Target Center says goodbye to Sylvia Fowles: 'WNBA legend and my favorite mortician'

·Writer
·2 min read

The WNBA is saying goodbye to a number of legends this week and it was Sylvia Fowles' turn to get her flowers on Friday.

The Minnesota Lynx legend played what could be her final game at the Target Center, a fact that every fan and player was well aware of as she entered and exited the court. Even Fowles, the WNBA's all-time rebounding leader, marked the occasion herself by presenting her teammates with handmade beanies and gifts.

It was that kind of though which explains the waves of emotion that tore through the Target Center as Fowles started wrapping up her career there. The game did not end the Lynx's way, a 96-69 loss with Fowles posting 13 points and 12 rebounds, but that was beside the point.

Fowles intends to become a mortician after her playing career and Minnesota fans were already looking forward to her second act.

As Fowles checked out for the final time, Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve, as well as a number of fans, could be seen in tears. As the game ended, chants of "Whose house? Syl's house!" rang out, partially led by Fowles' opponent and fellow retiring legend Sue Bird.

The postgame ceremony saw a cavalcade of past teammates, coaches and dignitaries mark the moment.

Alongside video tributes, USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley presented Fowles with a framed jersey and team photos from her five Olympics and World Cup teams. Minnesota lieutenant governor Peggy Flanagan announced Aug. 12 would be marked as "Sylvia Fowles Day" in Minnesota. Lynx owner Glen Taylor made a very personal speech about what it was like having Fowles on his team.

Then came Napheesa Collier, Rebekkah Brunson, Lindsay Whalen and Reeve, all of whom alternated between teasing Fowles and singing her praises. Fowles was visibly emotional throughout, no more so than when she took the stage for her own speech.

"I never thought I'd be here in this moment with the impact I've made in this league," Fowles said. "Thank you guys for embracing me with open arms. By no means, has this been easy. Just know that I love and appreciate you. Minnesota, this will be home."

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Fans present a gift to Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx before the start of the game against the Seattle Storm at Target Center on August 12, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fowles is retiring at the end of the season. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
A Lynx quilt was just one of the gifts Sylvia Fowles received Friday. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)