Sylvia Fowles completed the first month of her 15th and final WNBA season. When the Minnesota Lynx Veterans 6-6 center announced when this summer would be its final campaign, the presumptive Hall-of-Famer made it clear multiple times that he didn’t want to make a fuss about his upcoming retirement.
“I guess it really hasn’t sunk in that this could be last year,” Fowles said during the team’s media day before the season earlier this month. “I feel it’s a challenge to see what can be done at this age. Not to say that I’m getting older, but I love the challenge.
Aggressive on the field, Sweet Syl is one of the best players. This should be noted by friends, opponents and coaches as well.
His resume is unforgettable: fourth league defensive player this year; WNBA’s all-time leading rebounder since last July; Second Final MVP; multi-time all-league team members; top all-time in doubles and field goal shooting percentage; WNBA champion and Olympic gold medalist.
But just as surprisingly, Fowles admits that he can still get better in one of the most overlooked areas: “I think the one thing that’s lacking is that I’m a vocalist. Being a vocalist has always been a challenge for me. So, I challenge myself to make sure that. I can say it to the maximum, ”he said.
“His character, the fact that he cares about everyone, and his talent is no different,” Chicago Coach-GM James Wade said of Fowles ’strength a few weeks ago after Sky beat host Lynx. He coached Fowles for several seasons as a Lynx assistant.
“He’s absolutely amazing,” she continued. “I definitely want her to be healthy. I’m definitely going to be on her corner and be a big fan of her.
Mike Thibault of Washington has long known Fowles, either as an opposing coach or from his coaches in U.S. Basketball competitions. “He’s just one of those incredible pros and how he treats people, friends or coaches, opponents,” the veteran coach said. “He comes with this bucket lunch mentality every day. You don’t get shortchanged. What you see is what you get.”
The classic centerpiece that rolls back into the basket and uses paint as personal real estate is now extremely rare in women’s and men’s bracelets. These days you see 4 and 5 wandering far and away from the buttons and playing more facing the basketball than with a back to it.
Fowles “makes bread and butter in there” in a few posts, Thibault said. “But we might have one [like her] in the year from now out of South Carolina, ”he added of Aliyah Boston, this year’s college player who is expected to be the top pick in next year’s WNBA Draft.
Whether Fowles has an internal or external countdown clock, “I can’t say what will happen,” he said of the last game when Minnesota played its last game in the 2022 season.
Former college and pro teammate Seimone Augustus, the first Black woman pro superstar and franchise player in town, will see her uniform number retired by Lynx on Friday. Fowles numbers will certainly join him on the arena rafters.
Charles Hallman is a contributing journalist and award-winning sports columnist at Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.