2004 in Review: Betty Lennox
One of the first questions Betty Lennox was asked when she arrived in Seattle last March to participate in the Storm's "Stormin' the Sound" community program was whether she had finally found a home. After a promising start to her career in Minnesota, where she was an All-Star and Rookie of the Year, Lennox had bounced to Miami, Cleveland and now Seattle over a two-year stretch, seeing both the Sol and the Rockers fold on her.
"I won't call it home unless I've been here at least three or four seasons," Lennox told storm.wnba.com before the season. "I won't go and have a good season and then call it my home. I've done that before, and nothing but turmoil comes out of it."
Lennox's answer was consistent throughout the season. As she became a key part of the Storm's run to the WNBA Finals, Lennox never wavered. Until the Storm won the championship and she - Betty Lennox - was named Finals MVP.
"This does feel like home," Lennox finally told the crowd that gathered at the Westlake Center to celebrate the Storm's championship.
Lennox came to Seattle with questions about her game. She had not shot better than 40% since her rookie season and had served as a reserve for both Miami and Cleveland. After incumbent Sandy Brondello elected not to return to the Storm, however, Lennox never allowed anyone else to even think about the starting two-guard position. She had a phenomenal training camp, demonstrating one-on-one ability the Storm had never before had in a shooting guard.
2004 Betty Lennox Photo Gallery
2004 in Review Archive
Lennox Looking for a Home
Lennox's Butterfly Effect
storm.wnba.com Goes Inside Betty Lennox's Head
August No Break For Lennox
Lennox never quite got used to the mask she had to wear to protect her fragile nose, and was happy to shed it midway through July. Lennox scored a season-high 23 points on July 30 at Minnesota. Still, the time with the mask - during which Lennox averaged just 8.6 points per game - cost her a possible spot on the WNBA All-Star team for The Game at Radio City.
Lennox finished the season with averages of 11.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, dramatic improvements over her 2003 marks, and shot 42.1% from the field. She finished third in Most Improved Player voting, getting eight votes to the nine apiece for Connecticut's Wendy Palmer and Indiana's Kelly Miller.
The best part of Lennox's season was still to come. She was quiet in the first round of the playoffs against Minnesota and struggled somewhat in the Western Conference Finals, but Lennox was biding her time for a bigger stage: The WNBA Finals.
Once on it, she exploded. In Game 1 at Connecticut, Lennox had 17 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort. In Game 2, she dominated, scoring 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting and nearly single-handedly fighting off Nykesha Sales' 32-point outing as the Storm hung on for a 67-65 win. Lennox shot just 2-for-9 during the first half of Game 3, but she scored 14 points after halftime, matching the five field goals the Sun had as a team. She finished the series averaging 22.3 points per game on 50.0% shooting, hitting three of her five three-point attempts and 16 of 18 free throws. Her effort earned her Finals MVP honors.
ďMe, Betty Lennox?Ē Lennox said in the post-game press conference. ďThis celebration? Not only this celebration, the award that I just got? I canít believe it. Me? Everything that Iíve been through, so many teams that Iíve been on, so many situations that Iíve been in, so many bad raps on Betty Lennox? Iím speechless. Iím speechless right about now.Ē
- Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com
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