Game Day | LA Sparks
Seimone Augustus Reintroduced to Sparks Nation
The Sparks have reshuffled the deck a bit this offseason but they did manage to bring back a familiar face. Seimone Augustus re-signed with the team and is ready to get the full L.A. experience, after being confined to the bubble last year. This season will be full of challenges but anyone who knows Seimone, can rest assured that she’ll be up to the task. The Sparks held a press conference to announce her return to the team and Seimone laid out her expectations for the season and even talked about some possible post-career outcomes.
After 15 years in the W, four championships, and every accolade you can imagine, Seimone is still able to pull motivation from different sources to get amped up for another season. When she was asked what keeps her coming back, she said that she even surprised herself last season and felt good about her ability to still contribute going into the 2021 campaign. Everything is based on physical and mental health for Seimone at this point. The grind of the WNBA season can be taxing on the mind and the body. Seimone just gauged where she was and decided that she was in a place where she could withstand its rigors.
She also said the culture of the Sparks was a huge reason for her deciding to run it back. If you pay attention on social media, you can see what a tight-knit group those ladies are. Seimone highlighted the relationships and friendships she developed over the past season, mainly with teammates Te’a Cooper, Sydney Wiese and Brittney Sykes. She also talked about how great the staff was. Another bonus she said, was having a coach with Derek Fisher’s unique experience. Having won five rings in the NBA, there isn’t a lot Fisher hasn’t seen from a basketball standpoint. He knows exactly what his players are going through and it’s nothing better than having a coach that can talk to you in “hoop speech”.
Upon re-signing, Seimone said that she was looking forward to actually getting to play at the Staples Center and soak up the energy from the L.A. fans (fingers crossed). She said that even as an opponent, she always enjoyed coming to play the Sparks and enjoying the city. Hopefully this pandemic subsides by the time the season rolls around, so she can get some home games with people in the stands. Feeding off the energy of the home crowd will definitely give the Sparks a boost, as they enter into this new phase of their franchise’s history.
Naturally with Seimone being at an advanced stage in her career, questions about her post-playing life are going to surface. She said she’s continuously asked if she would get into coaching. It’s not something that’s on her mind right now but it seems like it could be a natural transition for her. Players always look to her as a leader and she’s able to get the most out of her teammates. She has such a knack for the profession, that Te’a Cooper asked her if she would possibly be returning as a coach next season. But Seimone still has a little bit left in the tank so the sideline gig will have to wait.
One reason why people might be inclined to put the clipboard in Seimone’s hand is that she has become an increasingly more vocal leader as her career has progressed. In her early days, Augustus preferred to lead by example and let the work speak for itself. But as she’s gotten older, she has started to move towards helping her teammates, developing, and teaching them how to be pros. She has a wealth of knowledge to pass on and it will definitely be beneficial for the Sparks as they prepare for the next part of their journey. Her veteran voice will also be needed, as Candace Parker and Chelsea Gray have gone on to new teams.
Seimone also gave some insight into some pursuits outside of basketball. She has a penchant for fashion and hopes to one day design her own sneaker. She detailed her experience at the Shoe Surgeon’s Shoe School. Seimone was eager to learn the ins and outs of the design process and felt that it was a very informative experience. She first spoke with Dominic Ciambrone, a.k.a. The Shoe Surgeon, while she was in Florida preparing for the bubble. She’d been thinking about signing up for the class but finally went ahead and dove in after their conversation. Going through that process was exciting for her, as she got to gain intimate knowledge of what goes into creating a shoe.
In true Made For the W fashion, I had to ask her what was the inspiration behind her creation. Seimone made a pair of Christmas-themed Air Jordan 1’s that would make Tinker Hatfield jealous. The origin story of those shoes is one we are all too familiar with. She said the idea for the sneaker was birthed from something I’m sure everyone reading this article has experienced, taking an “L” on the SNKRS app. So she funneled her disappointment into creativity. Seimone thoroughly enjoyed her time designing the shoes, and explained that people have been able to grow their own brands through customization and design in their own communities after going through the course.
As she will likely be hanging up her sneakers soon, Seimone was asked what she thought her legacy was. She never gave it much thought. She went out and competed out of love and passion for the game and let the results speak for themselves. Her opponents, coaches, teammates and media will tell her story for her. There is no doubt that given all she has accomplished on the court, there will be no question how she will be remembered. She doesn’t have to ponder on what will be said about her when she finally decides to step away from the game because she left everything on the hardwood.
The next season will definitely be a wild ride. Seimone didn’t give any predictions or expectations, only that the Sparks will compete every night and never stop learning. They will take things a day at a time and work to achieve their goals daily. The Sparks are happy to have Seimone for another year and she is happy to be back. We will be watching with much anticipation, to see what they have in store.