The Lynx outlasted the Dream, 73-67, to take their first WNBA Championship.
Rebekkah Brunson had one of the plays of the night with this shot.
Championship photos. Awww! Last night was the first time I’ve really seen Lindsay Whalen smile – in the eyes, too.
Dr. J was also sitting courtside, and ESPN interviewed him at a timeout.
If you all noticed, the first thing Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve did after time expired wasn’t to bolt to the handshake line, but to hug the veteran Taj “Mama” McWilliams-Franklin. I thought that was really appropriate. Then Mama Taj and rookie Maya Moore, who is younger than TMF’s own daughter, shared a moment. Both have been champs before, and both compare this year’s title to their previous ones:
“This feels so different, even better than winning in college,” Moore said over the din of the loud and crazy postgame celebration. “Winning in college was great, but this was a lot harder, we had to work so hard for this for so long. You get to be with people like Taj, who has such a big heart and is so tough. She fights and fights, and I’ve learned so much by watching her never giving up.”
“To me, ’08 was like a foregone conclusion,” McWilliams-Franklin said, comparing her two title runs. “We just won, and won, and won in Detroit, and once we got into the Finals, it was kind of known that this is what the Detroit Shock do — win titles. This  was like we had to fight, the feeling is so different.
It’s really cool that Moore is watching and learning from the vet. And it’s interesting to me that Mama Taj didn’t necessarily think they would take it all. Most everyone else I know did.
This title was a loooong time coming for the Lynx, who hadn’t even made the playoffs for seven years prior to this season.
Right after the win, the marquee outside the Target Center in Minneapolis looked like this.
The championship parade and rally will be 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11 in downtown Minneapolis.
The Lynx roster includes players who have won a championship before, like McWilliams-Franklin, Hornbuckle and Moore (M-F and Hornbuckle won a Detroit Shock title together in 2008, too), to Augustus and Candice Wiggins, whose college teams came so close in the past but never got the rings. That has got to feel good. Not to mention for Whalen, who wanted to bring a title to her home state.
The first time I saw Seimone Augustus play in person was in March, 2004, when LSU was in Seattle for rounds one and two of the NCAA tournament. Then a sophomore, Augustus began lighting it up from everywhere on the floor. She also had no qualms about driving to the basket at any time. She seemed to have a personal pipeline to the basket.
“Who the hell is this kid?” I asked the friend I was with.
Seven years and many battles later, here she is, the Finals MVP.
At first glance, it wouldn’t seem like a sweep would be a good series, but these three games were entertaining. The Dream is a great squad, and they made Minnesota work for their title in every possible way. In the end, however, the Lynx had too much depth and too many weapons for any opponent. They were good even when they were struggling. They are unquestionably the champions this year, and some are saying many more years to come.
Congrats to the champs.