…Tamika is pulling a Lin Dunn: Catchings’ greatest legacy is making sure she’s replaceable
It’s one thing to leave your mark on a team and a sport. It’s another to leave a piece of yourself that stays on after you’re gone.
And regardless of how corny or cliché it might sound, that is exactly what Indiana forward Tamika Catchings is doing. She has been forthright about how much time is still on the clock. The curtains will close on her playing career next year, whenever the 2016 WNBA season finishes for the Fever.
Perhaps because the emotions would become too strong, the Lynx tried hard to avoid the bigger picture and instead focused on the game Tuesday.
All necessary, of course. Wednesday night at Target Center the Lynx will play the Indiana Fever in Game 5 of the best-of-five WNBA Finals, the ultimate game in a series between two talented, determined teams that are separated by a mere three points after 160 minutes.
So the focus needs to be playing in the moment rather than leaving a legacy.
I wrote a pile of utter garbage several years ago, proclaiming that the San Antonio Spurs’ time as a perennial NBA playoff team and title contender was coming to a close. The key players were getting old, the argument went. All good things come to an end at some point, and this long Spurs dynasty was one of them.
A search for this misguided opinion has yielded no results; for whatever reason the Internet does not want me to find my old thoughts. But it was written. And it won’t be written here again about the Lynx.
Before the Indiana Fever embarked on their 11th consecutive trip to the WNBA playoffs, veteran star Tamika Catchings handed out a journal to every one of her teammates.
The message was simple: For as routine as these trips have come for the Fever, it was so important to soak up the opportunities because you never know when they will present themselves again. The journals were for the players to document their journey.
The stage is set, the final adjustments have been made and the WNBA is set to crown a champion Wednesday night (8PM ET, ESPN 2). And the enormity of the situation is something that is not lost on the two teams fighting for WNBA glory.
The Indiana Fever concluded their morning workout before Game 4 of the WNBA Finals with a contest. A half-court shooting contest that left players howling with laughter as they trash talked one another.
The Lynx contingent arrived on the court a few minutes later. Players exchanged their usual banter as they conducted interviews.
The mood around both teams could be best described as loose and relaxed, which would make sense if the occasion was a summer pickup game.
There was no hint of the tension that’s enwrapped their championship series.
Letters to the Star Tribune: Readers Write (Oct. 14): Minnesota Lynx gear, health insurance, Grand Avenue parking, debates on cable TV
My wife and I recently bought Minnesota Lynx tickets to their first playoff finals game against the Indiana Fever. We planned to show our support by wearing Lynx T-shirts to the game. The Lynx are Minnesota’s most successful professional team, having won two championships in the past five years and nearing a potential third, so how difficult could it be to buy some Lynx merchandise? Turns out, very difficult.
Oh, and… watch out, Lynx & Fever players! Cali’s got her “Under Armour Next” video submission ready!