"I had two great role models with Lisa Leslie and Tina," said Parker, married to professional basketball player Shelden Williams. "I saw the way she balanced everything, how it's OK to feel tired sometimes, that you're not superwoman. It's great to have my daughter on the road to share experiences with her."
"Being a mom I can't imagine having a child, getting your body back so quickly and be able to be at such a high level competitively," Lobo said. "I think for the most part Tina has handled it as a single mom. I give her so much credit."
And what would she tell young women who would combine motherhood and hoops?
"It's definitely not easy," Thompson said. "Look forward to less sleep, really long days, but it's definitely possible. That's the most important part. I don't think you have to sacrifice one or the other. You need a support system for sure, but it's something we can do."
Taurasi talked about learning from Thompson while playing for Moscow Spartak and winning EuroLeague titles together. She was a "pit bull," Taurasi said, refusing to lose. Olympics, national teams, Thompson long has been eager to help younger players. She taught Parker early on moves perfected by Tim Duncan, Kiki Vandeweghe and Hakeem Olajuwon.
"Tina was tremendous in enhancing my knowledge of the game," Parker said.
Thompson says she hasn't approached her last season any differently. The difference is the reaction. On Friday, when she stepped on the court, the fans at the All-Star practices gave her a big round of applause. She later addressed them.
"I wasn't expecting to here," said Thompson, who was asked to play after an injury to Brittney Griner. "I gave them a hard time. 'Isn't there somebody? I need these days off.' They said, 'No, we did the number-crunching. You're next in line.' I said, 'I'll be there.'
"I love basketball with all my heart. Every time I stepped on the court, I gave my all. I never cheated the game. If people remember me that way, I'll be satisfied."
A long time ago, at USC, when the WNBA first called, she was working toward becoming a lawyer. That career path is not out of the question, although Dyllan is her primary concern now and broadcasting may be a better fit. Still, with collective bargaining talks looming, Thompson has her opinions.
"It would be great to see another roster spot added," Thompson said. "Players are getting hurt a lot more than in the past. I'd like to see an increase in the salary, too. It's pretty unfortunate. We're probably the only professional sports league where the coaches, executives, everyone gets paid more than players [the maximum is $107,000 and was $50,000 in 1997].
"It was never a matter of whether we could play or not. It was a matter of how we would be received. There hasn't been a year since the WNBA started where I could say the basketball wasn't good. The product has been great."
And so has Tina Thompson.