By Jace Frederick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS -- Odyssey Sims was one of the key cogs of the Lynx-Sparks rivalry that boiled over on many occasions over the past few years.
Emphasis on the “was.”
Now a member of the Lynx after she was dealt from Los Angeles to Minnesota this offseason, Sims isn’t even playing with many of those players with whom she used to feud thanks to a Lynx roster flush.
“They might even not know what you’re talking about when you say it,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said of her newer players. “I think that, too, is part of the past. It’s a part of our rivalry of the past.”
Minnesota, as Sims said, is “talking about right now. We’re in 2019.” The Lynx’s present includes Sims, who will play a vital role in whatever success Minnesota achieves this season.
“This is a good opportunity for me,” she said. “I think we’re going to have a fun season. We’re going to do a lot better than everyone is expecting. … We’ve been working, and I’m excited.”
Reeve is excited at the prospect of Sims pairing in the backcourt with point guard Danielle Robinson. Sims, too, has played plenty of point in her career but will play off the ball more alongside Robinson.
“This is definitely going to be different,” Sims said. “But I am a combo guard, kind of one and two, because I do score. So her putting me at the two, I’m really excited about that.”
Sims admitted it was “kind of shocking” to be traded to Minnesota. She never envisioned playing for the Lynx and being a part of an organization with the history and the winning tradition.
Thus far, the experience hasn’t disappointed. Sims said she’s already gelling with many of her new teammates, adding that she’s been “like a sponge” as she tries to soak in as much as possible from the Lynx coaches and her new teammates.
Reeve said Sims has been “so eager” to dive into what the Lynx are doing.
“This being my third organization since being in the WNBA, this is by far the best,” Sims said. “They take care of you, they’re all about communication, they want to know how you are, how you’re feeling — and that’s something I’m not used to. They take care of their players. They really care about their well-being.”
Reeve said Sims brings physical toughness, “swag,” scoring ability and pace to the team.
“She brings a lot to the table,” Reeve said.
Minnesota had a front-row seat to view all of those characteristics during its past heated contests with Los Angeles. The Lynx are now looking forward to having Sims’ skill set work for them.
Sims noted she had a connection with Reeve prior to coming to Minnesota, started during time together with USA Basketball.
Sims noted that Reeve has been “a little more lenient” with her early in training camp, but she knows there will be days when the coach gets into her a little more.
“I’m already preparing,” Sims said.
For now, Reeve may just have to fire off the occasional barb.
“Every once in a while I might get a Sparks dig in there about the *championship) ring from 2017, possibly, but other than that, (that rivalry) is between Lindsay (Whalen) and Odyssey and a different team,” Reeve said. “It is fun to reminisce about, for sure, but I haven’t brought that up with her, and I don’t want to because she smiles and she’s in a really good place.”