Basketball legend Lisa Leslie opened up about her personal life when she sat down for an interview with TV One's UNCENSORED, talking about meeting her father for the first time and about a troubling encounter she said she experienced with a WNBA coach.
Leslie, who was 12 years old when she first met her father, said she just stood there when she saw him and didn't know what to call the man who had been absent from her life.
“I didn’t ask questions like ,‘where have you been, or what are you doing, or why aren’t you taking care of your children,’” she said, according to the Grio.
While her father had been absent from her life, the Hall of Famer grew up with the love of her mother.
“I always say that my mom was also my dad because my mom and I mowed the lawn together," the former Los Angeles Sparks star said. "We moved the refrigerator and mopped the floor. We did boy stuff and girl stuff.”
The 48-year-old also recalled an encounter she said she had with Rick Mahorn, who was coaching the Detroit Shock at the time. Leslie said the coach pushed her to the ground as she was trying to protect her teammate, Candace Parker, when a brawl broke out between the Sparks and the Shock in 2008.
“Candace has always had a soft spot in my heart and she was the baby to me,” the basketball star said, according to Rollingout. “All I remember seeing is us running down court and Candice, when I looked over, she was in a tussle with one of the Detroit players and she was on the bottom. That’s what I saw. That’s my teammate and I was on my way to get whomever off her to get her off the floor."
But Leslies said she ended up on the ground soon after getting involved in the fight.
“Somehow in the moment of like, running one way and then in the direction and me turning around, I never saw the coach, Rick Mahorn, who is what, 6’6″, 6’7”?" she said. "He pushed me, literally pushed me so hard that I was off both my feet and I landed somewhere back from where I was starting from the run.”
The four-time Olympic gold medalist now wishes that she had sued the WNBA.
“Why would this man put his hands on me? I will never understand that day,” the former MVP said. “Why I didn’t have a lawsuit against the WNBA and him personally? I have no idea why I listened to other people. Because it was just simply wrong.”
The UNCENSORED episode featuring Leslie will air on Sunday, the Milwaukee Community Journal reported. The All-Star will discuss her friendship with the late Kobe Bryant and talk about sexuality in the WNBA, among other topics.