February 1, 2022 

What Sylvia Fowles’ announcement means for the WNBA, Lynx

With last-year announcements from Sylvia Fowles and Sue Bird, the 2022 WNBA season is bound to be epic.

In January, news hit WNBA Twitter that Sylvia Fowles would return to the Minnesota Lynx. After a remarkable 14 years in the league, many questioned if this would be her last, and on Monday, the dawn of 2022 free agency, the Lynx announced it would be Fowles’ last dance.

“I’m back,” Fowles whispers into the camera in a heartfelt announcement video. “Words can’t express how much you all mean to me and I couldn’t think of a better place to be… Minneapolis will forever be home.”

Fowles send-off contract is a one-year, protected, $200,000 deal.

Since being drafted second in 2008 out of LSU, Fowles has done nothing but dominate. Her 2 Finals MVPs, 3 Gold Medals and 2017 MVP season are just part of the argument she’s the best five ever to grace the league.

In the Lynx’s emotional video tribute, they chronicled her move from Chicago to Minnesota in 2015. She immediately won a championship and Finals MVP, and then again won a second title, league and Finals MVP in 2017. But beyond her on-court reign, Fowles embodies giving back to her community.

Fondly known by her teammates as “Mama Syl,” Fowles gives back to her teammates and community. In 2010, she founded the Sylvia Fowles Family Fund to help children in need in her home of Baton Rouge and Miami. She has devoted much of her W career to community outreach in her new adopted home, Minneapolis, and her roots. 

If Fowles is debatably the best five the league has ever seen, Sue Bird is arguably the best point guard. Which makes this season even more dramatic after Sue announced it would be her last year in early 2022

WNBA spectators are in for a treat of a year: two of the best to ever play the game, still competing at the highest level, on the farewell tour of a lifetime. 

And fans are well aware of the hype around this season and are processing it best they can.

And the Minnesota Lynx have a Fowles-sized hole to fill in 2023.

Written by Gabriella Lewis

Gabriella is The Next's Atlanta Dream beat reporter and part of the breaking news team. She is a Bay Area native currently studying at Emory University.

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