In the meantime, she's a welcome member of the Packers. "She's our best passer," says Jones. "She's thinking pass first, shoot second, and those kind of guys [smile] are hard to find. I'm happy to have her."
Jones won't have her around that often, though. Despite the Olympic boycott, Lieberman has a busy summer planned. She is still living in Virginia, so she commutes to New York, both to play and to help Archibald do the commentary on ESPN telecasts of summer basketball. She's working on an instructional book, and last week she was coaching at a camp near Boston run by, of all people, the NFL Players Association. Lieberman is also a newly signed member of the Spalding—or "Spaldeen," as she says, lapsing into her Queens accent—advisory staff. She'll have her own autographed ball out soon, which is another first for a woman.
Merola is busy hammering out a contract with the Dallas Diamonds, the WBL team that picked Lieberman. He is asking for $100,000 for next season. The Diamonds are saying, sure, deferred over 30 or 40 years. "Somebody asked me if I thought $100,000 wasn't a lot of money," says Lieberman. "I don't want to seem greedy, but every other star in women's sports is making $400,000. I'm not saying I can do what Nancy Lopez or Tracy Austin does, but then Tracy doesn't have to hit backhands with an elbow in her face, either."
So until the WBL season starts, she remains one of the boys, except in one respect. Says her backcourt partner on the Packers, Carl Winfree, "After a good play, I pat her on the back. Usually, you tap a guy on the butt, but with Nancy, I have to remember not to go below the waist."