The Minnesota Lynx make their first appearance Sunday night in the WNBA championship at the Target Center, facing off against the Atlanta Dream in the best-of-five series.
Regardless of the outcome, Minnesota native and Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen says this season just keeps getting better.
"The crowds are loud, they're into it. We feel like they've had fun, we've had fun, so it's been a great year," she said.
Whelan acknowledges that unlike male NBA players, there's no big bonus or salary increase in her future if the Lynx win the finals. She says the chance to be a champion, and to forever have the right to say that the team won, is enough.
"We're happy to still be coming in, going to practice, being around each other, it's just a fun group to be around."
The Lynx had the best regular season record in the WNBA this year, finishing with a 27-7 record that was six games better than the next closest team. But they needed three games to dispatch San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs before sweeping Phoenix in the Western Conference finals to advance to the on Sunday night.
The Dream lost to Seattle in the finals last year, a run that they say prepares them to take on the best team in the league Sunday night.
It should be a raucus scene. The lower bowl of Target Center has been close to full for all three home playoff games in the playoffs, and the team is expecting a record crowd on Sunday night.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)