Lynx celebrate championship with parade and rally at Williams Arena

Photo Credit: Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star-Tribune/AP

Despite an overcast day in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, that did not put any damper on the celebrations that ensued in the Twin Cities as the Lynx participated in a championship parade with the University of Minnesota as a backdrop.

Even prior to the parade, the Lynx painted the Cities in their signature blue and green colors.

The parade began at 12th Avenue Southeast on the campus of the University of Minnesota down University Avenue and culminated with a rally at Williams Arena.

One of the signature attractions of the parade were the convertibles with the four WNBA championship trophies the Lynx have won in their history in them.

When being interviewed by Fox Sports North, Cheryl Reeve said she was confident her team would come through in the end.

I didn’t know how long it was going to take, but I was confident we were going to win the game.

–Cheryl Reeve

One of the more indelible images of the game was Plenette Pierson taking the court in the final seconds of Game 5 knowing that this would be her final season in the WNBA. Head coach Cheryl Reeve made the call.

She’s a great person and a great friend. And it was just great for her to just remember that this is my last one. And for me to be on the court for the last 8.3 seconds – that’ll be something that I remember for the rest of my life.

–Plenette Pierson

As for Lindsay Whalen who had a chance to play an integral role in winning a championship where she played her collegiate basketball, she said to Fox Sports North it would probably take a couple of days for the feeling to hit her that she’s once again a champion.

I think it’ll hit in a couple of days, but – hey, it’s a better feeling than last year.

–Lindsay Whalen

Seimone Augustus remarked that during those tense moments of Game 5 she hoped her Lynx teammates would settle down so they could hear what Reeve wanted to tell them. Also that she did not get a lot of sleep since winning title number four.

I’m running on about an hour of sleep.

–Seimone Augustus

As for the player who now occupies the most WNBA championships in history, Rebekkah Brunson, it is sweet for her to reach that lofty plateau – but it was anything but easy.

It never gets old, though. If I could do this every year, I would.

–Rebekkah Brunson

It was so tough, but that makes it sweeter. Because we know how hard it is. We know that you can’t win it all. Every year things are going to change and you have to continue to adjust. But we’re capable and we’re able to do that throughout the years.

Maya Moore mentioned how raucous the crowd at The Barn was shortly after the Lynx won the Game 5. The collegiate setting certainly gave it a college-like atmosphere. She mentioned it again when asked along the parade route.

We absolutely felt it. We felt it from Game 1 all the way through to Game 5 and it was just amazing to have all of that energy and celebration be for a championship.

When one of your star players grabs 20 rebounds in a Game 5 on the heels of winning a regular season MVP, that may very well earn said player Finals MVP as well. That is what happened for Sylvia Fowles.

I feel like I had a complete season. Regular season MVP is one thing, but when you can get Finals MVP, I think that completes your season. So, I’m very grateful for my teammates and I’m happy to be here.

–Sylvia Fowles

After the parade, the scene shifted to Williams Arena for the championship rally. The Lynx players, coaches, and staff were not the only ones in attendance as there was also an appearance from St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman.

Somebody just asked me – do you think this is a dynasty? This is a dynasty.

–St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman

Not to be outdone by the St. Paul mayor was Minneapolis’ mayor Betsy Hodges.

Thank you for indulging me in that. It’s not often I get to be on stage with the best basketball team in the world. And if you are wondering if a mayor ever gets star struck, this is what it looks like.

–Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis mayor

After the pair of politicians had their time in The Barn’s limelight, Cheryl Reeve addressed those in attendance at Williams Arena.

We closed this thing out here in one of the most amazing environments I’ve ever been a part of in a championship series.

–Cheryl Reeve

And she also had this creative one-liner to Lynx owner Glen Taylor, who installed $1 million worth of air conditioning at The Barn to meet WNBA standards.

But somebody please tell him he can turn the air conditioning off now.

Reeve closed out her words referring to Lynx fans as “the best fans in the WNBA.” After Reeve spoke, the mic was handed to the University of Minnesota’s favorite daughter Whalen.

We just thank you guys for all your support, being there for us all season and especially last night. It was a night I know all of us will never forget.

–Lindsay Whalen

After Whalen spoke her remarks, Augustus addressed the crowd with the championship trophy in hand.

My coach always says it’s about the people. Everyday I come to work we get to see these beautiful people – give them headaches, give them hell. But it’s about going out there and playing for each other and doing everything we can to be successful and to make people proud.

–Seimone Augustus

After that it was Rebekkah Brunson’s turn and she addressed those in attendance on how her career has been somewhat like a roller coaster from winning a championship with the Sacramento Monarchs to struggles later on to reaching new heights with the Lynx.

I think getting it early on and then not getting it for a while allowed me to understand that it doesn’t come easy. It allowed me to understand how much work you have to put into it – how connected you have to be as a group and as a team and how you all have to have the same common goals through in and throughout.

Moore then spoke and one of the things she was asked about was how she has yet to go two consecutive seasons throughout her basketball career without winning a championship.

That really just speaks to the teams that I’ve been on. I’ve been so blessed to be able to play on some great college teams, high school teams, and then obviously I had no control over getting drafted here. So, I’m just super fortunate of landing here as a number one pick going to an amazing team.

Last, but not least, was Finals MVP Sylvia Fowles who summed up the significance of her rebounding performances with just two words.

Very important.

By: Akiem Bailum (@AkiemBailum on Twitter, Instagram)