|2023 Minnesota Lynx season|
|Team colors||Midnight navy blue, lake blue, aurora green, moonlight grey|
|Main sponsor||Mayo Clinic|
|General manager||Cheryl Reeve|
|Head coach||Cheryl Reeve|
|Championships||4 (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)|
|Conference titles||4 (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015[a])|
|Retired numbers||3 (13), (32), (33)|
The Minnesota Lynx are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team won the WNBA title in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
Founded prior to the 1999 season, the team is owned by Glen Taylor, who is also the majority owner of the Lynx' NBA counterpart, the Minnesota Timberwolves. The franchise has been home to players such as Katie Smith, Seimone Augustus, native Minnesotan Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Rebekkah Brunson, and Sylvia Fowles.
The Lynx have qualified for the WNBA playoffs in twelve of their twenty-one years. They currently hold a WNBA record ten consecutive playoff appearances.
On April 22, 1998, the WNBA announced they would add two expansion teams (Minnesota and the Orlando Miracle) for the 1999 season. The team was officially named the Minnesota Lynx on December 5, 1998. The Lynx started their inaugural season in 1999 with 12,122 fans in attendance to watch the first regular-season game against the Detroit Shock at Target Center. The Lynx defeated Detroit 68–51 in the franchise's first game. They finished their first season 15–17 overall and held the same record in 2000.
In 2001, the Lynx took a turn for the worse as they posted a 12–20 record.
The Lynx' first head coach, Brian Agler, was released during the 2002 season after compiling a 47–67 record in three-plus seasons. Heidi VanDerveer became the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The team finished the 2002 season with a 10–22 record, worst in franchise history (until 2006).
In 2003, the Lynx hired Suzie McConnell-Serio as head coach. She led the team to finish with a franchise-best 18–16 record and advanced to the WNBA Playoffs for the first time. They matched both of these feats in the 2004 season.
The 2005 season was one of transition for the franchise. Leading scorer Katie Smith was dealt to Detroit in July and the team stumbled down the stretch, missing the playoffs for the first time in three years. The poor finish did pay off however, as the team won the draft lottery and selected All-American guard Seimone Augustus of Louisiana State University with the first overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft.
The Lynx began the 2006 season as the youngest team in the WNBA. On May 31, the team set the WNBA single-game scoring record (at the time), routing the Los Angeles Sparks by a score of 114–71. Despite this victory and with her team floundering to an 8–15 record, head coach McConnell-Serio resigned on July 23. She was replaced by assistant Carolyn Jenkins, who piloted the squad to a 2–9 finish. The team's 24 losses set a franchise record.
Following the season, Augustus was named the 2006 WNBA Rookie of the Year. Her 21.9 points per game is still a WNBA rookie record. The 22-year-old was the second player in team history to win the award.
On December 13, 2006, the Lynx named veteran NBA assistant Don Zierden their fifth head coach.
In the 2007 WNBA Draft, the Lynx traded center Tangela Smith, whom they acquired in the dispersal draft from the Charlotte Sting, to the Phoenix Mercury for point guard Lindsey Harding, who had been selected first overall.
The Lynx began the 2007 season 0–7, lost ten straight in July and failed to get into the playoff race. They finished tying a league-worst 10–24 record. On November 1, 2007, assistant coach and former head coach Carolyn Jenkins was named Director of Player Personnel of the WNBA.
The 2008 season started out much different for the Lynx than in previous years. They came flying out of the gates, going 7–1 in the first five weeks of the season. The Lynx then cooled off. They managed to play competitive basketball all season, but lost many key games down the stretch. The Lynx finished with a 16–18 record in a tough Western Conference where every team was in the playoff chase until the final week of the season. The Lynx however, did not qualify. After two consecutive 10–24 seasons, the 2008 Lynx was a step in the right direction.
