Near the end of media availability, between the two All-Star Game practices Friday at Target Center, the three of them got together, arm in arm, to pose for a photo.
Rebekkah Brunson, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird. The WNBA record-holders in rebounds (3,348), scoring (8,375) and assists (2,786), respectively.
So far. Fans at Saturday’s game will get to see all three, together, on the same floor.
“This will probably never happen again,” Taurasi said.
Brunson joined this trio late. She was named this week as a replacement for Los Angeles star Nneka Ogwumike, who is sick. Brunson received the news just before the Lynx beat New York at Target Center on Tuesday.
It is Brunson’s fifth All-Star Game. “Honestly I felt like last year would be the last one,” Brunson said. “You just don’t know what’s going to happen as your career continues to progress. But it’s exciting. And it’s really exciting that it’s here in Minnesota, to get to share this experience with the city.”
And it allows the three of them — who, Saturday, will have combined for 25 All-Star Game appearances — to be here, together.
‘’Some crazy talent,” said Bird, making her 11th appearance. “That’s what this represents, at one point in time, to have the assist, scoring and rebounding leader.”
Said Taurasi: “This is so interesting. What I love about it is that Sue’s record, Rebekkah’s record, my record, they’re all going to be broken. That’s the beauty of it. And the higher the bar, the more satisfaction the league will get when they are broken.”
Some of those records could fall to some of the younger players in Saturday’s game, including presumptive rookie of the year A’ja Wilson.
“This is eye-opening,” she said of her first All-Star Game. “It’s just crazy to be here, on the court with the best of the best. I’m just taking it all in, laughing with the vets, picking their brains. Such cool people.”
My enemy, my teammate
Because of the new format, this will be a game that has teammate facing teammate. This is especially true for the Lynx, whose four players are split among the two teams. Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus are on Elena Delle Donne’s team while Maya Moore and Brunson are on Team Candace Parker.
Fowles had pledged to trash-talk Augustus, but they ended up together. Tuesday, Moore said she’s worried about instinctively passing the ball to a Lynx teammate who is, for one day, on the other team.
“It will be weird,” Moore joked. “I’ll definitely develop a float game if I see Syl coming down the lane on one of my drives. Seimone has been saying she has something for me. We’ve been waiting a long time for this game.”
Said Augustus: “I think I’ll trash-talk to Syl, try to get her going. We’ll have fun.”
Love and hate, Part II
There are few visiting players fans love to hate more than Taurasi. And there are few players who love giving it back more than the combative Phoenix guard. Which might explain her answer when asked what it’s like to play an All-Star Game here in Minneapolis.
“For as much as I hate the Lynx, they have such wonderful fans,” Taurasi said. “They’re so loyal. They come to the games, and they come to compete, too. You can appreciate that as a player when you come into a building and the fans are so passionate. Minnesota has that. Seattle has that, we have that. A couple other teams are getting there.”
• Friday marked the third anniversary of the midseason trade that brought Fowles to Minnesota from Chicago. Fowles sat out the first part of the 2015 season, ultimately getting the trade she desired. “It doesn’t feel like it’s been three years,” she said. “But when you’re having fun, time flies.”
• During interviews Tuesday, Augustus was presented with special Kyrie Irving shoes made for her All-Star Game appearance.
• Twin Cities hip-hop star Dessa will sing the national anthem before Saturday’s game.