Hitting the Hardwood | Brunson Continues To Live Up To Her Nickname

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

At every Minnesota Lynx home game, Rebekkah Brunson’s introduction is unlike any other.

As Brunson prepares to get ready to join four of her teammates in the starting lineup, the public address announcer introduces her to the Lynx crowd.

“At a forward, 6-foot-2 from Georgetown. The Machine, No. 32, Rebekkah Brunson!”

The Machine.

That nickname is probably one of the most accurate ways to describe Brunson on the court. The consistency and dominance from her on both ends of the floor is enough evidence to support that.

So far this season, the 14-year veteran has continued to live up to that nickname and has been a machine for the Lynx.

In four games in 2017, the 35-year-old forward has averaged 7.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.5 steals and just under one block in 25.9 minutes per game.

And along with what she has been able to do in four games this season, Brunson continues to reach career milestones, climb all-time WNBA lists and has further cemented herself as one of the best players to ever play in the WNBA.

“This is a player that has literally worked for everything that she has earned in her career. Nothing was given to her,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said of Brunson. “She has just evolved. . . She turned 35 this year and she still wants to learn new things, she wants to add to her game. She just works, works, works.”

Last week, Brunson became just the fifth player in WNBA history to record 3,000 rebounds in her career. In Tuesday night’s win over the Sun, Brunson recorded her 3,017 career rebound, passing Taj McWilliams-Franklin for fourth on the WNBA’s all-time rebounding list.

Brunson now only trails Tamika Catchings (3,315), Lisa Leslie (3,307) and Tina Thompson (3,070) on the league’s all-time rebounding list.

“It means just get some more,” Brunson said. “I understand that my rebounds help us win, so I’m going to continue to try and rebound and do whatever I can so that we can be successful. It’s a great accomplishment and I’m proud of it. . . I’m excited for what I have accomplished. It’s something I’ve always done, it’s something that I’ve always helped my team with to allow us to be in the best position to win. To see your name up there in the top five, it’s awesome.”

Also in Tuesday night’s victory, Brunson surpassed the 10,000 minute mark in career game No. 402. On average, that’s just under 25 minutes per game throughout her career thus far.

“The number one reason that she has been able to play 10,000 minutes is because of her choices,” Reeve said. “Her social choices, her nutritional choices, the amount of work that she puts into it, understanding when to rest and when to work. She’s just relentless in every way and 10,000 minutes is really, really special, especially the type of minutes that she plays. When she’s there, whether it’s shootaround or a game, what you see from Brunson is what she’s like all the time. So to play 10,000 minutes like that, that makes me tired.”

And in 2017, Brunson looks to not just join another all-time list, but create her own as she aims to be the first player in league history to win five WNBA championships. Brunson won one championship with the Sacramento Monarchs before coming to Minnesota and winning three titles.

“I’ve been blessed to be on some amazing teams,” Brunson said. “When I went to Sacramento, we had a great team. . . And then to have the opportunity to come play with Lindsay (Whalen) and Maya (Moore) and Seimone (Augustus) and now (Sylvia Fowles), it really doesn’t get much better than that. . . I’ve been blessed throughout my career.”

The consistency and the domination of Brunson’s play on the court, along with the longevity of it all, has allowed Brunson to accomplish a lot during her WNBA career. And she looks to continue to add to it this season.

The Machine. Brunson has certainly lived up to that nickname.