It again occurred literally seconds after the Minnesota Lynx last week won its second WNBA title in three years — the “d” word was vainly uttered.
After reading a local newspaper’s Sunday Lynx dynasty story, the team’s longest tenured beat reporter looked up “sports dynasty,” which is subjectively too often overused by uneducated sportswriters.
The term “sports dynasty” applies to a team that dominates its sport or league for multiple seasons. Examples are UCLA’s 10-straight national championships in 12 years; or eight straight for the Boston Celtics or the Houston Comets, winners of the first four WNBA titles in as many tries (1997-2000); or Concordia University’s six Division II volleyball titles.
Or there’s the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team, two-times-straight national champions, who I watched last Friday win their 52nd straight game. It’s now 53 wins in a row for them, a NCAA record.
“I don’t want to say a dynasty, because we haven’t gotten to the Houston Comets’ level yet,” Lynx guard Seimone Augustus pointed out when reporters asked her to compare her present club to the now-defunct former champions. “But we have a pretty damned good team here, I think, that can probably go for another.”
But in order to accurately put Minnesota’s winningest pro team in the last three years in its proper perspective, here are nine things that may or may have not been looked at:
Only three local teams historically have thrice reached the championship finals: the Gophers football team (1934-36), the Minneapolis Lakers (1952-54), and the area’s longest running women’s pro basketball team (2011-13).
The Lynx are the first local pro team to win all its postseason games (7-0) in the same season.
They are the third WNBA club with at least three consecutive Finals appearances.
Minnesota becomes the ninth league team to win a title with 25+ regular-season wins, and second all-time behind Houston (three times) to do this multiple times.
The Lynx’s 80 regular-season wins over a three-year span has been achieved only once before in league history.
Minnesota led the league in rebounding margin for three consecutive summers.
The team now has the league’s best overall playoffs winning percentage (66 percent) and best home postseason winning mark (almost 87 percent).
The Lynx set a WNBA single-season record for fewest turnovers per game.
Each member of this year’s club scored during the three-game Finals series.
As impressive as Minnesota’s 2013 Meat Loaf championship run may be — two out of three isn’t bad — those local folk, sportswriters included, who want to crown the Lynx in dynasty clothes should all take heed of the team’s franchise player’s aforementioned warning.
“With so much talent in this league, it’s hard to get back here,” admits Augustus.
They, not us, said it
“It wasn’t easy. It’s supposed to be hard. That’s what a championship is supposed to be,” said 2013 Finals MVP Maya Moore.
“I’m learning a lot just being on this team… I’m having so much fun,” said Minnesota rookie guard Sugar Rodgers.
“[Winning the title] will all be about heart and who wants it more,” said Lynx guard Monica Wright, the team’s third-leading scorer in the Finals before Minnesota swept Atlanta in three games.
“It was just fun to see her make plays like that because you know she’s having so much fun,” concluded Minnesota point guard Lindsay Whalen on Janel McCarville’s highlight between-the-legs assist to a trailing Rebekkah Brunson after the center stole the ball and went the length of the court in Game 3.
Next week: “Another View” begins an in-depth series on what’s next for the WNBA.
Read about the sounds and sights of Monday’s championship celebration in Sports Odds and Ends on the MSR website.