There will never be another Sylvia Fowles.
Two-time WNBA Champion.
Two-time WNBA Finals MVP.
2017 WNBA MVP.
Eight-time WNBA All-Star.
Seven-time All-WNBA Team Member.
Four-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist.
W25 Team Member.
The WNBA’s all-time leader in rebounds (4,006), field goal percentage (59.8%), and defensive rebounds (3,203).
The only player in WNBA history with at least 6,000 points, 4,000 rebounds, and 700 blocks.
For 15 years, Sylvia Fowles has dominated the women’s basketball world, from Miami to Moscow, Baton Rouge to Istanbul, Chicago to Shanghai, and for the last eight years, in Minneapolis — her second home.
whose house?— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) August 13, 2022
SYL’S HOUSE. pic.twitter.com/QY0MoI7ctv
a legend checks out for the final time pic.twitter.com/BSjvjCOwJg— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) August 14, 2022
Today, Syl’s Final Ride came to an end in Connecticut after posting her 101st double-double as a member of the Minnesota Lynx.
“I knew. I’ve been doing this long enough. It was what you hoped wasn’t going to happen,” Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve said on whether or not there was an added sense of finality to Fowles’ retirement when Fowles checked out for the final time.
“I told Syl this. There’ll never be another Sylvia Fowles. It’s not just the 4,000-plus rebounds, which is awfully impressive, but it’s the way she did it.”
Cheryl Reeve on the special relationship she and the Lynx have with Sylvia Fowles:— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) August 14, 2022
"The love that she has, with not just people, I mean that's her state. But the love that she has for the organization. And the love for me..(breaks down)..just means the world."
“I just was telling her thank you, that I was sorry that it didn’t end out the the way that we’ve planned it,” Fowles told Canis Hoopus about the embrace she had with Reeve once she left the game for the final time.
“You never want to let a moment go unnoticed, where you appreciate somebody and you let them know that you love them. Because Cheryl has been everything that I needed to be successful and I’m grateful for that.”
Along the way, Fowles treated everyone she came across with respect, love, and kindness, both in life off the floor and in between the lines.
Even in her final season, a frustrating rollercoaster ride during which she fought through an injury that will require surgery this fall, she found a way to handle it with grace, find the positive in everything, and of course, wear that smile that lights up every room she enters.
“I learned that this team was gonna be different and a little more challenging. So, I had to do things that was out of my comfort zone. ...I’m gratefully happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone for this team,” Fowles said after today’s loss.
“But also, too, just appreciating the love that I got from the fans this year. It put things into a different perspective for me. I never got that in my first 14 years of playing, so to see that all come together in my last year, I’m very grateful for that as well.”
Fowles will long be revered for how how she lifted those around her as basketball teammates and coaches. But what truly makes her a legend in her own rarified air — one of one — is how she made them better as people.
reflecting and understanding that syl is really 1/1 HUMANS, forget the basketball part. just thankful to have had this time with her. she changed me for the better.— Kayla McBride (@kaymac_2123) August 13, 2022
Sylvia Fowles.— Jessica Shepard (@JShepard32) August 13, 2022
I love you.
Thank you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/jMSDCJNZDI
Reeve developed a deeper relationship with Fowles in the WNBA Bubble in 2020, while Fowles was out with an injury, and began to see what she learned from Sweet Syl.
“Syl kind of came into this place with me that she really started to understand me and when it was about to get bad or what was needed. Maybe in some small way, patience. ...If she moved the needle just a little bit, that’s pretty, really saying something.
“But I think Syl does a good job giving you perspective. She sees the good in things. Gosh, if I can get an ounce of that, I would be really appreciative.”
After 14 years of dominance, 4 DPOYs and 2 Championships—@sylviafowles has set the standard.— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) August 14, 2022
As one of the WNBA’s 25 greatest players retires from the game, we only have one thing left to say:
Thank you, Syl.
Legends are never done. pic.twitter.com/6q95HT8FjU
The legacy that Fowles leaves behind is simply unmatched. She’s a giant of basketball with a résumé that will never be touched, a spirit impossible to imitate, and an indelible impact that will permeate women’s basketball forever.
“There will never be another Sylvia Fowles in the way that she did it,” Reeve said. “So many people, so many post players looked up to Sylvia Fowles and wanted to be like Sylvia Fowles. That’s an incredible legacy. The greatest all time. So it was worth the 15 years of sacrifice, etc. She’s a Hall of Famer in a class by herself.”
Sylvia Fowles will call it a career as the only player in WNBA history to score 6,000 points and grab 4,000 rebounds.— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) August 14, 2022
She is the league's all-time leader in:
• Rebounds (4,006)
• FG Percentage (59.8%)
• Def. Rebounds (3,203)
There will never be another.#ThankYouSylvia pic.twitter.com/crau1R8zJF
Thank you for everything, Sylvia Fowles.
For your grace.
For your kindness.
For your dominance.
For two championships.
For making Minnesota part of your story.
For the impact you’ve made on this special community through your commitment to its youth through cycling and gardening, and using your voice to support causes you believe in that make Minneapolis a better place.
For inspiring young girls that now want to be like Sweet Syl when they grow up.
For leaving basketball, the Minnesota Lynx, and the Minneapolis community better than you found it.
For all the memories over these last eight years.
We’ll always be indebted.