Like millions of Americans over the past month, Minnesota Lynx star Napheesa Collier has had a standing date with her television on Sunday nights.
That’s when the Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” airs, and Collier can’t get enough.
“It’s amazing,” the 2019 WNBA rookie of the year said. “I love it.”
Collier has appreciated learning about the inner workings of the Chicago Bulls dynasty in the 1990s, as well as the tenacious drive that kept MJ going at all costs.
It also has made the Lynx forward a little antsy while stuck at home in St. Charles, Mo., during the coronavirus pandemic.
“You really just want to get in the gym afterward,” Collier said of the 10-part documentary airing on ESPN. “It’s so inspiring, and definitely makes me get the itch to play again.”
Luckily for Collier, she has access to a church with a gym, meaning she’s been able to put up some shots as she waits for word on whether the WNBA season will start. She’s hoping to build on a rookie season in which she averaged 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals, emerging as a potential superstar to take the torch from Lynx legends Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus
“I try to get a basketball workout, and our trainer sent us at-home workouts, so I do that every day,” Collier said. “Then I pretty much play Monopoly and watch TV in between those things.”
All in the name of staying ready if she gets the call to return. For what it’s worth, the Lynx were supposed to open their season on Friday night, May 15, against the Chicago Sky.
“It’s been hard because, without a start date it’s hard to have a firm goal to work toward,” Collier said. “I’m just working out as if I need to be in training camp in a week.”
Collier thinks players would need a couple of weeks of training camp to get back into shape.
“Even though we’re trying at home, it’s nothing like being in basketball shape,” she said. “There’s no way to do that unless we’re playing. If they just throw us into games, we’re going to have a lot of injuries and things like that. We definitely need that time to get our bodies back in that kind of shape.”
That said, Collier has no reservations about getting back to the grind.
“I’m assuming if we do return they will take every single precaution to keep us safe,” she said. “I absolutely want to play. We all do this because we love playing. If we can do that in a safe manner, I’d definitely want to do that.”