For the third time as a head coach, Cheryl Reeve will lead the Western Conference team at Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game in Seattle.
It’s also the third time since 2011 the Lynx will have four players represented in the game — this year’s contingent being starters Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles and reserves Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson.
Reeve wants all her players on the floor together at least once if possible but has to get the game’s starters, voted in, their due.
As a manager of minutes, she’s getting text messages from coaches not wanting her to ride their players too much.
“That’s why I leave my phone in the locker room,” Reeve said.
Some of her favorite All-Star Game memories, in addition to getting autographs from players and coaches around the league, come from her first experience as an assistant in Charlotte in 2002 when the game was in Washington, D.C.
“I remember being just wowed by the experience and the show Washington put on at that time,” she said.
With that in mind, we asked the four Lynx players what their strongest memories of the game are.
Moore has been in every All-Star Game since she came into the league since 2011, including 2015, when she scored 30 points and was the MVP.
“My first player edition Jordan sneaker was announced that day, same day,” Moore said. “So I remember holding up the MVP trophy and the special player edition Jordan 1 up at the party after the game. That’s a special memory.”
But what stands out is her story about going to the game as a child, leaning over the railing and waiving at Yolanda Griffith and having Griffith wave back.
Saturday will be her eighth All-Star Game. In 2006, her first appearance, she was on a Western Conference team that included Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoopes and Lisa Leslie. Augustus, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi were youngsters on that team. Saturday all three will be the all-time greats today’s youngsters look up to.
“You get to celebrate the body of work of the people you are accustomed to seeing there,” Augustus said. “And then the newcomers that are coming on, the new generation coming through.”
This will be her fifth appearance, and all the games blend together. Except, perhaps, the first one in 2009, when she was a first-time starter for the Eastern Conference.
This game will be unique.
“I expect playing with three teammates will be something special,” she said.
Without the Olympic experience of her teammates, Brunson is most looking forward to getting to interact with those stars she’s always faced.
“It’s great to play with the people you’re always playing against,” she said. “You get a feel for their personalities, both on the court and off the court. Just a great experience.”