Lindsay Whalen already had been to the Final Four and won an Olympic gold medal. But on Wednesday, in fighting off yet another injury in a season full of them, Whalen and the Lynx added another word to their résumés: dynasty. One day after the Lynx captured their third WNBA title in five seasons, Whalen, 33, chatted by phone with the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand:
Q It’s been said for the last couple years that the Lynx are getting old and might be slipping. Do you take particular satisfaction, then, in winning this time around because of those doubters?
A I mean, people are going to say it because, as Coach [Cheryl] Reeve says, we’re not getting any younger. But we’re also getting more experienced as we go. It was definitely a lot of fun this year.
Q A third championship signifies, to a lot of people, a dynasty. Does that mean anything to you, and do you consider this a dynasty?
A I mean, three in five years? That’s pretty good. If people want to say it’s a dynasty, that’s great. To be even thought about in that kind of category in sports these days is great. To do it this year, I want to say it’s the best one because it’s so fresh and because it was the hardest.
Q Will you need any kind of surgery in the offseason for your various injuries — Achilles, bursitis, ankle?
A No, no. The Achilles and bursitis are feeling great. Just a further checkup on the ankle. [Wednesday] I totally rolled my ankle on a play in the first quarter. Coach asked if I could go and I said, ‘I’m going to try.’ I figured I’d deal with the swelling and pain later.
Q Will you play overseas this year?
A I’m not going to. I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay back and get ready for next season. I’m committed to resting, getting my body healthy and spending time with family and friends.
Q What was Paisley Park like after the game Wednesday?
A It was kind of surreal. Unforgettable. All the sudden you walk in — I’d never been there before — there’s a studio, and OK, there’s Prince. It’s just like, ‘There he is.’ He was up there doing it, man. He was running around. He had his guitar out. I think he played every instrument. He was unbelievable.
Q And then you were on a conference call [Thursday] with President Obama?
A Yes, that’s always fun. I was on one other time with him, I think in 2011, and I had kind of forgotten. Coach reminded me of it. I took a video of the call this time so I would not forget.
Q Wait, so you forgot that you talked on the phone to the President?
A I mean, there are so many things happening after you win. You celebrate, OK, then there’s a parade, and by the way the president is calling. You’re just distracted. But my memory is usually better than that.
Q You just won, and like you said it gets harder every year. Should we stop doubting that you can sustain this level?
A If we keep working hard and doing it as a team, and as long as we’re healthy and feeling good and wanting to put in the effort and work, I think our particular group — the older crew — still has some good years ahead of us.