Web Editorial Associate
Approaching the 2017 season, the Minnesota Lynx have a handful of veteran players going through something for the first time in their careers.
Players such as Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Jia Perkins decided to not play overseas during the offseason, focusing more on getting ready for upcoming WNBA season.
For Whalen, it’s her second offseason not playing overseas. But for Moore, Augustus and Perkins, that was all new to them.
“Like the first month or two you’re like what do I do and where do I go? Normally you’re packing up and heading (overseas),” Seimone Augustus after the second day of training camp on Monday. “Once I got home and got around my family and friends, it kind of flows into normal life.”
It was a bit of a change for the players, who were used to playing overseas in the offseason and jumping right into the WNBA season each April. The time allowed them to let their bodies heal and become fresh for the upcoming season.
“There’s never a downside to that. Having fresher legs also means having a fresher mind,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said after practice. “When these players go overseas, they are our franchise players and they are asked to play at a high level every single day at practice and at games. Then they are getting paid a lot of money when they do go (overseas) for that same expectation. . . You have a responsibility to be on all the time.”
Augustus said a knee injury and running into a familiar Wolves player at the practice facility helped open her eyes to realizing taking an offseason off might be best.
“The turning point for me was when I had to get that scope on my right knee a year or two ago and my body was telling me I need to take a break,” she said. “It was funny, I ran into (Kevin Garnett) in the weight room and he was like ‘youngin’ you need to take care of your body,’ so I think that was a great sign to take care of my body after that.”
Overall, taking an offseason off to rest and prepare for the upcoming season could help the Lynx in the long run. And Reeve thinks the fact that it’s important to them to prioritize playing in the WNBA market means that much more.
“The fact that it means so much to them to play here, in this market, longer. That’s what they are hoping for by doing this, that instead of being only to play at a high level until 35, they are going can I lengthen this thing until I am 38, 39, 40. . . If they take care of their bodies,” Reeve said. “It means that much for them, which I think we need to make sure we have a great appreciation for.”