Rebekkah Brunson is the first player in WNBA history to win five league championships. As such, she and her Minnesota Lynx teammates are seeking the appropriate reward.
“We’re Team Get-on-‘Ellen,’ ” the Washington native said Friday, two days after the Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 85-76, in Game 5 to capture the team’s fourth WNBA championship in seven years. “If we can make that happen, then we’re goers.”
The team and personal achievements have caused Brunson to appreciate the longevity of her career.
“I think I’m still really taking it all in,” said Brunson, 35, who has played 14 seasons in the WNBA. “But when it’s all said and done, to sit back and realize that you’ve accomplished something that nobody else has accomplished — just think about all of the amazing players in this league, and all of the amazing players that have ever played in this league, and the great teams that have been a part of this league throughout it’s entirety. It’s hard to put into words and explain it, to do something like that. I just feel extremely blessed.”
A graduate of Oxon Hill High School in suburban Maryland, Brunson was Georgetown’s first women’s basketball all-American and just the second WNBA draft pick in program history when the Sacramento Monarchs picked her 10th overall in 2004. In addition to her record title haul, she has made four WNBA all-star teams and is the league’s career leader in offensive rebounds.
Though past WNBA champions have been invited to the White House, Brunson indicated that would not be a reason for her to return to her home town.
Referring to a potential invitation from President Trump, Brunson said: “Personally, I don’t feel like he is someone who I have a lot in common with. I don’t think I would go. Honestly. That’s just me, I don’t know, as a team, I feel like that’s something that we would have to discuss, but I don’t feel like he stands for the things that we represent as an organization, as a team.”
Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve said whether to visit the White House, should the Lynx be invited, would be a team decision.
Brunson, who arrived in Minnesota in 2010 after the Monarchs folded, became part of the Lynx’s core group along with Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and Reeve, who took over the team in 2009. Stability has helped the Lynx dominate, with titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015 in addition to this season. (Brunson won her first title in 2005, in her second season with the Monarchs.)
Brunson specializes in defense and rebounding, but this finals series she made an impact on the offensive end, as well. Her 18 points and 13 rebounds in Game 4 in Los Angeles — as well as holding Sparks star Candace Parker to 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting — helped force the decisive Game 5 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
“So many things had to happen, I feel like it was destiny for us to be on the same team and go through this journey together,” Brunson said. “I’m gonna try to see how I can find a way to get home [to Washington] for a little while and share the win, because that’s where I started playing. Those are the people who watched me play since I was playing in high school, through college, and continued to watch my career. They’re just as excited as I am.”