Emotions were overflowing inside the Target Center Friday night as the Minnesota Lynx bid farewell to Sylvia Fowles.
Minnesota’s matchup against the Seattle Storm marked Fowles’ final regular season home game ahead of her forthcoming retirement.
Fowles was honored before tip-off alongside Seattle’s Sue Bird and Briann January, who is also set to retire at the season’s end. The star center, who has spent the last eight years of her 15-year WNBA career in Minnesota, addressed the Target Center crowd.
thank you,thank you,THANK YOU.#SylsFinalRide | #ThankYouSylvia pic.twitter.com/OHkqcj3myC— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) August 13, 2022
thank you,thank you,THANK YOU.#SylsFinalRide | #ThankYouSylvia pic.twitter.com/OHkqcj3myC
“What hit me the hardest in the ceremony was the fans,” Fowles said after the game. “Just listening to them scream and give me my flowers, shall we say. It was nice.”
Tears flowed as Fowles checked out of the game for the last time, with players on both sides overcome by emotion. Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve could also be seen with tears in her eyes as Fowles returned to the bench with two minutes left on the game clock.
“Sue and Syl, that generation, they took the baton from those that started the WNBA, and they took this thing to another level,” Reeve said following the emotional night.
Absolutely all the emotions pouring out tonight from Head Coach Cheryl Reeve and the legendary @SylviaFowles. #thankyousylvia pic.twitter.com/ys5C5BvIeH— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) August 13, 2022
Absolutely all the emotions pouring out tonight from Head Coach Cheryl Reeve and the legendary @SylviaFowles. #thankyousylvia pic.twitter.com/ys5C5BvIeH
The celebratory atmosphere didn’t necessarily translate on the court, with the Lynx falling to the Storm 96-69 in the team’s penultimate regular season contest.
Minnesota will now look for a win against Connecticut on Sunday to clinch one of the two remaining playoff spots. The Lynx must win, and Phoenix or New York must lose Sunday to book a ticket to the postseason.