(Eds: With AP Photos.) By DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer Katie Smith has always been a gritty player throughout her illustrious basketball career.
With the New York Liberty on the brink of elimination from the playoff chase, Smith wasn't about to let the team go down quietly - even with star Cappie Pondexter out. The league's second all-time leading scorer put forth a vintage effort against Phoenix, scoring a season-high 17 points Tuesday night. It just wasn't enough as New York fell 80-76 and dropped out of the postseason race.
Smith quietly announced early this summer that she would be retiring at the end of the season. The Liberty honored the 15-year veteran, who was playing her first season with the team, before New York's final home game.
''I think what we will miss most about Katie is her drive to win and the fact she's a fierce competitor,'' WNBA President Laurel Richie said.
The Liberty put together a video tribute showing highlights of Smith's career from her playin...