WNBA legend Sylvia Fowles stepped off the court for the last time Sunday as the Minnesota Lynx fell to the Connecticut Sun, eliminating Fowles and the Lynx from playoff contention.
Fowles, who dropped 10 points and 12 rebounds, left the game to a standing ovation at Mohegan Sun Arena and was embraced by teammates and coaches. She has retired as the only player to lead two franchises (Chicago and Minnesota) in career rebounding and the only WNBA player to record 4,000 rebounds.
Fowles also received a standing ovation during her final home game Friday night at the Target Center, where she and fellow WNBA legend Sue Bird (who Fowles won four Gold Medals as members of Team USA) shared a moment after the game.
The Lynx could not pick up the victory despite Fowles” 193rd career double-double and a combined 48 points from Lindsay Allen and Aerial Powers Sunday night, as Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones, Natisha Hiedeman, Courtney Williams, Alyssa Thomas, and Brionna Jones all finished in double-digits. But the moment of Fowles’ final game took center stage after Minnesota’s season-ending loss.
“In typical Syl fashion, she just thanked us for being her teammates and supporting her throughout the season and then the staff and the coaches and all of that,” Allen said, per ESPN. “She was just very grateful to be able to do it with us this season through the ups and downs and everything that the season entailed.”
An eight-time All-Star, two-time WNBA Champ, two-time Finals MVP, 2017 League MVP, and four-time Defensive Player of the Year, Fowles achieved it all during her illustrious 13-year career in the W. The 36-year-old, who is arguably the greatest center in WNBA history, took time after the game to reflect on her legendary career.
“I learned that this team is going to be different and a little more challenging, so I had to do things that were out of my comfort zone, which I’m gratefulI’mhappy that I stepped out of my comfort zone for this team,” Fowles said “But also just appreciating the love that I got from the fans this year. It put things into a different perspective for me. I never got that in my first 14 years of playing, and so to see that all come together in my last year, I’m very grateful.”
One of the greatest to ever play the game, the memories Fowles brought basketball fans will last a lifetime. From two championships to winning the League MVP to throwing down a one-handed slam at the most recent WNBA All-Star game, Fowles’ legacFowles’live on for years to come.
Photos via Getty Images