Last night we caught our first-ever WNBA game: Minneapolis’ Minnesota Lynx vs. the New York Liberty at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. And wow, what a game! The Lynx finished 74 to Liberty’s 66, with shooting guard Kayla McBride dropping 25 points with nine rebounds and Rachel Banham adding eight points and five assists.
Anyone with even a passing interest in basketball should wise up to the awesomeness of our pro women’s team. The Lynx were founded in 1999 and have won four WNBA championships (2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017), tying them with the Houston Comets and Seattle Storm for the most national titles in WNBA history.
Head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve led the team to all four Ws — the most of any female coach in the league. Reeve was also named WNBA’s Coach of the Year in 2011, 2016, and 2020. Even Reeve’s assistants — former shooting guard Katie Smith and former forward Rebekkah Brunson — were star players back in their day.
Though things got off to a rocky start this year, with four straight losses at the start of the season, the tight-knit squad turned it around. Now they’re ranked second in the Western Conference with a 10-season playoff streak. They’re so good, in fact, ESPN just ran a story putting ‘em neck-and-neck with Seattle for the title of Best WNBA Franchise in History.
While the stadium was only a third full at our game, we were struck by how fanatical the fans were — talking trash on NY Liberty’s scrappy squad and booing any ref who made a questionable call. But they were also extremely respectful of the stadium’s mask mandate and we didn’t spot one drunk in the bunch. (Can’t say the same about a Vikings game, that’s for sure.)
Wanna see four-time gold medalist/center Sylvia Fowles, power forward Napheesa Collier, and shooting guard Layshia Clarendon, the first openly non-binary WNBA player in the league, in person? Tickets are still available for the team’s latest playoff run, which starts with a second round matchup on Sunday, September 25.