Four-time WNBA All-Star Breanna Stewart announces she will sign with New York Liberty
Two-time champion Breanna Stewart announced her intentions to play for the New York Liberty during the 2023 WNBA season.
Stewart spent her entire WNBA career with the Seattle Storm and won two titles in seven years with the franchise.
She used social media to make her announcement on Wednesday by posting an image on Twitter of the Empire State Building with her nickname “Stewie” in lights. She also showed off a Liberty practice jersey in a TikTok video.
Feb. 1 marked the first day WNBA free agents can officially sign contracts and offer sheets for the 2023 season.
“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for sure, and I decided to go to New York because I want to continue to be great,” Stewart said during a Wednesday afternoon appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “I want to go to the place where I can continue to help this league become better, to continue to raise the standard.
“I feel like, why not go to the biggest market in all of sports, and I’m really excited to go after their first championship.”
Stewart was selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 draft. She went on to be named to four All-Star teams and was the league MVP in 2018. She was forced to sit out of the next season due to an Achilles injury.
She has averaged 20.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in her career.
Before making it to the WNBA, Stewart put together an impressive collegiate career with the UConn Women’s basketball team.
She won four national titles in four seasons with the Huskies. Stewart also won two gold medals with Team USA at the Olympics.
She now joins a Liberty team that is ready to compete for a championship. New York’s roster already featured Sabrina Ionescu, who was the top pick in the 2020 draft. Former WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones was also recently acquired by the Liberty and should provide a significant boost to the team’s frontcourt.
Two-time NBA champion and Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant previously mentioned during a podcast that he hoped Stewart would decide to come to New York City.
“Aye, don’t call my phone lookin for tickets this summer, they gone. Let’s get it,” Durant wrote on Twitter.
Billionaire Joseph Tsai owns the Nets and the Liberty, and both teams play home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Storm have now seen Stewart depart in the same offseason that legendary player Sue Bird retired. Seattle’s front office has plenty of work to do prior to the tip off of the season, as the team only has two players currently under contract for the 2023 season.
The Storm could still pursue Courtney Vandersloot, who recently said she will not return to the Chicago Sky.
Another blockbuster WNBA free agent decision happened on Saturday when two-time league MVP Candace Parker announced she would sign with the defending champion Las Vegas Aces.