Chris Camello (@chris_camello)
BRADENTON, FL — When the Los Angeles Sparks signed Seimone Augustus, they knew they were getting an accomplished 4-time champion.
They even knew the 13-year veteran would provide a scoring punch off the bench and experience. Augustus dropped 13 points in the Sparks’ 81-76 win over the Connecticut Sun.
Perhaps even more valuable has been her dynamic leadership to the Sparks.
Head coach Derek Fisher spoke about what Augustus has brought to the team.
“I think that Seimone has brought a level of character, humility, and integrity to the group,” Fisher said. “She’s come here, accepted whatever role we have for her. She respects our core players that have been here and built this team to what it is.”
Those core players like Chelsea Gray and Candace Parker have felt the impact of Augustus’ leadership.
“[Augustus] brings the experience, the leadership role that she’s playing off the bench, it’s been great,” Gray said. “(She’s) telling us what we need to hear, not always what we like to hear, but what we need to hear in that moment.”
Parker has battled Augustus many times during those Minnesota Lynx years and respects what she brings to the team.
“ ‘Mone has four championships, a couple of which have been against us, so I think it’s definitely helpful to have that experience, but also to have her challenging us and pushing us,” Parker said.
Honesty has been one of the more refreshing aspects of Augustus’s leadership.
“I just speak the truth,” Augustus said. “I talked to Chelsea earlier today about her being one of the best point guards in this league, but the assists have to show it.”
“I stay in CP’s ear talking about being one of the greatest players to ever grace the court, but every night she has to show it,” Augustus continued. “I’m going to be there to push her, I’m going to be there to say the things that need to be said to get her going.”
The Sparks haven’t had an experienced, honest leader like Augustus. If they’re going to succeed this season, she could be what they need to stay focused and provide accountability.