Maya Moore Hall of Fame Induction should lead to more GOAT love for Lynx, UConn legend

April 27, 2024 will be the day when the 2024 class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame becomes forever immortalized in Knoxville. 

It was a few days ago when the class was indeed announced. That class will include Minnesota Lynx greats Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus. 

It will also include Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Violet Palmer, Rita Gail Easterling, Sue Phillips and Mary “Roonie” Scovel. This year’s class also has significance since it is the 25th anniversary class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Cheyney State University – now Cheyney University – will also be recognized along with the Afghan Resettlement Program (For the Love of the Game Award).

Congratulations are particularly in order for the two headliners of the class in Moore and Augustus who after delivering speeches in Knoxville at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame will then certainly have to prepare speeches for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Both – especially Moore – ought to be shoo-ins. 

To say that Moore’s career has been a roller coaster would be an understatement. But there are a lot of all-time greats in the women’s game that wish they had a career as decorated as Moore’s was. 

Just as GOAT conversations have been bubbling up on the NBA side for years with a certain Chicago Bull (Michael Jordan), a certain Los Angeles Laker (Kobe Bryant) and a certain Cleveland Cavalier-turned-Heat-turned-Cav-again-turned-Laker (LeBron James) dominating those conversations, the WNBA is no different. 

The only thing appears to be that when those greatest of all time conversations happen, they usually revolve around Lisa Leslie or Sheryl Swoopes or Candace Parker or Diana Taurasi or Sue Bird. 

Do not get us wrong – the aforementioned six are more than deserving of their GOAT flowers. After the Las Vegas Aces vanquished the New York Liberty in last season’s WNBA Finals, A’ja Wilson’s name is also starting to enter those talks while she is just now entering the prime of her career. 

But let us not ignore Moore’s career simply because she made a conscious decision to cut it short and pursue other passions. 

When there was a big moment in a big game or when a team needed a big bucket that could make all the difference, one wanted the ball in Moore’s hands. Ask Geno Auriemma at UConn. Ask Cheryl Reeve at the Lynx. 

When we think about the Houston Comets dynasty, we think of Air Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper and Tina Thompson being the faces of said dynasty. When we think of the Lynx dynasty of the 2010s, the names that come to mind are Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Sylvia Fowles, Lindsay Whalen and…

….Maya Moore. 

Not to mention wherever Moore went, victories and championships were sure to follow. This was true at the high school level. This was true at the college level where she won a pair of national championships with the Huskies. This, of course, was the case in the WNBA as evidenced by the four rings she has via the Lynx. 

This was also true in the international level between winning gold medals at FIBA World Cups and at Olympics. 

As of 2024, 28 seasons of WNBA basketball will have been played. With 28 seasons under the belt of the most successful professional women’s sports league there is, there is more than enough history for people to create their own Mount Rushmores of the W. 

Unfortunately, we have seen too many of those Mount Rushmores inexplicably leave out Moore as if her career deserves an asterisk because she decided to cut it short. 

As we mentioned, Moore left the game following the 2018 season when she was still in her prime. She turned her attention to freeing a Missouri man – Jonathan Irons – who was wrongfully incarcerated then proceeded to marry said man. Moore’s always kept herself grounded in faith and she followed the path her faith told her to follow. 

Also, as we mentioned where Moore went, wins came. Why were so many WNBA fans – especially Atlanta Dream fans – hoping that she would come back for one more go-round through the W to potentially deliver her hometown Dream its first championship? The pride of Marietta winning one for her home team to finish her career would have been a classic storybook ending. 

Instead, she decided to write hers. Moore clearly felt at peace that her accomplishments deserved its fair share of recognition. Obviously the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame agreed as well. 

Plenty of Lynx fans will be booking trips from Minnesota to Knoxville to be part of what will be a watershed moment in the lives of Moore and Augustus – not to mention the history of the Lynx as a franchise. And while late April will be a time where many fans and media begin to reflect on how great a career Moore had, it was not just any great career. 

It was a career where she was a consistent winner on every level. It was a career where she made a name for herself as an all-time great. 

And it was a career that was certainly worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as other GOATs such as Leslie, Swoopes, Parker, Bird and Taurasi. 

Crown her. GOAT her. Give her her flowers. Maya Moore – not just an all-time great but one of the greatest of all-time.