Minneapolis, MN -- White and blue confetti blanketed the Target Center. Orange hats favored the patch "Minnesota Lynx 2015 Champions" on the side.
Yet, it is the tears that explained it all.
The hard work, fight, dedication, mobility, and characteristics that defined each player were expressed not only in Game 5 of the 2015 Finals, but also within five years of play.
In a program that underwent injured star athletes, switched coaching roles, roster-adjusted trades, and remarkable season comebacks, the Minnesota Lynx stand as one of the most impressive teams in the WNBA history.
Stars such as Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus missed a combined total of 23 games due to injuries. Yet, in the final game, each contributed to the win in their own unique manner.
At age 33, Whalen had started 379 games of 389 in her 12 years in the WNBA. However, she missed a handful of games, including 106 misses due to hyphema, a collection of blood inside the front part of the eye. As a returning star familiar to the championship feel, she had two points and two rebounds.
Yet, she dished four assists, all of which came consecutively for the team's 10-point lead in the third. It may seem small, but remember Whalen's experience had helped in vital portions of the game, including Game 3's buzzer-beater bucket to Maya Moore.
Augustus has also witnessed time on the court as a fellow champion. At the end of the game interview, Reeve was asked a question about the leadership of Augustus, and both her and Augustus broke down with tears of joy.
"We have a love-hate relationship," said Reeve. "But I'm so proud of her and the team."
Augustus scored 16 points, with three rebounds and two assists. Her influential second completion came at the start of the second when her 17-foot jumper tied the game at 17. From that point on, the Indiana Fever never saw a lead over the Lynx.
Also, it was the powerful defense and brilliant contributions from teammates Moore, Rebekkah Brunson, Anna Cruz and Renee Montgomery. In fact, top-player Moore held five points but Minnesota won by their largest margin in the Finals at 17 points. Cruz added five points with four rebounds, as Montgomery had nine points for four assists.
"It was so rewarding to watch my teammates step up and hit shots," said Moore.
Early in July, sitting at home unsure where to go, Sylvia Fowles said she prayed for her calling to be with a team the is so tight-knit. Wednesday night's game proved to be more of just Fowles scoring 20 points.
It gave a sense of confidence for her to recover from playing only 18 minutes total in the last game due to foul trouble. Her message was granted to the Lynx, and now she stands as the MVP for the 2015 WNBA Finals. This was an essential change from being confused on the couch, to motivated and most valuable.
"Nothing to take away from Chicago," said Fowles. "I felt like I fulfilled my contract there in Chicago and just wanted to step out and broaden my horizons on something new. Minnesota just so happened to be the team."
Then, head coach Reeve came to the organization in 2010 as the head coach, after present as an assistant for the Detroit Shock. She led her team to a 21-3 record all-time in the playoffs, which records the best winning percentage for winning coach in the WNBA.
There were season games that sparked the attention of this remarkable team. One of them was the impressive rally from 16 points down to defeat the Atlanta Dream with Moore and Fowles that turned the game around. Another monumental game was the surge past the Pheonix Mercury with Moore's 40 points for the Finals advancement.
As the statistics show, Minnesota successfully made it to the championships five times, clinching three titles: 2011, 2013, and now 2015.
Overall, their team bond brought the craftiness, devotion, and passion to the victory.
There have been just different elements of the journey of trying to be so successful every single year. The mental, the emotional energy and focus that that takes, the pressure, the expectations, and when things do not go perfectly, how do we handle it," said Moore.
"I think that was our biggest struggle of trying to get over our perfectionism is just pushing through and not quitting, not giving up and bouncing back, play after play, game after game."