The Minnesota Lynx bared their claws on social media in the name of what’s become a bitter battle toward the WNBA Rookie of the Year race.
With the regular season drawing to a close, the WNBA has been blessed with a strong battle between first-year stars. Minnesota is represented by Connecticut alumna Napheesa Collier. The sixth overall draft pick leads all rookies with a 17.2 player efficiency rating to go along with 12.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Collier was named to her first All-Star team in July and will partake in the Lynx’s upcoming postseason trek next week.
Her top competition for the ROTY title is former Notre Dame star Arike Ogunbowale. Chosen immediately before Collier, Ogunbowale won’t be going to the playoffs, but has provided hope for the rebuilding Dallas Wings. She is currently tops amongst first-year players with 18.5 points per game.
Both teams have predictably stepped their social media game up to campaign for the respective stars. Taking advantage of another young basketball superstar nearby, Dallas enlisted the services of reigning NBA Rookie of the Year and Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic to wish Ogunbowale luck in her quest. A brief video posted on Dallas’ account show Doncic brandishing an Ogunbowale jersey in the Mavericks’ weight room.
The Lynx were having none of it, disposing of any form of “Minnesota nice” in their follow-up.
Dallas enacted a passive, yet affirmative, response, choosing instead to focus on their Wednesday game against the Connecticut Sun. The Lynx, on the other hand, continued to boost Collier’s case. Throughout the night, they posted facts and figures about the UConn product. They additionally took time to highlight several NBA players who visited Target Center during the WNBA season to combat their claim in the Doncic tribute.
Collier herself issued a tongue-in-cheek reply, jokingly pledging her loyalty to Trae Young,, Doncic’s main competition for ROY in 2018. She later issued a final tweet declaring how proud she was of the 2019 rookie class as a whole. Collier further encouraged fans to be easy on each other as they discussed the race and expressed a desire to focus on her remaining slate.
The WNBA regular season ends on Sunday, and the highly-anticipated Rookie of the Year award will be announced shortly thereafter.