Our View: Join the Lynx quest for championship season

When the Minnesota Lynx take the court Wednesday against the Los Angeles Sparks after a six-day all-star break, all eyes will be on Maya Moore .

After all, the Lynx forward was named the most valuable player in the WNBA all-star game as she led the West to a 117-112 over the East on Saturday. Moore already was one of the most acclaimed WNBA players since she earned rookie of the year honors in 2011 and was voted the most valuable player for the 2014 regular season.

But Moore, who set an all-star game record by scoring 30 points, deflected the attention from herself as she was asked about resuming the regular season.

"One of the beautiful things about our team is it's not really all on me," she said. "It may seem that way just because I have the ability to score the ball. But there are so many things my teammates do well."

Led by Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen, the Lynx have the league's best record by playing fundamental basketball with a balanced offense and tenacious defense. Moore, Augustus and Whalen are the team's leading scorers in the league's third-best offense. Rebekkah Brunson — the other member of the Lynx "core four" — anchors the league's top-ranked defense.


In an era where athletes disappoint us with their self-absorbed behavior in which they seem more interested in making ESPN's highlight reel than winning a game, Moore and her teammates are refreshing role models. You haven't heard about any embarrassing antics on or the off the court — and you probably won't.

The exorbitant salaries that have corrupted other sports haven't reached women's basketball yet. With a pay scale that ranges from a minimum $35,000 for rookies to a cap of $107,000 for veterans, WNBA players make less in one season than baseball players Alex Rodriguez and Joe Mauer, who played last weekend at Target Field, are paid for one game.

If the Lynx have escaped your attention, that's not surprising. The WNBA is relegated to the back pages of the sports section and televised sporadically. Nevertheless, we welcome you to join the bandwagon. Minnesota fans have embraced the Lynx, who have been ranked second in WNBA attendance for three straight seasons. The team set a attendance record at its last home game on July 22 when 17,414 came out to see the Lynx play the Connecticut Sun.

The all-star break was timely for the Lynx. Augustus, who was supposed to be a starter for the all-star game, had arthroscopic surgery on her right knee on July 17 at Mayo Clinic and is expected to be sidelined until mid-August. Whalen, who was selected as an all-star reserve, hasn't played since July 19, when she was poked in her right eye, causing blood to pool between the cornea and iris. The veteran team, with Moore being the only starter younger than 30, benefits from the expertise of lead sponsor Mayo Clinic, which opened The Courts at Mayo Clinic Square, a training center and practice facility across the street from the Target Center.

When the Lynx take the court Wednesday night, they will be resuming their quest for a third WNBA title in four years. Even if they don't raise another championship banner — although we'll bet you a cup of coffee they will — they've earned the respect of their fans and nonsports fans alike by playing the game the right way.

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