Sylvia Foles will play in her second-to-last home game Sunday night at Target Center.
If you offer her a parting gift, she should get her work done and put her in the second row.
Foles plans to retire at the end of this season, having dealt with knee issues. She is already the WNBA’s all-time leading rebounder, and ranks first in shooting percentage and effective shooting percentage, and is fourth in blocks and ninth in points behind Lynx assistant coach Katie Smith.
This season, despite her age (36) and ailments (numerous), Foles leads the WNBA in rebounding average and field goal percentage, and is seventh in blocks.
This is not the time for Fowles to retire. The league is growing in popularity, and the Lynx have two first-round picks in the upcoming draft, one of which could be very high.
For all their struggles this season, the Lynx could be a bit of guard stability away from contention again. Remember, they had a home playoff game last year, and just as they were getting healthy and fresh, they took on the Chicago Sky.
Foles is one of the unique forces in the game. She may be the greatest pure center in league history. She is a great player and a piece of history.
Why did he retire now?
Fultz could be valuable and irreplaceable playing 20 minutes per game, and promising center Nikolina Milik could give the Lynx a flexible post two.
However, if this is Fowles’ final week in a Lynx uniform, Minnesota should show its appreciation.
She is one of the most talented athletes in our region. She’s so good that when she joins a team that has already won two championships, featuring four Hall of Fame-caliber players, coach Sheryl Reeve has redesigned the offense to run through her.
But Minnesotans aren’t the only ones to watch out for. Foles’ farewell tour pales in comparison to that of Seattle star Sue Bird.
This was tragically highlighted during the All-Star Game – an All-Star game in which Fowles beat the rim, swung a three-pointer on the first shot of the game, and then fouled out.
The ESPN WNBA announcers are great, but the last time Bird and Fowles aired the All-Star Game, the camera followed Bird and mostly ignored Fowles.
“There is no doubt that Sylvia is not being treated equally,” Reeve said. “From the All-Star Game, with ESPN, see who should know better.”
Reeve praised the ESPN cast but questioned the camerawork. “When two legends like Sue and Syl leave the court, we only get a shot of Sue’s bird walking off the court and then flash back to Syl’s back as she walks off the floor,” Reeve said. “I thought it was a big mess of a little bit of what was going on.
“Sue knows him too well. She’s not comfortable with him. An official, after the All-Star Game, takes the game ball and brings it to Sue and doesn’t acknowledge Sil, Sue then goes to Sil.”
Rev is right about that order, and white WNBA stars get more attention than black stars. As for fowls and birds, there is another reason.
Fowles is private. Bird is a good and willing interviewer. In the Final Four game in Minneapolis this spring, she and her friend Diana Taurasi played on an alternate broadcast of the games, and they were hilarious. Foles was in town with a much-heard-of media crew that passionately covers women’s basketball.
Bird remains a public figure. Foles chose to become a morticianAnd people close to her say that this is normal – she wants to work personally to relieve the pain of those who are suffering.
The reasons that keep Foles going – more money, records and recognition – probably don’t appeal to her.
Sunday night and in Friday night’s home finale, Foles should get enough praise to get her blood running, whether she likes it or not.