Another win for the Minnesota Lynx and it will propel Lindsay Whalen to WNBA immortality.
The Lynx star needed just a single victory for her to overtake WNBA pioneer Swin Cash for the most wins by a single player. Cash and Whalen both have 294 wins, a record the latter considers an honor in itself.
“I’ve been around some great teams and great coaches,” Whalen said. “And it also means I’ve been around a while.”
But there’s more to it than that.
Sure, Whalen has played with great players, but she hasn’t ridden their coattails, the catalyst on any team she’s been part of. Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said all Olympians have “a little extra about them,” but Whalen has a special combination.
“She hates to lose and she’s really smart,” Reeve said. “Whoever she’s been around, whatever team … I suspect all along the way, she’s been a common denominator for success.”
It’s no different with the Lynx. As Whalen goes, Reeve said, so go the Lynx.
“It just didn’t happen by chance that this team became successful,” the coach said. “It was Lindsay Whalen being at the lead of this group, and they’ll all tell you that. We go as Lindsay goes, and that’s a huge responsibility — and she embraces it.”
“When Whalen gets going, it’s kind of easy for us to get into our groove,” Lynx guard Seimone Augustus said. “When she gets after it, it just kind of trickles down to the rest of us and we obviously play off of her energy and the things that she do. So, it has a lot to do with why she’s been so successful and why her teams … have been so successful.”
Whalen will have a chance to break Cash’s record Friday at 4:00 p.m. on the road against the Washington Mystics.
Photo: Craig Lassig