Layla returns from an injury and challenges Nikki Bella for the Divas Title.07/29/2015 - 18:15
Layla dishes on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals
Before Layla was Divas Champion, she was a Miami Heat Dancer, right when the team acquired long-time member of the WWE Universe Shaquille O'Neal. See what Layla has to say about her favorite player, what the atmosphere was like during the Heat's 2006 NBA Championship run and one priceless item she received from the franchise.
WWE.com: When you were with the Heat, who was your favorite player?
LAYLA: Shaq was my favorite because of his personality. He brought so much attention to Miami, and he promised a ring and a championship to the Miami Heat. And he did just that.
WWE.com: Can you describe what it was like being part of the NBA playoffs?
LAYLA: It was electrifying because Miami hadn’t won anything in a long time. We knew we were close to getting a ring, so everyone was really excited. It was a “whiteout,” where everyone wore white in the arena. Honestly, the noise there was probably one of the loudest things I’ve ever heard. People were anticipating every move. It was surreal because we finally knew we were going to win. I didn’t get to take part in the parade, though, as I was headed right to the Diva Search.
WWE.com: So you went right from winning the NBA Championship to the Diva Search, which led you here?
LAYLA: It literally happened within the span of a week. I still have my championship ring, which I’m very proud of. I keep it in its box. I hardly show it to anyone; it’s really sacred to me.
WWE.com: Do you get a chance to catch games?
LAYLA: I saw a home game this season when the Heat played the [New York] Knicks. In Spain, I caught the fourth quarter of the [Boston] Celtics-Heat and it was pretty neat. I knew we were going to beat the Celtics.
WWE.com: How did being a dancer prepare you to be a Diva?
LAYLA: It gave me a taste of performing in front of crowds who were sports-oriented and not dance-oriented. Coming over here was a different wake-up call. I knew the Heat fans were loud, but the WWE fans are louder!