A conversation with Rebekkah Brunson contains multitudes.
She won five WNBA titles, more than anyone in league history. Despite being a lean, 6-foot-2 power forward, she led the league in career rebounds until friend and teammate Sylvia Fowles passed her. She is one of the best defenders in WNBA history.
She also is a business owner, entrepreneur, Bally Sports Timberwolves analyst and Minnesota Lynx assistant coach.
Brunson knows what a championship team looks like. She recently shared her views on the teams that play at Target Center and more.
On the Timberwolves: "I think they're all bought in, which is the first step. When you go to practices and watch the way they work and the way they approach things, for the most part, they've bought into what [coach Chris] Finch is saying — wanting to make the best out of this team, which is probably the best team that the Wolves may have ever had. …
"Now are there going to be bumps in the road? Yes … I think they're going to have a 50-win season, but it's not going to be pretty all the time.''
On Warriors star Draymond Green punching teammate Jordan Poole, and Reggie Miller saying that good teams fight more than bad teams: "That's so true. I don't know if you should be punching any teammates, though. When you're passionate and you really want to succeed, you care more about what's happening. You care more when someone isn't listening or someone doesn't show up. … I've been around teams that didn't win and they didn't care, and they might have been having fun and laughing a lot. When you have success, and want more success, the bar rises.''
On the Wolves winning their opener Wednesday: "They were up 16, then down six, and I think they kind of reverted back to some of the things that were happening last year. As Finchy would say, the ball got sticky. …
"They're going to have to figure out, 'Whose time is it? Who needs a shot here? What do I need to do to get this going?' The good thing is they respect [Finch] enough to listen to what he feels like they need to do, and that's half the battle.''
On the Lynx championship run being almost impossible to replicate: "It's been a while since the Lynx have been in this position — probably not since 2009 or 2010, when we really started to change what the Lynx were before that. That era has ended. Syl was the last piece of everything we had built over the past 10 years. We're in a period of transition and we will probably have to figure out a different style of play, get some new pieces …
"You can never take winning for granted. That was a very, very special time.''
On making the Hall of Fame: "I went to Lindsay Whalen's Hall of Fame ceremony, which was amazing. I was so happy to be able to share that moment with her. But it was crazy to see the stretch of life that some people have waited, to be in the Hall. … You see people who are 80 years old, or they have passed on, and their families are representing them as they go in. So I feel like waiting on the Hall of Fame makes your nerves bad. … I don't want to be wheeled up there.''
On staying in Minnesota after her playing career ended, becoming a mother and a broadcaster, and starting Sweet Troo Vi, a vegan cookie company, with her wife:
"I love it here. My son just turned 4, so we are pretty much stuck here now. It would be terrible to take him away from his friends. I love working at Bally Sports, I love working with the Timberwolves, and I love being with the Lynx. …
"We have a plant-based cookie company. [Wolves president of basketball operations] Tim Connelly had one the other day, and he liked it, and he said, 'Man, I can't lie — when I heard it was vegan, I thought it was going to be bad.'"