Seimone Augustus has been a constant throughout the entire 2019 Lynx season even though she has yet to see the floor. Every practice and every game, Lynx players are getting more and more used to hearing Augustus’ voice shouting encouragement and seeing her quietly pull players aside to impart some veteran wisdom.
Since a preseason knee injury and eventual surgery, Augustus has been the perfect model of bench leadership. She has done everything short of checking into games to help her team win. Now it’s time for her to get back on the floor.
It hasn’t been easy for Augustus to watch from the sidelines. She is a competitor at heart and fiercely committed to winning. It hurts to see the Lynx losing by narrow margins when she could be out there helping them.
“A lot of games early in the season were lost within a possession, and that’s things that I wish I could have been to help them through. To help them through the last few minutes of a game, or the last possession, or coming out of a timeout execution. That’s when veteran leadership kind of comes into play and I wish I was there in those moments,” she said. “But those moments obviously helped them to learn and to grow and to get where they are right now. Now that I’m back, they’ve gotten a lot of experience, so now you can add my leadership in there, hopefully we can put it all together and push forward.”
Augustus is quick to give her teammates praise for their fight throughout this season. They made up a very new group that was forced to grow up and grow together very quickly. That work isn’t done, but in some ways having to play without the safety valve of Augustus’ steadying presence might have unseen benefits for the Lynx’s young core.
“I’m a strong believer in things happen for a reason,” said Augustus. “Obviously, a new team, a young team, it was probably more beneficial for me to be on the side kind of helping guide them along their journey and learn the Lynx way of playing basketball.”
While there are things Augustus will be able to help clean up on the floor, there’s a lot that the veteran loves about this Lynx squad. First among them, she will never have to urge her teammates to play harder.
“This team fights very hard and you can’t say enough about that,” she said. “A lot of teams out there don’t play as hard as us. I would play with a hard-fighting, tough-nosed team any day over a team that’s talented but just goes through the motions. I definitely appreciate that. Now that I’m out there maybe execution is the only thing they didn’t have in certain situations, so hard work meeting execution equals success in our eyes.”
Joining the Lynx on the floor in the midst of a four-game losing streak might be somewhat foreign territory for Augustus, but she’s ready to help get the team on the right track. Augustus hasn’t played since last season so fans shouldn’t expect her to immediately light the world on fire, but there is little doubt that having her out there will help the team. Augustus wants to compete, and she wants to win. She won’t find anyone on the Lynx who feels differently. Augustus’ leadership has been steady all season, but the team is thrilled to have her headed back onto the court.