SI: The Comets of
the late 1990s won the first four WNBA championships but are rarely mentioned
among the great sports dynasties. Where should you be ranked?
Swoopes: I don't
think we get enough credit. I would say we deserve to be ranked in the top five
when you think about dynasties in any sport.
SI: Who is the
toughest player to guard in the league?
Fever forward] Tamika Catchings, by far. She brings it every night, and if
she's not scoring, she won't slack off defensively.
SI: It's been
eight months since you revealed that you are gay. Has the public's reaction
been what you expected?
support I have gotten has been phenomenal. Before the announcement, when they
introduced me, I would get claps from fans at away games. This year I've been
on five road trips, and I have gotten standing ovations--and not just from gay
women or gay men. It's been very emotional.
SI: Whose support
surprised you most?
Swoopes: I was so
nervous about going to the NBA All-Star Game in Houston this year because I
know so many of those guys in the league. One of the things that has been most
special to me was that Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Garnett came up to me on
different occasions. They hugged me and said, "I love you, I'm proud of you
and I have your back." To hear that from two of the biggest guys in the NBA
did so much for me and my confidence.
SI: Will we see a
high-profile professional male athlete come out while still playing?
Swoopes: In my
lifetime? No. I think high-profile male athletes feel like they have so much
more to lose than to gain. People asked me if I was worried about losing
endorsements and stuff. My answer was no. The one thing that I gained, which is
bigger than any of that, is peace of mind and my happiness.