In 2009, Zierden resigned just days before the start of the season. Jennifer Gillom who replaced Teresa Edwards as an assistant coach the previous year, was promoted to head coach. Another Zierden Lynx assistant, former NBA player Jim Petersen stayed with Gillom during the season, working with post players Charde Houston and Nicky Anosike. The Lynx saw similar results in 2008. They started with a good run (7–3), but lost many key games, including a six-game losing streak, and finished 14–20, out from the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
After five disappointing seasons, the off-season brought much more impact to the franchise. The team hired former Detroit Shock assistant coach Cheryl Reeve as their new head coach, parting ways with Jennifer Gillom, who took the head coaching job of the Los Angeles Sparks. The Lynx also made some moves in the off-season by selecting Rebekkah Brunson in the Sacramento Monarchs dispersal draft, and trading their first overall pick of the 2010 WNBA Draft and Renee Montgomery to the Connecticut Sun for former Minnesota Gopher Lindsay Whalen and the second overall pick. They added free agent Hamchétou Maïga to the lineup, and selected University of Virginia guard Monica Wright with the second pick in the 2010 Draft. With these off-season transactions, the Lynx looked forward to a much improved 2010 season, which was echoed by the eighth annual WNBA general manager poll – 45% of the general managers declared the Lynx the most-improved team as the 2010 season began.
The selection of Maya Moore during the 2011 WNBA Draft led many people to believe the Lynx to be championship contenders for the 2011 season. The team finally lived up to expectations in 2011, behind stellar play from Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Moore, and Whalen, all of whom were named to the 2011 Western Conference All-Star Team. The Lynx went into the All-Star break with a 10–4 record, good for first place in the conference. After losing to Phoenix in a 112–105 contest at Target Center on July 13, the Lynx went on a nine-game winning streak, at the time a franchise record and the longest in the league for 2011. The team finished with a 27–7 record, best in the WNBA and in team history.
The Lynx earned the top overall seed in the 2011 WNBA Playoffs. In the first round, they defeated the San Antonio Silver Stars two-games-to-one in the best of three series. The Lynx then swept the Phoenix Mercury in two games to win their first conference championship. In the Finals, the Lynx trailed at halftime in each game, but rallied each time to sweep the Atlanta Dream in three games, securing their first WNBA title, and the first professional championship for the state of Minnesota since the Minnesota Twins won the World Series in 1991. Seimone Augustus was named Finals MVP.
In 2012, the team began the season 10–0, a franchise and league record. They clinched a playoff berth on August 19, 2012, just 21 games into the season. The team fell to the Indiana Fever in the 2012 WNBA Finals.
The Lynx used both the loss in the Finals and prognosticators' pre-season focus on the Phoenix Mercury's new phenom, Brittney Griner, to motivate themselves for the 2013 season. The Lynx once again had the best record in the West. They completed their comeback, sweeping through the playoffs en route to their second championship in three years, once again defeating the Atlanta Dream. Maya Moore, showing why she's now a superstar in the WNBA, won the 2013 WNBA Finals MVP. In doing so, the Lynx became the second WNBA team and fifth major professional sports franchise to sweep through the postseason.
In 2014, the Lynx again had a successful regular season, claiming the second best record in the league, second only to Griner and the Mercury. However, in the playoffs, the Mercury bested them 2–1 in a three-game series, and the Lynx failed to make the finals for the first time since the 2010 season.
In 2015, two-time Defensive Player of the Year Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky held out of her contract until her wish was granted in July to play for Minnesota. The Lynx would go on to win their third franchise title, all three of them in a five-year span dating back to 2011. Fowles proved herself to be a crucial addition, earning finals MVP honors.
After winning the WNBA title in 2015, the Lynx qualified to the 2016 WNBA Playoffs as the top seed with a franchise record 28–6 finish, only entering in the semifinals to face the Phoenix Mercury. Due to the Target Center entering a renovation, the team moved to the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, where the Lynx played the 2017 regular season. A sweep of the Mercury qualified the Lynx for their fifth finals in six years, with the adversary being the Los Angeles Sparks. The Lynx would not repeat their title, as the Sparks edged out the Lynx in a five-game series, eventually winning game 5 by 1 point.
