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HomeSportsWNBA superstar Breanna Stewart announces she is signing with Liberty as free...

WNBA superstar Breanna Stewart announces she is signing with Liberty as free agent

The Liberty’s offseason from heaven simply bought even higher.

On Wednesday afternoon, Breanna Stewart introduced that she could be signing with the Liberty. With a video posted to her Twitter account, Stewart broke the information herself, posting a photograph of the Empire State Constructing with the home windows lit as much as spell “STEWIE”, together with a video of her donning a Liberty shirt, captioned with the Statue of Liberty emoji.

Stewart, the 2018 WNBA MVP, two-time champion and four-time All-Star, spent the primary seven years of her profession with the Storm. She solely performed in WNBA video games for six of these seasons, although, as she tore her Achilles in 2019 whereas enjoying in Russia and missed all the subsequent WNBA season.

Some of the adorned gamers within the trendy recreation, Stewart now joins a Liberty roster that features 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones, two-time All-Star Stefanie Dolson and 2020 No. 1 total decide Sabrina Ionescu.

Merely put, the Liberty goes to be an issue for the remainder of the league.

Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart brings the ball up against the Minnesota Lynx during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Seattle. The Storm won 89-77.

The 2022 season noticed the group go an underwhelming 16-20 and lose their first-round playoff sequence to the Chicago Sky. The group now hopes that the 2023 marketing campaign — their third enjoying in Barclays Heart — is not going to solely convey their first playoff sequence win since 2017, but in addition ship the franchise its first championship.

Wednesday was the primary day that WNBA free company formally opened, permitting gamers to signal with their new groups. Per ESPN, Stewart and the Liberty are nonetheless hammering out the small print of her contract. Stewart isn’t any stranger to the northeast, having grown up in Syracuse and enjoying faculty basketball at UConn, the place she and the Huskies gained 4 straight nationwide championships and solely misplaced 5 whole video games. In 2014 and 2016, her sophomore and senior seasons, Stewart led her group to undefeated seasons.

With the offseason additions of Jones and Stewart, the Liberty has the east coast reply for the superteam in Las Vegas, which now options WNBA icon Candace Parker along with the incumbent A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Grey and Kelsey Plum, who piloted the Aces to the 2022 title.

Based on ESPN, chartered air journey was an enormous think about Stewart’s resolution. The Liberty and proprietor Joe Tsai (who additionally owns the Brooklyn Nets) have been on the forefront of the motion to get WNBA groups to fly on chartered planes moderately than commercially. The franchise was fined $500,000 final yr for chartering flights with out the league’s permission.

“Stewie’s free company is the story of the WNBA at an inflection level: Gamers perceive their worth, the potential of the WNBA, and are keen companions in rising a enterprise that has unimaginable momentum,” Stewart’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, mentioned in an announcement launched by ESPN. “She owned the method and the duty that comes with energy in ways in which hopefully will affect how sensible free brokers of all genders strategy comparable alternatives.”

With Stewart now gone, the cabinet is fairly naked in Seattle, the place Storm legend Sue Fowl introduced her retirement after 20 years as the town’s level guard. Throughout Stewart’s tenure with the Storm, the franchise made the playoffs yearly, together with 2019 when each her and Fowl sat out with damage.

Now that she’s a member of the Liberty, Stewart has shifted the league’s tectonic plates fairly dramatically. In one of many largest strikes in WNBA historical past, the Liberty have made one factor very clear: the 2023 season is about profitable a championship.


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