In a disappointing night for the Los Angeles Sparks, one player was able to come out with a victory. Tina Thompson scored her 6,264th point on a 16-foot jumper, which was enough to surpass former Spark and former all-time scoring leader Lisa Leslie's record of 6,263 points. The crowd instantly knew what had just happened, but it took the one who actually scored the ball a few minutes to actually realize what she had just accomplished.
"I heard them cheer, but I didn't hear the announcement. I rarely hear stuff that goes on outside of what we talk about. I mean, I assumed that I did because my teammates started giving me high fives, but I didn't actually hear what was said," said Thompson of her momentous accomplishment. "I don't keep score of my points during a game, that's kind of psycho."
However, it was a short lived moment of glory for the newly crowned scoring champion.
"Now let's focus on basketball," Thompson said when asked what went through her head. "Get the attention away from the scoring thing and let's just win a basketball game. But really, other than that, I honestly haven't been thinking about it that much."
Humble words from a great player who has certainly left her stamp on this game. Tina Thompson has had a storied career in the WNBA. Selected first overall in the 1997 WNBA Draft, she immediately had an impact on the game. Her team, the Houston Comets, went on to win four consecutive WNBA championships (1997-2000) with the addition of Thompson. She has won multiple gold medals as a member of the USA National Team. Now, moving into first place on the scoring list, the message for Tina Thompson has always been clear: just play basketball and let the success follow.
Even though Thompson was wearing a smile during the post game interviews, her competitive instinct was nagging at her all along. "I'm really not smiling. I'm only smiling because that's the polite thing to do for you guys, but I'm really, really upset. We lost. I mean, we had a huge opportunity to have sole possession of third place - for a playoff spot - and we just kind of squandered it. So, it's upsetting, for sure," Thompson said.
Again, the message is clear. It's a very simple creed to live by, but it's this simplicity that has allowed Thompson to arrive at this amazing point in her career. Tina even offered a word to future WNBA all-time scoring champions everywhere. "Just continue to work hard, be consistent, and put the effort in. I think that with all hard work, you'll get positive results. Little girls, always play with boys. They make you tougher," Thompson said.
Thompson said it best: just play basketball and let the success follow.
For photos from the game via Craig Bennett/112575 Media, please see our photo gallery.