The 2011 WNBA All-Star game fun started as soon as the cowboy hats went on and the music blared for the team intros. Really, well before that time as the preparations were made by the starters to come out of the tunnel. For the West, Swin Cash was the dancer of the group, but not solely by design. You see, there was a plan that went awry and left some of the starters stumped on how to adjust their moves.
"You know what, it's hilarious because I really felt that it was harder figuring out what we were going to do coming out in the intros than playing the game, it really was!" Cash said. "I tell you, we were back there last minute and I was like 'Sue was it a jacket throw?' Becky wanted me to kick the foot like this," as Cash demonstrated a leg kick that fellow starter Rebekkah Brunson thought was a necessary addition to the routine.
"I'm trying to MJ, Sue and Dee had a skit choreographed and then they tell Dee that she's going before Sue and we were like, oh my goodness we've got to get a guy to come in a be a stunt man now for Sue's routine. The initial thing was Diana was going to come in, Sue was going to rope her and go down and Sue was going to run out. Then, Diana - they were going to call her name and she was going to come up [from the ground] and then run out. So then poor Diana just got stuck standing there.
"I said good job Diana, 'way to come out like Kobe'. You know how Kobe always comes out, no expression and just daps up hands? So it was hilarious, but in the end it was fun and I thought it turned out great."
The fun continued throughout the game and could be seen during an impromptu East vs. West dance challenge with two first-year all-stars in Angel McCoughtry and Liz Cambage finished off with fancy footwork by the Silver Stars' mascot, Fox.
"I thought the fans enjoyed it and we had fun," Cash continued to reflect on the event. "You know, we had Liz and Angel having a dance-off in the middle of a timeout, and those type of things are what all-star is about."
Coincidentally, the pair will show more than dance moves as they face off with each other Tuesday in Tulsa, their first game back from the break. Cambage did more than dance to keep the festivities lively. She joined in on a fan game. A pair of contestants were shooting baskets while tied together. One competitor began to make the game into more of a tug of war contest and Cambage took note.
"He was really struggling," Cambage said of the man closest to the West bench. "No one noticed me though especially in this orange uniform," she said with a chuckle. "I was like no one will notice me if I just ninja my way and help him. The other guy still won, but oh well."
After the final buzzer sounded and the close game was won by the East, all the participants gathered on the floor to share hugs and handshakes. The raucous San Antonio crowd jumped up and down for shirts and held out items for autographs and photo opportunities. As I walked through the curtains to leave the AT&T Center, the stragglers were leaving the same way they entered, cheering for their favorite all-stars. "We love you Becky!" echoed in the hallway as the doors closed behind me. A full day of fun. Just what the players ordered.