One of the most decorated players in WNBA history is making her return to the Minnesota Lynx.
Although it won’t be as a player on the court, Rebekkah Brunson will join Minnesota as an assistant coach heading into the 2020 season.
The organization announced Tuesday morning that Brunson has been hired as an assistant coach, joining an all-female staff that already included assistants — and former Lynx players — Katie Smith and Plenette Pierson under head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve.
Along with that news of her joining the Lynx coaching staff, Brunson officially announced her retirement from the WNBA after 15 seasons.
“I put a lot of thought into these upcoming decisions because I love this city and this organization and always want to make sure I do what’s best for them, my family and the game,” Brunson said in a statement released by the team. “In that, I have decided to retire as a player and join the Minnesota Lynx coaching staff. I am excited for the opportunity to continue building the Lynx legacy.”
With her retirement as a player, Brunson will also gain the honor of seeing her No. 32 Lynx jersey become the second number in franchise history to hang from the Target Center rafters, with Minnesota announcing it will retire her jersey at a to-be-determined game this summer. Brunson’s number will join Lindsay Whalen’s No. 13 as the only two numbers (so far) retired by the organization.
“It has been a privilege and honor to watch Rebekkah lead our team to four championships and I’m thrilled to have her return to our staff and lead the next generation of Lynx players,” Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor said in a statement from the team. “We congratulate Rebekkah and her family on this momentous occasion and I look forward to celebrating seeing her number brought up to the Target Center rafters with her and our fans this summer.”
Over the course of her playing career, Brunson put together one of the more successful WNBA careers in league history.
Brunson, who last played in 2018 for Minnesota, is the only player in WNBA history to win five league championships, four of which came with the Lynx in her time with the organization from 2009-18. She is also the WNBA’s all-time leader in career rebounds (3,356) and offensive rebounds (1,166), ranking sixth in defensive rebounds (2,190) and career double-doubles (82).
A five-time WNBA All-Star and seven-time All-Defensive Team recipient, Brunson is also the league’s all-time leader in postseason wins with 57 over her career. In 453 total games played, she averaged 9.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
Although she hasn’t appeared in a game since the conclusion of the 2018 season, Brunson’s career and life beyond playing basketball will now officially begin.
While already serving as a Timberwolves analyst on Fox Sports North, a role which she will continue to hold this season, Brunson and her family also continue to own and operate their business, Sweet Gypsy Waffles, and have remained in the Twin Cities area.
And now, Brunson will be able add Lynx assistant coach to that already impressive resume both on and off the basketball court, with her primary duties as an assistant including include helping with scouting efforts and player development of Minnesota’s post players.
“We are extremely happy that Rebekkah Brunson, one of the cornerstones of our franchise and the only player in league history with five WNBA Championships, will continue to play a role in the Lynx organization, this time as she begins the next phase of her basketball career,” Reeve said in the statement sent out by the Lynx. “Rebekkah has been a vital part of our franchise both on and off the court and we are thrilled about her addition to our staff.”
Although we won’t see “The Machine” take the floor for Minnesota moving forward, one of the best players to ever put on a Lynx uniform will continue to be involved with the organization now in a coaching capacity.
After all, who better to take over that role than one of the best post players to ever step on a basketball court?