Web Editorial Associate
What the Minnesota Lynx have done in the last seven seasons has been absolutely remarkable.
So remarkable that they are among the few teams in the history of the WNBA to be associated with the word dynasty.
On Wednesday night at Williams Arena, that dynasty continued to grow.
Minnesota took down the Los Angeles Sparks 85-76 on Wednesday to take the WNBA Finals series 3-2 and be crowned the 2017 WNBA Champions.
That title is the fourth – yes fourth – for the Lynx in the last seven years, tying the Houston Comets for the most championships won by a WNBA franchise in league history.
Just let that sink in for a moment.
“We really don’t get a chance to sit and think about it. We will when we are sitting in our rocking chairs with our kids and grandkids and look back and talk about how we were ballers,” Seimone Augustus said. “Right now, we are just kind of enjoying the ride, but we do have a moment just to enjoy and be like ‘oh wow, we just won another gold medal, in my case, or we just won a fourth championship.’ Those are the things that a lot of athletes don’t get to experience in their careers.”
The dynasty began in 2011, when Minnesota secured its first WNBA Championship after making its first WNBA Finals appearance. That title came a year after Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson joined Seimone Augustus with the Lynx and occurred just months after the team drafted Moore first overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft.
“I think this group more than anything, we stuck together through thick and thin. . . I think every time you do this, it gets a little more special because it gets a little harder and gets more meaningful because you know it’s not easy. You know it’s not something we try to take for granted ever,” Whalen said. “We’ve now been on this journey together since 2010, but 2011 was when we won our first ring. Ever since then, it gets tougher. But we keep coming back and that’s a testament to our organization and our coach and to everybody on this team that we keep fighting and coming back.”
After winning championships in 2011 and 2013, the Lynx added a third WNBA title in 2015, a few months after acquiring now MVP Sylvia Fowles.
All of those pieces coming together at the perfect time has led Minnesota to become one of the most successful teams in recent – and maybe even league – history.
“(Coach Reeve) always says you guys won’t appreciate this until you guys are old and you’re sitting down and talking to your kids and your grandkids. Like she said, we live in the moment and we are happy to be here,” Fowles said. “I think our minds only process now and we won’t realize the great work we have done for probably a couple of years from now.”
But even with three titles in six years, Minnesota wasn’t satisfied.
After falling in a last-second shot in the 2016 Finals, the Lynx came back in 2017 more determined than ever. They wanted their revenge, they wanted to come back and win their fourth title this season.
After getting a rematch with the Sparks in this year’s Finals, the Lynx accomplished that mission.
“Sometimes as a staff, Shelley (Patterson) has been with me the whole way, we do a lot of reminiscing. Even when Jim (Petersen) comes in after the games, we talk a lot about our time together and just different seasons, how things happen along the way,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Every journey is different, that’s probably the coolest thing about this job is every journey is different. Each challenge is new. For us, I think we understand it a little different than the players.”
Once again, the Minnesota Lynx are champions of the WNBA.
And not only do they get to continue to grow their championship trophy case following a fourth WNBA title, we’re witnessing history before us as a dynasty continues to grow.
“I don’t know if you’re going to get more of a deep, committed, selfless group that we have here,” Moore said. “You have talent, but the people that make up this organization are really hard to find again. From top to bottom.
“I think it will be hard to find a group that is as talented and deep, but as selfless as this is.”