By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Lynx started training camp Sunday a very different team than the one they had a year ago.

No more Lindsay Whalen, who’s retired and coaching the Gophers; no more Maya Moore, who’s taking a year off; and no Rebekkah Brunson, who still hasn’t decided whether to retire or return.

Two items at the top of the agenda as the Lynx begin training camp: Absorb the loss of one of the greatest players in franchise history and the loss of perhaps the greatest player in women’s basketball history. No biggie, right?

In some ways, coach Cheryl Reeve says, it’s exciting.

“Absolutely. It’s refreshing in some ways. You get to teach again,” Reeve said.

The Lynx haven’t had this big of a roster shakeup since Reeve took over the team in 2010.

“A lot of people are worried about me. I don’t have many veterans. They’re worried I’m going to break out in hives, and maybe not make it through the season,” Reeve said. “I hope that I can be an amoeba. In whatever the team needs, whatever’s asked for, whatever’s needed of me, I hope I can be that. So this calls for something different, and so I’ll work really hard to make sure that I’m teaching and bringing along the young ones.”

At the same time, it’s not like they’re completely starting over. They still have some pretty good veterans – Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles in particular. Reeve can lean on them to help bring those young ones along.

“Really important. Really, really important. Especially for it to be those two because they’re both so giving as teammates and they embrace the idea of teaching,” Reeve said.

They will definitely feel the losses, particularly of Maya Moore, who is still in the prime of her career. But Reeve said she’s communicated with Moore recently, and that she’s in a good place as she takes her year off.

“Maya’s doing well. She updated me on what she was working on with her ministry work and criminal justice reform. And that’s sort of our plan, is I don’t want to be overbearing, but I do want to hear from her, and I do know that she’s going to be checking on us and she’s curious how we’re doing,” Reeve said.

Reeve knows one thing won’t change, though. How they’re doing will once again depend on the team’s veteran core.

“I always said this – you go as your captains go. So for us, we’ll go as Danielle, Syl and Seimone go. If they’re going well and playing well and connected with their teammates, we’ll do well,” Reeve said.

The Lynx first preseason game is this Friday at Target Center against Washington.

David McCoy

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