Augustus reflects on his career: Linux ‘will always be a part of my heart’

Seimone Augustus was working on her speech.

Difficult. So many memories, so many victories, so many friendships.

Augustus was a star on the Minnesota Lynx for 14 seasons. Here she played 370 games, scored 5,881 points in the Z Lynx, and helped lift four WNBA Cups. Prior to hosting Los Angeles at Target Center Sunday night, he will retire the number 33 jersey for August.

How does this profession fit into one speech?

Carefully, some love, maybe some tears. “Anytime there is a celebration,” Augustus said by phone, “there will be tears of joy.” After 14 years with Lynx, Augustus left for Los Angeles to play her final season with Sparks, a move that surprised many. A player who became an assistant coach for Sparks, was speaking from Indianapolis, where Sparks played a fever game Friday night.

Augustus said, “You have all these beautiful memories of happy times, and even bad times that created the best times. I don’t know how Sunday will go. I will embrace the moment, let the feelings come.”

Augustus was the first overall pick in the 2006 draft outside of Louisiana—playing with future Lynx center Sylvia Fowls. She was the 2006 rookie of the year. In the first few seasons of her career, she scored a lot but didn’t win enough. That changed in 2011, when Augustus’ group, Rebekkah Brunson – Lynx’s current assistant who will retire her jersey on July 3 – merged Lindsay Wallen and Maya Moore at the beginnings of the dynasty.

Beginning in 2011, Lynx has won four WNBA titles in seven seasons. August was the MVP of the 2011 Finals, sweeping Atlanta. This, combined with the fact that he was the first, and the joy of winning after five years of struggle makes this title the favorite of Augustus. Under coach Sheryl Reeve, Augustus scored less, defended more, and became one of the team’s best passers.

Wallen said, “Simon was the most selfish star the WNBA has ever seen. We don’t win many titles if Simon doesn’t welcome all of us when we get to Minnesota. She sacrificed stats and scoring for the team’s success.”

Much success.

“For the first few years of my career I didn’t know it was going to be a breed,” said Augustus. “I was just hoping we would go in at least one race. Then coach Reeve arrived, the guys came in, and then the eight to the next ten? Every year was different. Every Tournament was different.”

Because it was so unexpected, the first was sweet. But Augustus said she remembered the slogans the team had adopted in the last three titles. “This is what we do ‘2013.” Whose house? Our house’ in 2015 and 17.

Interestingly enough, when asked about her strongest memories, many of them were about her classmates and friends. Yanel McCarvell’s pass from back to Bronson in the second half in victory over Atlanta in the 2013 Finals. He reunited with the Fowles in the middle of the 2015 season. Moore won three over-key votes that put Lynx ahead 2-1 in the 2015 Finals, an Augustus shot that compares – as many do – beating Michael Jordan against Utah in Game 6 of the 1996 NBA Finals. Hype at Williams Arena during the 2017 Finals.

“We were the core of the fraternity,” August said of the first four who were a part of all four WNBA titles. “When we got together, we didn’t need to have conversations about what we wanted to do, or how we were going to do. We knew who we were, and how we were going to compete.”

Augustus still marvels at how severe Bronson’s rebound will be in practice, and how Moore will compete against the men’s coaching team, with the way Wallen leads the team. And the leadership it brought, too.

“It all came together,” said Augustus. “Whatever someone else lacked, someone else had. We blended well together. We wanted to win for each other.”

However, Augustus’ ability to handle the ball, create and strike a shot remains something Reeve will never forget. “I will remember countless times she had the ball in her hands, about a shot that was so much fun to watch,” Reeve said. “I’ve never coached a player like that before. I haven’t practiced since then, and I may never come back in my coaching career.”

The last two titles have been won with Fowles at the center. Fowles said her strongest memories of August are not about basketball but about the relationship off the court. Augustus’ sense of humor, her love of a good joke. But basketball?

“Think about it, ‘Moon is Minnesota Links,’” Fowles said. “When you think of Minnesota, you think of Seimone Augustus, and once she does the work, through the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

And then, the fans. Upon his arrival in 2006, the first person Augustus met was a Lynx fan. “She was so excited and excited that I would be part of the team,” said Augustus. “This has always been the case. There was a lot of enthusiasm for women’s basketball, and it was exciting for me. To have fans who honor and respect us? It was amazing to be a part of that for 14 years.”

In the end, August and Lynx went their separate ways. At the time, it was clear that the two sides were not on the same page and some feelings might have been hurt.

“Things happen for a reason,” she said. “Did I imagine it happening this way? No. Would I rather stay in Minnesota and finish my career? Yes. But I found myself in a better place mentally and physically and was able to finish my career the right way.”

But don’t assume a break. The Lynx are retiring from the Augustus shirt.

“I think we both wish it wasn’t like this,” said Reeve. “Anytime something doesn’t work out, you both have a part in it. If we can bring it back and do it again, I hope I can do better. But that doesn’t make her career.” Less special, and we’ll celebrate hell with Simon [on Sunday]. “

August, too, has nothing but good things to say.

“They will always have a part of my heart,” she said. “Cheryl was the captain who brought out the best in each of us. There will always be gratitude for what she helped us achieve.” Those special moments, I can’t express the joy. I can’t give you one emotion that sums it all up.”

What is Augustus most proud of?

“I was able to make a dream come true,” she said. “And he inspired the next generation of Lynx players.”