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Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"

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July 31, 2007 7:39 PM

Aussie invasion

Posted by Jayda Evans

So, KeyArena burped Lauren Jackson paraphernalia today. The marketing staff placed "LJ for MVP" placards on nearly every seat in the lower bowl, the dance team wore green T-shirts with the same message, and the public address announcer must have mentioned Jackson for MVP about a million times before halftime. Oh, and you can't forget Jackson's favorite, the "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! M-V-P!" chant.

I know I'm a culprit of stirring the pot to find someone else (Becky Hammon) to vote for, but goodness! Add the campaign as you enter the Storm's site and this is way overboard.

"There doesn't need to be a campaign," Storm coach Anne Donovan said of her star, who has been a clear frontrunner since June.

Well, unless the Storm doesn't make the playoffs, right?

"I won't say something unspeakable," Donovan continued. "But even if that - no [there doesn't need to be a campaign]."

Jackson was surprised when she took the court for her pre-game warmup routine and saw her image everywhere. (The reverse side of the placard has a montage of photos of her, which she also liked because she looks ripped.) The placards also made their way to the training room because, "that's where I spend most of my time," Jackson said.

"I walked in and was like, 'what the hell!'" she said. "It's pretty cool they're doing it, supporting me like this."

But who would Jackson vote for?

"I wish everyone could win," she said.


"If people didn't get injured, like Tamika Catchings would have been my No.1 choice," Jackson said when prodded by me and team broadcaster Adia Barnes. "Becky [Hammon] for sure and [Phoenix forward] Penny Taylor, but she's on a team full of superstars because I would want Diana [Taurasi] to win, too."

Barnes and I have votes, which Barnes is thrilled about, but I'm sticking to my original take and waiting until the final game is played. Even Sacramento general manager John Whisenant said he'd do the same.

"Lauren is the best player in the world and she was my pick before the season started," he said. "But how your team does counts to me."

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