With the season over sooner than anyone wanted, members of the Minnesota Lynx headed into the offseason Thursday more convinced than ever that the team will be competitive as ever next season.
Indeed, coach Cheryl Reeve went even further. In a year during which the Lynx dealt with several knee injuries, Reeve said forward Rebekkah Brunson and guard Monica Wright never were 100 percent.
But, assuming the Lynx are healthy at the start of next season?
“There aren’t teams that are going to be better than us,” Reeve said. “That would be the case this year, as well. I don’t think Phoenix is better than us. I think Phoenix had a tremendous season and deserved to win, and will probably win a championship this season. But I don’t think, going forward, that it’s a situation where Phoenix is better than us.”
The Lynx, despite their injuries, finished with 25 victories for the fourth consecutive season, a league record.
“I told the team I’m equally proud of this group and this season as I was in the championship years,” Reeve said, referring to 2011 and ’13. “My pride doesn’t change because we didn’t win a championship. With what this team faced all season? I’m incredibly proud. This is a season I’ll never forget.”
Reeve will be an assistant coach for Team USA at the world championships this fall. She and four Lynx players — Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Wright — will head to Annapolis, Md., on Sunday to begin training camp.
“That’s the silver lining in this,” Reeve said. “I get to join them at the beginning of training camp. I know I’ll learn a ton, and I’m anxious to be with the four players we’ll have there.”
• Whalen said she is leaning toward not playing in Europe this season for the first time in years. At the very least, she said, she will take a long break after the world championships.
• Brunson said she will spend a few months strengthening her surgically repaired right knee before deciding whether to play in Europe.