Daily Sports Smile: Minnesota Lynx celebrate Sylvia Fowles return for final WNBA season

Minnesota Lynx Sylvia Fowles (34) shoots over Indiana Fever's Teaira McCowan (15) during the first quarter of a WNBA basketball game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Minneapolis. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

Minnesota Lynx star Sylvia Fowles will return for one final WNBA season. The former MVP and two-time WNBA champion comes back for her 15th season in the league. Fowles will be reunited with Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve after both captured a gold medal in the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Lynx shared a special hype video on their social platforms. It features a homage to Fowles and her great work with the organization on and off the court.

Fowles appeared in 31 games last season. She averaged 16 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks en route to an All-Star selection. The Lynx finished 22-10 overall and second in the WNBA Western Conference.

However, Minnesota lost to the eventual WNBA champion Chicago Sky in the second round of the playoffs.

After considering retirement, Fowles announced her final season in a heartwarming way. She thanked her fans and the Minnesota community.

“Words can’t express how much ya’ll mean to me,” Fowles told her fans in the social media post. “This will be my final season and I couldn’t think of a better place to be. You all have seen me blossom into something we call legendary. Minneapolis will forever be home. Thank you all for embracing me with open arms. Thank you all for the love, support and lifelong memories.”  

The Lynx will attempt to climb the WNBA ladder once again. The franchise has four WNBA titles with their last coming in 2017. That season, Fowles was league MVP and was dominant on both ends of the floor.

Last season, Fowles was the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year. She joined WNBA legend Tamika Catchings as the only players to win the award four times.

“I cannot understate our appreciation for not only Sylvia Fowles the basketball player, but more importantly, Sylvia Fowles the person,” Reeve told the Lynx official website. “Her loyalty and belief in our franchise is beyond measure. I am thrilled that Syl is returning to the Lynx for her final season in the WNBA and look forward to her continuing to etch her mark as the greatest center in WNBA history.”

The Lynx have a young core around Fowles. The frontcourt features emerging phenom Napheesa Collier and Natalie Achonwa. The backcourt includes guards Kayla McBride, Aerial Powers and Rennia Davis among others.

Several around the sports landscape celebrated Fowles. Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns expressed his excitement to see Fowles back on the court.

The Lynx will begin their 2022 season against the Seattle Storm on May 6.