MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Lynx were well-represented with the end-of-season WNBA awards as they prepare to play the Phoenix Mercury in the playoffs Thursday night.
Cheryl Reeve was named the WNBA Coach of the Year, and guard Crystal Dangerfield was named the Rookie of the Year. The Lynx finished the regular season 14-8, and earned their 10th straight trip to the WNBA Playoffs.
Reeve received 25 votes from a panel of 47 sports writers and broadcasters. It’s her third Coach of the Year award, tying Van Chancellor and Mike Thibault for the most in league history. Reeve has 232 wins in 10 seasons with the Lynx, and four WNBA titles. Her 67.7 win percentage with the Lynx since 2010 is the best in WNBA history.
Amid a global health pandemic and leading the fight against racial injustice, it didn't slow Reeve and the Lynx down with having success.
"It’s a lot. I think what really comes to mind is being here in the bubble, you get to see how other teams work and there’s a lot of good coaches in this league. I think that’s probably what stands out the most. All of us had to deal with a variety of things, this was not an easy season. So it was just a tremendous honor," Reeve said. "Players have to want to do what you ask, and we were just really fortunate that we’ve got a group here that was willing to do things the way that we know you have to to be successful, and they bought into it. Things worked out."
Dangerfield is the fifth player in Lynx history, and second straight, to win Rookie of the Year after Napheesa Collier won it in 2019. In starting 10 of the last 20 games, Dangerfield led the Lynx with 16.2 points and 3.6 assists per game while shooting 47 percent from the field, and 92 percent from the free-throw line. She led all WNBA rookies with eight games of at least 20 points.
She was the league’s Rookie of the Month in August and September. Dangerfield was the top choice on 44 of 47 ballots. It’s the first time a second round pick has ever won the award. The Lynx took Dangerfield with the No. 16 overall pick.
"I’ve said since Day 1 that this was a great rookie class from top to bottom. Hard work paid off," Dangerfield said. "Hearing Cheryl being named the Coach of the Year was great. I think she really did a lot to make sure this team had a good product out there on the floor. She trusted us, we trusted her. I’m happy for her."
The Lynx won 14 regular season games despite star center Sylvia Fowles missing all but seven games due to injury. Minnesota has also had six players score at least 20 points in a game this season.