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Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler never 'been more proud of a team and how they battled'

Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times is busy writing up Seattle Storm exit interviews after their heartbreaking one point loss to the defending champion Minnesota Lynx in the first round of the 2012 WNBA playoffs.

Although this is the second consecutive season in which the Storm have taken a heartbreaking exit from the playoffs since winning the title in 2010, head coach and GM Brian Agler was positive about the season overall in his Q&A with Evans.

Q: How do you view the roster given the injuries it battled?
Agler: There's a tremendous amount of respect. I told them after the game that I don't think I'd ever been more proud of a team and how they battled; knowing what they're going through individually and all the issues that we battled throughout the season, whether it be injury, absence, schedule, all those things were very taxing on our team.

Although this year's loss might feel more regrettable to some fans given that advancing past the defending champions would seem to give the team hope for returning to the Finals, the Storm's effort - and near victory - is indeed plenty to be proud of given the narrative of the season.

Yes, it was a first round loss, but in the context of a season hampered by injury and further disjointed due to the Olympics and Lauren Jackson's absence, even competing with a team that might go down as among the most potent in the history of the WNBA is at least something for fans of the organization to remain positive about as the team continues to slowly go young in preparation for a future without Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson.

For more reactions to the Storm's exit from the playoffs, check out's link roundup.