The Tulsa Shock is off to a 4-1 start, good for first place in the Western Conference.
Something that hasn't been said since the franchise moved to Tulsa is that a big part of that is Plenette Pierson, who returned and brought a championship pedigree with her.
“The city in itself is dying for some success, so I loved it here the first time,” said Pierson. “Things are a little different. They're a lot better now, so it was just the best fit for me.”
Shock head coach Fred Williams speaks highly of Pierson. “[She's a] great leader, been in the league for a lot of years, but she's still got young legs on her and a very good basketball IQ.”
Having an experienced player like Pierson gives a young team like the Shock more confidence on the court. “I always think something great's going to happen when she gets the ball, and she just gives us so much confidence when she's on the court. She just speaks confidence to our young team,” said Shock standout Skylar Diggins.
Pierson is averaging over 13 points and six rebounds. She's also helping on the defensive end with the absence of Glory Johnson-Griner. But for the veteran, there's a reason she thinks she's fared well so far this season. “They tell me I'm old; they tell me that on several other teams that I'm getting old. Well, this team has really rejuvenated me,” she said. “The young players, they make me better.”
She says the attitude and potential of the team is a big difference between 2010 and 2015.
“They've been denied the right to have vets come here and play because they're so young, but these are competitors on the court,” she explained. “I come into practice thinking I'm early at eight, but they're here at seven-thirty working on their game.”
It's paying off. During the win streak, three of those games have been won by double digits.