Sylvia Fowles has set yet another incredible record.
On Sunday night against the Phoenix Mercury, Fowles became the WNBA all-time double-doubles leader, passing the legendary Lisa Leslie.
Double-doubles have become a hallmark of Fowles’ game over the years as she has used her size and skill to wrestle down rebounds and establish post position on her opponents. Fowles is so consistent it can almost go unnoticed, but it should not be understated how difficult it is to achieve the success that Fowles has night after night in this league.
Fowles received a lengthy ovation after her accomplishment was announced over the Target Center PA system halfway through the third quarter. Milestones are always a cause for celebration, but this one is particularly special because Fowles has reached a mark that no other player has. It’s especially nice that it happened at home.
With Fowles earning the top spot on the WNBA double-doubles list, it is impossible not to look at what might be next for the Lynx’s cornerstone. The top rebounding spot held by her long-time teammate Rebekkah Brunson is certainly in her sights. Milestones aren’t everything to Fowles but they are an important and as she continues to climb the charts, all her teammates and coaches can do is watch in amazement.
“She’s just incredible. She’s relentless. The game has changed in terms of how she’s being officiated this year, how the paint is being officiated… but she just still finds a way,” said head coach Cheryl Reeve. “I’m just really proud of her and I’m just really thankful that I have a chance to be a part of so many double-doubles out of that big number.”
For rookies like Napheesa Collier, getting to practice and play in such close proximity to a living legend is a special experience.
“I have no idea how she does half the stuff she does, but she does it every night,” she said. “I am so blessed that I can play on the same team as her and learn from her.”
Collier poetically got her first-ever WNBA double-double on the same night that Fowles set the WNBA record. For a young player who admires everything about Fowles, that means something.
“I think it is really cool. I just feel so blessed that I can be on this team with her. I couldn’t have had it better, she’s like a mentor to all of us and I couldn’t have a better vet, couldn’t have happened to a better person,” she said.
While Fowles is typically quick to deflect praise, this record is a special one and there’s no denying that.
“It feels good. I don’t think it actually sunk in just yet. Probably when I go home and wind down and relax it will kick in but for the most part it feels good,” said Fowles. “It feels like all my hard work has paid off. Not just from this record but just knowing the hustle and the bustle of going out there and trying to get it done day in and day out.”
Fowles doesn’t need to do anything else to be remembered as one of the greatest WNBA players of all time but this achievement is a nice feather in her cap. It is a perfect distillation of what makes Fowles special—grit, perseverance and relentlessness.