February 25, 2021 

‘I will retire a Spark’: How Seimone Augustus sees her WNBA future

What Los Angeles gains from the wisdom of the celebrated vet

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Seimone Augustus. (screenshot from February 23, 2021 press conference)

Seimone Augustus made headlines when she signed with the Los Angeles Sparks ahead of the 2020 WNBA season. To that point, she had spent her entire career with the Minnesota Lynx and had become one of the league’s most decorated players with multiple All-Star appearances and four championships.

Prior to the start of the 2020 season, she spoke about how difficult it was to leave the only team she had ever known. But she enjoyed her lone season to this point with the Sparks enough that there’s one thing she’s 100 percent certain about, this is her last stop. She made that clear in a call with media on Tuesday morning.

“What I do know for sure is that I will retire a Spark, I will have fun with that situation,” Augustus said. “I’m just excited to be here and just thinking of the opportunity to do that, growing up watching Lisa Leslie, Nikki Teasley, DeLisha Milton-Jones, and players of that caliber that came through this organization…I just hope I can represent them as well as this organization as best as I can.”

Augustus remained noncommittal on how much longer she wants to keep playing, but one thing she might see as she continues her career is playing a little bit more in the frontcourt. She’s been a wing for the majority of her career, but last season she saw time at power forward in small-ball lineups.

With Candace Parker’s departure, and the Sparks having other players capable of playing on the wing, Augustus may see a good part of her minutes at the power forward position and drawing defenses out to the perimeter where she shot 54.5 percent from three-point range last season, the second-highest mark for her career.

Playing the four spot wasn’t something she anticipated when she first signed in LA, but it was something she ended up getting used to and wouldn’t mind seeing minutes there again.

“It worked out well. I was able to use my guard abilities and the fact that I’m a big guard to really be effective and efficient at the four and it could be the same this year maybe in spurts or spots or maybe the entire year,” Augustus said. “The only thing is the physicality and the rebounding. As a guard, you don’t rebound as much as a four and a five does, so you really have to get in the mindset of going to get the ball and being efficient in setting screens, and doing what’s necessary to put yourself and your teammates in a great position.”

She also cited head coach Derek Fisher’s background as a player and his understanding of the need for players to take care of themselves physically as a big factor in her having such a successful first season with the Sparks and also in her decision to re-sign.

Augustus played in only 15.8 minutes per game last season, the second-lowest mark behind her injury-plagued year in 2019, but she was fresh and effective and able to stay ready the entire season.

“He’s understanding of the physical strains that we face every day and him being able to make sure that we pay attention to that, to be able to be at our highest production rate on the court, really helped me feel confident in my ability to come back, knowing that I had somebody and a staff that would help me be the best that I could possibly be every given day,” Augustus said. “No matter how much time I played, I was able to give the best that I had that day.”

And however much longer she decides to play, she’s content with the career she’s had. She doesn’t get caught up in worrying about what legacy she might leave behind. She prefers to let her game do the talking.

“I’ve always prided myself on my work and putting it out there. I never sat down and thought, ‘oh I want people to think this and that of me,’ I never did this for celebration. I did this because I enjoyed it,” Augustus said. “I never thought about legacy. I figured the people who got the chance to watch me or play against me or compete against me would determine what my legacy was because of the respect that they had for me and the admiration they had for me. You all set the standards for what my legacy was because my work is already done.”

Written by David Yapkowitz

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