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Lexie Brown on the WNBA’s Return, Living In a Bubble


Lexie Brown is a guard for the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA. Brown played college basketball at Duke University before being drafted by the Connecticut Sun in 2018 and traded to the Lynx in 2019. Below, she spoke with Just Women’s Sports about her experience in the WNBA bubble so far and how she sees her team advancing throughout the rest of the season. 

What are your thoughts on the WNBA’s social justice efforts and the importance of dedicating this season to Breonna Taylor?

It’s amazing. What has been going on in our country recently has really been going on forever. In these past few months, it was thrust into the spotlight because everyone was at home with the virus. I think it was a good opportunity for us to use our platforms to speak up and speak out. We’re not new to doing that. Female athletes in general, but specifically the WNBA, have always been at the forefront of social justice issues.

On top of that, we have all of these televised games which we didn’t know were going to happen. We came into this bubble just thinking that we were all going to be together and that our voices would be stronger as one — we all wanted to share one united message. The fact that we’re all over TV and social media has been amazing for us in trying to share our message.

They just added around 13 more games to the TV schedule, which is huge. It not only expands the platform, but it also shows that people want to watch you all play.

Exactly. And it’s been so nice to see the support. There is some negativity, of course. But seeing how many people are happy to have access to our games is great. Whether it’s my team or any other team, it’s awesome to see people asking where they can buy jerseys or those orange hoodies that are everywhere. It’s nice to see that people do care about our league because, usually, we see all of the negativity and we just have to ignore it and push through. So, it’s been really nice to get some visibility this year.

How do you think the league has handled all of the different logistics, both leading up to life in the bubble and now with games happening? 

I think they’ve done a great job. During the first day or two, when we were in our little quarantine, people were just getting used to the whole situation. And there were some things that went wrong, but anything that went wrong was fixed so fast, without any hassle. The staff members are all incredible. Everyone is so nice. Everyone is listening to directions. I think the WNBA did a really good job for as little time as they had to put this together. Obviously, you don’t want to be in a bubble, but for someone that’s living in a bubble, I’m very happy here.

Do you think it’s hard to stay motivated during the season while living in such a different environment?

For me, personally, I’m super self-motivated. And I’m not really a person who is out and about all the time. If I’m at home, I’m usually at home with my family and we’re just hanging out. So for me, this type of environment is very similar to one, overseas and two, how I am at home. I miss my friends and family, of course. And I miss our fans. I think that the hardest part for me is not playing in front of fans. But I’m in a situation where all I have to worry about is playing basketball and staying in shape, and that’s an ideal situation for me.

Do you think that there is a bigger focus on recovery since there is less traveling for games? 

Absolutely. One of my teammates actually went down with an injury last night, so now we’re down a player. Things change fast and we just have to take care of your bodies. The best thing for us is that we aren’t traveling, we aren’t sitting in airports all day or all night, we aren’t getting up at 6:00 AM to catch a flight. It’s leveled the playing field. At the end of the season, we’re going to see who took care of their bodies the best and also who did the most work leading up to the season. I made it a goal of mine to come into training camp as one of the most in shape players on my team, and I definitely did that. I love working out and the fact that this is my job is so amazing to me because I get to mess around with all different types of workouts and positively influence my job.

How has it been playing without fans?

It’s been so weird. In our first game, we were down and then we came back, but it just didn’t feel like we were making a comeback. It was so quiet. Everyone is going to have to adjust. Some players who aren’t used to talking and cheering on the bench are going to have to step up. Our coach asked us, “Why are we starting so slow?” And I said, “It’s just the environment.” We have to create our own energy. Some teams are better at that than others. For me, I love our fans, so while it hasn’t necessarily been hard, it’s been sad to not see those familiar faces in the stand.

You won your first game and lost your second. What are your thoughts on how the team has played?

Our energy has been a little up and down. We have so many new faces and a lot of younger players. We’re all adjusting and learning about each other. Our coach is used to having a veteran team, so I think she’s learning as she goes as well. It’s all going to be a process for us, but we all love each other. We have great chemistry off the court. Once we put it all together on the court, find our spots and get a rhythm, we’re going to be fine.

What are your expectations for the remainder of the season?

I just think that we have to play a little bit harder. Obviously we want to make it to the playoffs and potentially win a championship, but we want to be in the top percentages of different categories, too. Points, defense, steals, assists. There are so many things that we want to be great at, and we’re just kind of average at everything right now. Moving forward, we all have to hold each other accountable. Everyone just needs to find their groove and we’ll get there. The whole season is just so strange, the environment is strange, game days are strange. We just need to get used to it. After a few more games, we’ll get there.

Throughout your time in the Wubble, you have been documenting your experience via vlogs that you post on your YouTube channel. How did that come about?

I’ve been vlogging on YouTube for three years. I started vlogging at the end of my senior year at Duke. Actually, I started vlogging when my teammate and I went to this three-point contest at the Men’s Final Four, and our basketball program asked us to vlog it. We vlogged during Draft Day too, and I thought it was awesome. So, I just kept documenting things — I really enjoy filming and editing it all.

I started vlogging in the bubble because, one, so many people were against sports coming back and I wanted to show everyone that it was possible to bring sports back safely. And, two, because I wanted to keep the focus on social justice and social reform. I think it has also been a good way to lighten the mood and show everybody’s personalities. Everyone is still getting to know each other, so when I bring a camera out and start acting goofy it helps everyone to loosen up a bit. I’ve made three so far and I just finished editing another one. There are a lot of players making them, too. So, I think it’s amazing to see everybody’s different experiences on different teams and in different parts of campus.