Breanna Stewart couldn’t flip down an opportunity to play in New York and probably assist the Liberty win their first WNBA championship.
Probably the most coveted free agent this offseason, who received the WNBA MVP award in 2018, introduced on social media that she was going to New York with a photograph of her in a Liberty shirt on Wednesday. Stewart had spent her whole profession in Seattle for the reason that Storm drafted her No. 1 total in 2016. She received two championships with the crew in 2018 and 2020.
“I made a decision to go to New York as I wished to proceed to be nice. And I wished to go to the place the place I believe I will help this league grow to be higher, to lift the usual,“ Stewart stated in an interview on ESPN. ”I really feel like why not go to the largest market in all of sports activities. I’m excited to go after their first championship.”
The 28-year-old wing has averaged 20.3 factors and eight.6 rebounds in her WNBA profession. She missed the 2019 season with an Achilles damage.
You are reading: Stewart heads to New York on first day of WNBA free agency
“New York is a basketball metropolis and I can’t wait to be part of it,” Stewart stated.
By coming to New York it brings Stewart nearer to residence. She grew up in Syracuse which is an hour flight from New York. It is also a better flight to Spain to see her spouse Marta’s household.
New York representatives, together with coach Sandy Brondello and co-owner Clara Wu Tsai met with Stewart in Turkey final week. Stewart had narrowed her selections all the way down to Seattle and New York earlier than selecting the Liberty.
The transfer turns the Liberty into an on the spot championship contender. New York is among the WNBAs unique franchises, however has by no means received a championship. The Liberty already added 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones and Kayla Thornton by a three-way deal to enrich 2020 No. 1 draft choose Sabrina Ionescu.
“I believe this group has a ton of potential, lots of wonderful gamers,” Stewart stated. “The selflessness helps us set ourselves aside from everybody else.”
The information was met with elation on social media by Jones, Ionescu and Nets star Kevin Durant, who stated on a podcast that he had reached out to Stewart to get her to come back to New York.
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Stewart was the second big-name free agent to announce her intentions to play for one more crew this season. Candace Parker stated final weekend that she was going to signal with the Las Vegas Aces and formally did Wednesday.
“As I’ve gone by free company this time round, in fact I’m pondering of the place I can compete for my third championship, however the phrases residence and household are what I saved coming again to,“ Parker stated. ”After evaluating the panorama along with my household, we’ve determined the Las Vegas Aces are the proper group for us at this level in our lives. To play for a championship near house is the right scenario for us. I’m wanting ahead to persevering with the journey this summer time in Las Vegas.”
Wednesday was the primary day that free brokers may signal with groups. Different strikes introduced included:
— Brittney Sykes with Washington
— Lexie Brown and Stephanie Talbot with Los Angeles
— Teaira McCowan with Dallas
— Alysha Clark with Las Vegas
Many free brokers have been ready for Stewart to make her determination, together with Courtney Vandersloot.
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Vandersloot introduced on social media late Tuesday evening that she wasn’t returning to Chicago, the place she had spent her whole profession. She has led the league in assists six occasions throughout her 12-year profession and helped the Sky win the 2021 WNBA championship.
“To the Sky group who drafted the little guard from a mid-major and believed in me from the leap, I couldn’t have requested for something higher,” Vandersloot wrote on Instagram. “Thanks from the underside of my coronary heart. I’ve realized my goals due to you. Though I by no means deliberate for this present day to come back, I’ve determined it’s time for me to pursue a brand new starting.”
Stewart and Vandersloot are presently enjoying collectively in Turkey.
“My message to Sloot is she is aware of I like to play along with her, however I’m going to help her in any determination she makes,“ Stewart stated. “Free company is tough. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for everyone. It’s not solely basketball these choices are made behind. It’s life.”
Whereas Stewart and Vandersloot shall be enjoying for various WNBA groups this season, Brittney Griner, who can also be a free agent, introduced in December when she returned residence from her 10-month ordeal in Russia that she deliberate to stay with the Phoenix Mercury. Her long-time Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi can also be a free agent, however she too is predicted to return to Phoenix.
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