There was mention made after the Lynx’s latest title of the 10 championships now won by Minnesota pro basketball teams: six for the Minneapolis Lakers from 1948 to 1954, and four for the Lynx from 2011 to 2017.
The Lynx have had a nucleus of four standouts for the four titles, and the Lakers also had a nucleus of four stars for most of their dynastic run.
Maya Moore arrived in 2011 to join Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson in the starting lineup. Taj McWilliams-Franklin was the starting center on the 2011 champs and Janel McCarville in 2013.
Sylvia Fowles was acquired as an All-Star center in 2015, won a title that season, and now another in 2017. Whalen and Brunson are 35, Augustus is 33, but when all are healthy, Fowles makes the last two title teams the most complete the Lynx have offered.
The Lakers’ four-star nucleus was center George Mikan, forwards Jim Pollard and Vern Mikkelsen and point guard Slater (Dugie) Martin. All are members of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Mikkelsen and Martin weren’t there for the NBL title in 1948 or the Basketball Association of America title in 1949.
Mikkelsen came in from Hamline, Martin from Texas and Bob Harrison from Michigan for the 1949-50 season. Mikkelsen was a center, and the Lakers had the greatest in Mikan. Coach John Kundla invented the power forward to get Vern in the lineup with Mikan.
Mikan and Pollard were the stars of the first two title teams. Don Carlson and Tony Jaros, both ex-Gophers from Edison High, were among the important players on the 1948 and 1949 champs.
Center has been the position of flux during the Lynx run. That position was off guard for the Lakers. Harrison and Herm Schaefer shared the duty in 1950. Whitey Skoog arrived from the Gophers with his jump shot in 1952.
Skoog shared time with Harrison in 1952, with Pep Saul and Harrison in 1953, and with Saul in 1954. Much like the Lynx with Fowles at center, the best Lakers teams had Skoog as the starter at off guard with Mikan, Pollard, Mikkelsen and Martin.
PATRICK'S PLUS THREE
Wolves home games fans won’t want to miss:
Oklahoma City: The Thunder will visit with Russell, Carmelo and Paul George early (Oct. 27) and in midseason (Jan. 10).
Houston: The Rockets, with Chris Paul and James Harden, play here three times in two months: Jan. 18, Feb. 13 and March 18.
Golden State (March 8) with the fellas and Boston (March 11) with Kyrie Irving visit back-to-back. The Warriors game is on ABC, so Steph and Durant figure to play.
Read Patrick Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.