The big reveal from the WNBA’s most accomplished star.
Maya Moore, the seminal star of the WNBA this decade and a four-time WNBA champion, announced on Tuesday that she will be sitting out the 2019 season in a Players’ Tribune piece.
“I will not be playing professional basketball this year,” Moore wrote. “There are different ways to measure success.”
In a statement, Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said: “As she recently shared, Maya has expressed a need to shift her attention more fully to family and ministry dreams in a way that she has been unable to as a professional basketball player. We support her in this exploration and will continue to provide her the love and care she has always known from her Lynx family.”
For Moore, the decision ends several weeks of feverish speculation since WCCO-TV broke the news on January 16 that Moore was considering her options for 2019, just days after the Minnesota Lynx had given Moore the core player designation.
The following day, Reeve released a statement which read: “We have been in close contact with Maya Moore and together, are deciding the best way to approach next season.”
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Moore is a former WNBA MVP, whose 53.5 win shares rank 13th in the history of the league, an astonishing stat considering she is just 29 years old. Her Lynx have not only won four WNBA championships, they’ve also reached the WNBA finals two other occasions.
Moore’s 2018 season was excellent by any measure but her own career standard, with her lowest player efficiency rating (still 19.7, this is Maya Moore we’re talking about) and second-lowest field goal percentage. The Lynx “suffered” through an 18-16 season and first round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Sparks.
Reeve and the Lynx have been extremely active early on in WNBA free agency, signing Damiris Dantas to an offer sheet, adding unrestricted free agent Karima Christmas-Kelly and retaining longtime franchise icon Seimone Augustus.
Now, the Lynx have another max salary slot to utilize as they see fit.
Still, there will be no shortage of changes next year for a roster without Lindsay Whalen, Moore’s longtime running mate at the point, and with Rebekah Brunson’s future still undecided, the five-time champion recovering from a concussion suffered near the end of the 2018 season.
The Lynx can also add through the draft, holding the sixth overall pick.