"We can't dunk."
Tina Charles begins below the rim when explaining the women's game. But the 2012 Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Most Valuable Player doesn't see this as a negative. The native New Yorker, who joined the New York Liberty in 2014, thinks it's a helpful way to start understanding the nuances of her league. (Britney Griner is a notable exception to the no-dunking rule).
"We're not going to jump out of the gym," she says, "so we have to develop skill in everything we do." As a result, the members of the Liberty focus on playing team basketball and operating within the parameters of coach Bill Laimbeer's offense. Charles does her damage around the basket not by tearing down the rim, but with deft footwork and a light touch on hook shots, jumpers and layins—though she's definitely physical when jostling for a rebound.