The Unshakable Bond of the Minnesota Lynx
Believe it or not, the Minnesota Lynx weren’t always this good. Before the dawn of the dynasty featuring Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, and Maya Moore and earned the franchise four titles in seven years, the Lynx had made the playoffs only twice in their 12-year existence.
Minnesota looks a lot different than it did in 2006, when it drafted Augustus first overall. That season, coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, 2004 WNBA Coach of the Year, resigned in the middle of the year and the team finished with a 10-24 record.
“Everyone right now is like, ‘They got a superstar team,’ and I’m like, well, we had to take a lot of [losses] for us to get this team, but then a lot of other things had to happen as well,” Augustus said.
She remembers how tough that situation was to come into, especially after she won back-to-back National Player of the Year Awards at LSU, and how frustrating it was to not make the playoffs for the first five seasons of her professional career. She also suffered an ACL injury during the 2009 season that relegated her to the bench.
“It took some time. [It] was just a very tough situation,” Augustus said. “[But in 2009] we were able to get Rebekkah [Brunson] in the dispersal draft after Sacramento folded, and then we made a trade [with the Connecticut Sun] to get Lindsay [Whalen] back home. After that, you could see that all the pieces were coming together.”
Then Maya Moore, a once-in-a-generation type of player, fell right into the Lynx’s lap with the first pick in the 2011 draft. After all those seasons spent at the bottom of the WNBA food chain, the Lynx had one of the best cores in the league: Moore, Augustus, Brunson, and Whalen. It’s hard not to wonder if the basketball gods were smiling down on them; four players with this much talent don’t usually end up on the same team.
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