhns
Pointing the way: V.J. directs the action.

By all accounts, Johnson is playing a bigger emotional role this year, too, trying, as she says, to "keep everybody up on a positive attitude." Commentators have often remarked on the team's tendency to joke together, but so far this year, there hasn't been much joshing in the locker room. "We don't have time to clown around," says Wicks. "Things will lighten up after we win some games." Or, maybe, vice versa.

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