To cap their winning season, the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx received much-deserved love Monday during a victory parade and rally. Downtown Minneapolis rocked with spirit and pride as hundreds of fans cheered on the state’s only professional team that can boast of two world championships in the past three years.

Following the motorcade down Nicollet Mall, Mayor R.T. Rybak summarized it well during Monday’s celebration at the Target Center: The Lynx, he said, are “the best of what you want a sports team to be.’’

During the past three seasons, the Lynx have racked up 99 wins — 26 of them in 2013. This year, they swept the finals against the Atlanta Dream with three wins in a row, two of them 20-plus point blowouts here at home.

Game Three was closer and harder-fought on Atlanta’s home court; at one point the Dream cut the Lynx lead to two points. Yet that 86-77 championship-clinching win was among the best showcases for the collaborative spirit. Five players scored in the double digits, with a number of baskets set up by jaw-dropping passes. The Lynx demonstrated that not only are they stars at playing their positions, but that they can step out of those roles and excel in unexpected ways.

That’s what makes the Lynx an inspirational joy to watch. They are unselfish team players who exemplify what “there is no ‘i’ in team’’ really means. In addition to being great athletes, they are down-to-earth people and great role models who give back to the community and who openly appreciate each other and their fans.

Congratulations to owner Glen Taylor, coach Cheryl Reeve and her assistants, Lynx staff, and 11 team members. Thanks for the outstanding season and for making Minnesota proud.