July 31, 2020
Seimone Augustus is powering the Sparks early on
She is, after all, still Seimone Augustus
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Seimone Augustus. (WNBA Content Network)
Seimone Augustus was written off by some prior to the start of the 2020 WNBA season. The 15-year veteran had an injury-plagued 2019 season which saw her suit up in only 12 games and put up career-lows across the board.
But she’s started this year with a vengeance, her first with the Los Angeles Sparks. She’s been the difference-maker in the Sparks two wins this season, and her contributions were crucial as they held off the Connecticut Sun on Thursday night, 81-76.
Augustus scored 13 points, nine of them coming in a big third-quarter run that saw the Sparks fend off a Connecticut run and regain control of the game. She knocked down several jumpers and finished a play off the dribble.
The Sparks bench has been a point of strength this season and Augustus has been the veteran presence that’s steadying the second unit.
“I just wanted to bring the spark any way that I could, just trying to find my spots to be effective on the court and get other players going,” Augustus said after the game. “It allowed me to get myself going as well and try to bring some energy in the third quarter.”
Before the season began, Sparks head coach Derek Fisher mentioned Augustus as being a potential candidate for starting small forward. When Fisher settled on a lineup to begin the year, Augustus was coming off the bench.
She’s been a starting-caliber player her entire career, and this is her first season as a regular member of the bench unit. She’s managed to fit in well and adapt to her role. In the Sparks opening day win over the Phoenix Mercury, she dropped 14 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting from the field.
Fisher has been impressed with the way she’s adapted to the role he’s asked her to play.
“I think that’s Seimone’s character, her mental toughness. She’s as accomplished as a basketball player as anyone in the world, man or woman,” Fisher said after the game. “She’s come here, accepted whatever role we have for her…and she just wants to be part of a great group.”
It hasn’t just been Augustus’ on-court production though that’s allowed her to make an early impact with the team. She’s asserted herself as one of the team’s vocal leaders as well.
“I just speak the truth, honestly, just speaking from my experience. I talked to Chelsea [Gray] earlier today just about her being one of the best point guards in this league, and her assists have to show it…I’m going to be there to say the things that need to be said to get her going as well as everybody else,” Augustus said. “As long as we can be honest and communicate with one another and not take offense to anything, we’ll be fine with the way that we’re going.”
Written by David Mendez-Yapkowitz
David has been with The Next team since the High Post Hoops days when he joined the staff in 2018. He is based in Los Angeles and covers the LA Sparks, Pac-12 Conference, Big West Conference and some high school as well.