On August 12, 2017, the Lynx set two WNBA records in their 111–52 defeat of the Indiana Fever: largest margin of victory (59 points) and longest unanswered scoring run (37 consecutive points). The Lynx finished as the top seed in the league, finishing 27–7. In the semi-finals, the Lynx defeated the Washington Mystics in a three-game sweep to advance to the WNBA Finals for the sixth time in seven years. The Lynx avenged 2016's Finals loss to the Sparks by defeating them in five games to win their fourth championship in seven seasons and tying the now-defunct Houston Comets for most WNBA championship titles.
In 2018, with back-up point guard Renee Montgomery leaving in free agency to sign with the Atlanta Dream and a now aging roster intact, the Lynx would start falling way short of championship contention. Although Moore, Fowles, Augustus and Brunson made All-Star appearances, the Lynx finished as the number 7 seed in the league with an 18–16 record. This was the first time in 8 years where the Lynx did not finish as a top 2 seed. Lindsay Whalen also announced her retirement prior to the playoffs. The Lynx started off their playoff run against the rival Los Angeles Sparks in the first round elimination game. They lost 75–68, ending their run of three consecutive Finals appearances, and it was Whalen's final career game.
In 2019 and 2020, however, the Lynx would produce players that won WNBA Rookie of the Year.
The home uniforms are white with blue and silver trim. The team jerseys bear the logo of the team's jersey sponsor, the Mayo Clinic, in blue. The road uniforms are blue with silver and white trim and the sponsor logo written in silver. The Lynx previously used an Adidas uniform that was standard throughout the league, but the WNBA partnered with Nike, Inc. for eight years beginning in 2018. The Lynx are also one of 11 WNBA teams sponsored by Verizon, whose logo is also prominently featured on their uniforms.
During the 2016 season, the white uniforms were temporarily replaced by a new silver uniform. This was part of a league-wide initiative for its 20th season, in which all games featured all-color uniform matchups.
The Minnesota Lynx Foundation holds an annual "Catwalk for a Cure" event at the Mall of America during the WNBA's Breast Health Awareness Week to raise funds for breast cancer related charities. The 2011 event was held Aug. 5 and raised $5,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
In 2012, the Lynx hosted the Catwalk for a Cure at the Mall of America rotunda for the first time, occupying the largest staging area inside the country's biggest mall. In addition to displaying outfits, Lynx players ended the show with a dance based on the song "Background" by Lecrae and Andy Mineo. The Lynx Foundation donated a $5,000 grant to the SAGE program, run by the Minnesota Department of Health.
During the WNBA's 2013 Breast Health Awareness Week and in partnership with the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation, the Lynx game against the Indiana Fever on August 25 was a "Pink Out" game at Target Center and on August 29, the 5th annual "Catwalk for a Cure" event was held at the Mall of America. The Lynx donated a $10,000 grant to the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation.
|Season||Team||Conference||Regular season||Playoff results||Head coach|
|1999||1999||West||5th||15||17||.469||Did not qualify||Brian Agler|
|2000||2000||West||6th||15||17||.469||Did not qualify||Brian Agler|
|2001||2001||West||6th||12||20||.375||Did not qualify||Brian Agler|
|2002||2002||West||8th||10||22||.313||Did not qualify||B. Agler (6–13)|
H. VanDerveer (4–9)
|2003||2003||West||4th||18||16||.529||Lost Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles, 1–2)||Suzie McConnell-Serio|
|2004||2004||West||3rd||18||16||.529||Lost Conference Semifinals (Seattle, 0–2)||Suzie McConnell-Serio|
|2005||2005||West||6th||14||20||.412||Did not qualify||Suzie McConnell-Serio|
|2006||2006||West||7th||10||24||.294||Did not qualify||S. Mc.-Serio (8–15)|
