Odyssey Sims is confident. Watch her play, invade the lane, attack the rim and you can see it.
Monday the WNBA announced the All Star Game reserves, and the Lynx — 10-7 and fourth in the league — will send Sims and center Sylvia Fowles to the game in Las Vegas July 27.
For Sims, 27, it is a first. So, Monday, she was asked if the honor was overdue. Her answer showed both confidence and restraint.
“I wouldn’t say it was overdue,” she said. “But I would say this time was coming.”
Sims leads the team in scoring (15.7) and assists (5.4) and is second with 21 steals and is third in rebounding (3.8). Among WNBA guards she is fourth in scoring, 11th in rebounds and fifth in assists.
On a team in transition, facing even more defensive pressure in the post, Fowles is averaging 14.2 points and 10.1 rebounds and shooting 58.9%. She recorded her WNBA-record 158th double-double in Sunday’s victory over Phoenix.
“It is a surreal moment for me,” said Sims, who got the word from the league on Saturday, her birthday. “To come to Minnesota? I was excited to come here. I love playing with all my teammates. It’s family here. I’m glad [Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve] made some calls and got me here. That means a lot.”
Sims has been able to keep focused on the court despite an off-court incident. On June 26 news broke she had been arrested on a drunken driving charge, a case that has yet to be resolved. Her first court appearance is slated for Tuesday.
In her next game she scored 23 points and began a streak of three straight games with eight assists. The Lynx have won six of their past eight games.
“I have a great support system,” Sims said. “My teammates check on me. The trainers. Cheryl. That helps me focus more.”
Reeve got Sims from Los Angeles in exchange for Alexis Jones in an offseason trade. With the Sparks, she had been pushed into a supporting role. Shortly after Lynx began camp this spring, Reeve made it clear to Sims that she expected her to play a leading role.
Sims remembers trying to fit in, making sure to pass the ball, get people involved, ease her way onto a new team. Reeve was having none of it. She told Sims to look for her shot and take it. To work on her jumper and take it. Sims was brought to Minnesota to score.
“We always ask a player, ‘What are you being paid to do?’ ” Reeve said. “She had been on an L.A. team that was loaded. It really wasn’t her team. So she was a little more limited. That happens on every team. I told her, ‘I’m not going to pull you for a bad shot, for things you maybe were pulled for before.’ We gave her the keys to our offense. It would be about her and Syl. Her eyes got big and she said, ‘OK.’ ”
Over the past 10 games, Sims has averaged 18.0 points and 5.7 assists.
It’s all about opportunity.
“I’m in my sixth year,” she said. “To come here, be welcomed with open arms? I just like coming to work.”