The Lynx took a rollicking WNBA championship victory lap Friday, starting at the governor’s residence in St. Paul for breakfast, threading up Hennepin Avenue for a midday parade, then into their house, Target Center.
Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus rode in the parade’s final car, carrying all three WNBA championship trophies the Lynx have won in the past five years — including the one they won Wednesday night. As they pulled down the final stretch, they held up the trophies, punctuating the end of the four-block procession with a crowd-pleasing visual highlight.
The trophies’ silver spheres reflected the bright midday sun of a crisp fall day as Moore and Augustus smiled nonstop while exchanging good wishes with the crowd swelling around their car.
There was no red carpet, and the parade was relatively short, with most vehicles carrying team members and coaches. The all-male practice squad piled onto a single truck and danced wildly for the gritty Lynx champions.
Once inside Target Center, each player was announced, then ran out to applause, slapping hands with fans along the catwalk. Series MVP Sylvia Fowles sprinted up, spun around for a hip shake, smiled and pointed to the crowd. Moore did a little hop and raised both arms as music blasted through the arena.
Coach Cheryl Reeve talked of how fans expect so much from the Lynx, the state’s most consistently excellent pro franchise, wanting them to not only win every game, but to “win it by 20 points.”
Then fans tell them not just to win a championship, but “where to win a championship,” she said to loud applause. This was the team’s first clinching game at home.
Guard Lindsay Whalen played it cool when the emcee asked if she liked winning at home. “It was all right, ya know,” deadpanned the former Gophers star. “Good night. Lot of fun. A fun Wednesday.”
Anna Cruz had to leave early to catch a flight home to Spain. She told the crowd, “Thank you for everything. Bye. Adios.”
Augustus, who spent half the season injured, played 37 minutes in the final game and teased her teammate Moore about it. “I wasn’t expecting it,” Augustus said before turning to Moore and dramatically dragging out her name to lots of laughs. “But Mayaaaaaaaaaaaa decided to get into a little foul trouble, so I had to pick up the slack.”
Moore said clinching at home with fans’ unflagging enthusiasm was the best part of this third championship. “Every time we even looked like we were going to do something right — you were ready to go,” she said of their cheers.
The celebration closed with a highlight reel, hugs, giddy dancing and finally, the song “We Are the Champions” before the women filed off the stage.