C. Jenkins (2–9)
|2007||2007||West||6th||10||24||.294||Did not qualify||Don Zierden|
|2008||2008||West||6th||16||18||.471||Did not qualify||Don Zierden|
|2009||2009||West||5th||14||20||.412||Did not qualify||Jennifer Gillom|
|2010||2010||West||5th||13||21||.382||Did not qualify||Cheryl Reeve|
|2011||2011||West||1st||27||7||.794||Won Conference Semifinals (San Antonio, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (Phoenix, 2–0)
Won WNBA Finals (Atlanta, 3–0)
|2012||2012||West||1st||27||7||.794|| Won Conference Semifinals (Seattle, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (Los Angeles, 2–0)
Lost WNBA Finals (Indiana, 1–3)
|2013||2013||West||1st||26||8||.765||Won Conference Semifinals (Seattle, 2–0)
Won Conference Finals (Phoenix, 2–0)
Won WNBA Finals (Atlanta, 3–0)
|2014||2014||West||2nd||25||9||.735||Won Conference Semifinals (San Antonio, 2–0)
Lost Conference Finals (Phoenix, 1–2)
|2015||2015||West||1st||22||12||.647||Won Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles, 2–1)
Won Conference Finals (Phoenix, 2–0)
Won WNBA Finals (Indiana, 3–2)
|2016||2016||West||1st||28||6||.824||Won WNBA Semifinals (Phoenix, 3–0)
Lost WNBA Finals (Los Angeles, 2–3)
|2017||2017||West||1st||27||7||.794||Won WNBA Semifinals (Washington, 3–0)
Won WNBA Finals (Los Angeles, 3–2)
|2018||2018||West||4th||18||16||.529||Lost First Round (Los Angeles, 0–1)||Cheryl Reeve|
|2019||2019||West||4th||18||16||.529||Lost First Round (Seattle, 0–1)||Cheryl Reeve|
|2020||2020||West||4th||14||8||.636||Won Second Round (Phoenix 1–0)
Lost WNBA Seminfinals (Seattle, 0–3)
|2021||2021||West||2nd||22||10||.688||Lost Second Round (Chicago 0–1)||Cheryl Reeve|
|2022||2022||West||5th||14||22||.389||Did not qualify||Cheryl Reeve|
|Regular season||433||363||.544||6 Conference Titles|
|Playoffs||42||25||.627||4 WNBA Championships|
|Nationality||Name||Years pro||Last played||Drafted|
|Minnesota Lynx Hall of Famers|
|Minnesota Lynx retired numbers|
|13||Lindsay Whalen||G||2010-2018||June 8, 2019|
|32||Rebekkah Brunson||PF||2010-2018||July 3, 2022|
|33||Seimone Augustus||G||2006-2019||May 29, 2022|
|Minnesota Lynx head coaches|
|Brian Agler||November 17, 1998||July 16, 2002||4||48||67||.417||115||0||0||.000||0|
|Heidi VanDerveer||July 16, 2002||End of 2002||1||4||9||.308||13||0||0||.000||0|
|Suzie McConnell Serio||January 21, 2003||July 23, 2006||4||58||67||.464||125||1||4||.200||5|
|Carolyn Jenkins||July 23, 2006||End of 2006||1||2||9||.182||11||0||0||.000||0|
|Don Zierden||December 23, 2006||June 3, 2009||2||26||42||.382||68||0||0||.000||0|
|Jennifer Gillom||June 3, 2009||End of 2009||1||14||20||.412||34||0||0||.000||0|
|Cheryl Reeve||December 8, 2009||Current||13||281||149||.653||430||41||21||.661||61|
|Minnesota Lynx statistics|
Lynx games are broadcast on either Bally Sports North or Bally Sports North Plus. Broadcasters for the Lynx television games are Marney Gellner and Lea B. Olsen. Lynx games are carried on Bob 106.1 FM; John Focke broadcasts radio games (and LiveAccess feeds).
All games (excluding blackout games, which are available on ESPN3.com) are broadcast to the WNBA LiveAccess game feeds on the league website. Furthermore, some Lynx games are broadcast nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The WNBA has reached an eight-year agreement with ESPN, which will pay right fees to the Lynx, as well as other teams in the league.
|Regular season all-time attendance|
|Year||Average||High||Low||Sellouts||Total for year||WNBA game average|
|2020||Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season was played in Bradenton, Florida without fans.|
All 12 WNBA teams will have two core uniforms. For the Lynx, the Icon Edition colors are primarily the team’s Lake Blue, with accents of the Midnight Blue (navy) and Moonlight Grey. The full design and innovation story behind the new Nike WNBA uniforms, as well as the Statement Edition uniforms, will be unveiled in late April.
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