Minnesota Links celebrate Sylvia Fowles in their last home game of the regular season before the WNBA legend retires

MINNEAPOLIS – As Target Center fans chanted “Home of the torrent!” Colleagues and opponents alike were looking on with pride, Minnesota Linux Center Silvia Fowles Sucks the passion on Friday night.

Fowles, a former MVP and all-time leading WNBA, will retire at the end of the season, and Lynx and their fans wanted to make sure she felt appreciated. Fowles has spent the past eight seasons of her 15-year WNBA career with Minnesota, a place that has turned out to be a perfect fit for the Florida native.

“What hit me the most at the party was the fans,” Fowles said of the post-game celebration held on the field after the Lynx fell 96-69 to Seattle in their last home game in Minnesota of the regular season. Just listen to them scream. And give me my flowers, shall we? He was cute.”

Fowls has been one of the most dominant positions of all time in women’s basketball, dating back to her college career at LSU, her seven years in Chicago after her No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft, her tenure at Lynx, and her success in NBA, which included four medals Olympic gold.

Whether or not this is the last time fans will see her playing at Target Center. Even after the loss, Lynx still held out for a chance in the playoffs. Minnesota is now 14-21, a game behind Phoenix and New York, who have tied 15-20 in their last two games.

Lynx will need to win in Connecticut on Sunday and then hope to either lose Mercury (who plays in Chicago) or Liberty (who plays with Atlanta) that day. If they all finish at 15-21, Lynx has a tiebreaker against Phoenix and New York based on their head-to-head record.

“We still have another game,” said Fowles, who scored 13 points and 12 rebounds on Friday. “We still have a bit of a lifeline. Tonight wasn’t our night, so hopefully we can go out and play better on Sunday.”

Although it wasn’t a great game for Lynx, who allowed the rising storm to shoot 52.8% of the field in control of the game start to finish, it was an unforgettable night for Fowles. Before the match, she and Lynx honored the Stormkeepers So Bird And the Brian January, who will also retire at the end of the season. Fowls and Bird, the WNBA assists leader, were teammates on four Olympic teams.

“It just hit me: How happy am I to have had the opportunity in my career to be around these great players?” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, who is now head coach of Team USA and was previously an assistant, said. “Sue and Seal, that generation, they took the baton from those who started the WNBA, and they took this thing to another level.”

Another Old Olympian, Seattle Center Tina CharlesJoin Bird and some of the other Storm players who stayed behind after the game for the Fowls party at the stadium. As much as the admiration and respect the Storm players have for her, the truth is that they have something to play for Friday, too: the No. 4 seed and home ground advantage in the first-round series with Washington. Seattle got it with their win.

“I was bitter,” said Storm coach Noel Quinn. “As a fan of Ciel and knowing how awesome she is, you don’t want to ruin her night, but she didn’t at all. Lots of love on the court for her. Winning or losing, it was meant to be her night and a great night. Even though we won, she did.” She was very special to her, to the organization, to the city, and to those who love her as a competitor but as a friend and as a teammate.”

Fowles went to the women’s fourth final in all of her four seasons at LSU, then helped Sky reach the WNBA Finals in 2014. But she wanted a chance to play for Lynx and sat the first part of the 2015 season waiting for a trade. It came in July of that year, then helped the Minnesota Fowls win their third championship. Lynx also won the WNBA title in 2017. Fowles was the Finals MVP of both years and best player in the league in 2017.

Former Lynx protector Lindsey Wallen, now the University of Minnesota women’s basketball coach, was in attendance Friday to honor Fowles, whom she jokingly dubbed “Sylvester Flowers.” Whalen, a fixture on all four Minnesota teams for the title, said that while the Lynx was a championship squad before the Fowls came along, they became a breed with it.

Rebecca Bronson, another former Minnesota Championship Center member and current Lynx assistant coach Rebecca Bronson, said Fowles hugged her after the two faced opponents years ago. Bronson joked that she initially wondered if Fowles was making fun of her. Then I realized Fowles was: a fierce competitor during the game and a soulful friend to everyone once it was over.

“I wasn’t disappointed for a moment,” Bronson said of getting to know Fowles as a teammate. It was exactly what that hug said: ‘I care about you, I support you, I want to see you succeed. I am there for you no matter what. “It was the ‘hug’ of this community, too.”

Lynx owner Glen Taylor Fowles told at the party that he had seen her play with Sky and wished she was with Minnesota. Then, when Lynx was able to trade for her, Taylor said he got to know the Fowls and that they rarely talked about basketball. Their conversations were about ways of working in society and helping people.

“The thing that hit me the most at the party was the fans. Just listening to them scream and give me flowers, shall we?”

Silvia Fowles

Rive Fowles parodied by starting the hymn “Another Year” at the party, then said she knew the answer would be, “Not no, but hell no.”

Fowles, who will turn 37 in October, averages 14.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game. She remains one of the most intimidating post-players in the WNBA. Rive said that Fowles would come out on top because she “never wanted to look bad. She didn’t want to be one of those old players who probably should have quit a couple of years ago.”

Fowles said she’s ready to move on with her life whenever this season ends, but is happy to be back for another year. At first, she didn’t want much fuss about her farewell, which Lynx dubbed “Syl’s Last Ride.” However, it turned out to be a sweet experience for her.

“I’m very happy to go through this whole process this year,” Fowles said. “At first, I wasn’t very cheerful because I didn’t want the attention. But you have to realize that people understand the work I’ve done in 15 years.

“I never look for an easy way out. Whatever needs to be done that night, I think I’m the first to step up and be prepared to do it. I’ve had these responsibilities throughout my career, and I’m very proud of that.”

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