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Leading roles come naturally for Smith, Taurasi

Cocky or confident? It doesn't matter. Because wherever Detroit's Katie Smith and Phoenix's Diana Taurasi have played, it's no coincidence success has followed. They are natural-born leaders, and that's demonstrated both by how they play and what they say. And for as exciting as the WNBA Finals will be, and for as many talented athletes that it will feature, I can't help but look forward most to these two and their wit and confidence clashing on the court.

Smith and Taurasi are both tough competitors who aren't afraid of getting after each other. They are multi-talented players who have won on multiple levels -- they were even teammates on the gold-medal winning U.S. women's team at the 2004 Sydney Olympics. Starting Wednesday in the WNBA Finals (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET), they'll be on opposite sides. And aren't we in for a treat?

Nancy Lieberman, an ESPN analyst and Hall of Famer, is a regular contributor to ESPN.com's women's basketball coverage. Contact her at www.nancylieberman.com.