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New York Liberty PDF Print E-mail
Written by Abigail Hull   
Thursday, 20 December 2007

HISTORY:

The New York Liberty is  based in New York City. They are one of the eight original WNBA teams. Despite making the WNBA playoffs almost every season and appearing in the WNBA Finals 4 times, they have yet to win a championship. The team derives its name from the Statue of Liberty. They are the sister team of the New York Knicks. Their uniforms are:

  • 2003 - Present: white with teal, blue and orange trim and "Liberty" on the chest in light blue letters at home. Primary color is blue on the road with "New York" on the chest in white letters. The Liberty logo is on the left leg of the shorts.
  • 1997 - 2002: white with a black line above the shoulders at home, black with a green line on the road.

Prior to the team's first season, to avoid potential trademark infringement, the team purchased the trademarks of the defunct Liberty Basketball Association.

When the WNBA opened in 1997, the frist player the Liberty signed to a contract was Rebecca Lobo of the University of Connecticut.  Point guard Teresa Weatherspoon emerged as a star and the Liberty made it to the 1997 championship game, where the team lost to the Houston Comets. In 1999, they returned to the WNBA Finals, where they again faced Comets. In game 2, Teresa Weatherspoon's fullcourt shot with point five seconds remaining gave the Liberty a one point win that tied the series. However, the Liberty lost the third game of the series and the Comets become champions for a third straight time.  Lobo was a starter for two seasons but was injured in 1999. Lobo never fully recovered from her ACL tear and was traded to the Houston Comets in 2002.

The Liberty subsequently returned to the finals in 2000 and 2002, but lost once again to the Comets and to the Los Angeles Sparks, respectively. In 2001, Weatherspoon became the WNBA's all-time assist leader, and Sue Wicks, once a back-up to Lobo at forward, also proved to be a valuable player, making the All-Star game. 1998, 2003, and 2006 were the only years the Liberty failed to make the playoffs.

2003 marked a transition for the Liberty. Team leader Teresa Weatherspoon was not resigned at the end of the season forcing her to move on to play with the LA Sparks in 2004.  Fan favorite Becky Hammon emerged as a star player. The 2004 season saw Hammon replacing Weatherspoon at the team's starting point guard spot.

Six games during the 2004 season were moved to Radio City Music Hall while Madison Square Garden was used by the 2004 Republican National Convention. These games marked the first time Radio City had hosted a professional sporting event since the Roy Jones Jr. boxing match held in 1999.

Ann Wauters emerged as a force at the team's starting center position in 2005 with Tari Phillips being signed to the Houston Comets. However, Wauters was injured midway through the season. The loss of Wauters was felt as the team was swept two games to none by the Indiana Fever in the first round of the playoffs.

At the beginning of the 2007 WNBA season the team traded Becky Hammon to the San Antonio Silver Stars for Jessica Davenport, a first round pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft. The 2007 Liberty started out 5-0, then lost 7 straight games, then rallied at the end of the season to get the last playoff spot by winning 3 out of their last 4 games, beating the Washington Mystics on the tiebreaker of head-to-head record. In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Liberty, as huge underdogs, faced the defending champion Detroit Shock in a best-of-three series. The Liberty defeated the Shock by winning Game 1 in New York. In Games 2 and 3 the Liberty lost both games to the Shock in Detroit, 76-73 and 71-70 (OT) respectively.

The 2008 season featured the "Liberty Outdoor Classic" when the Liberty played The Indiana Fever on July 19, 2008 at Arthur Ashe Stadium of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in the first ever professional regular season basketball game outdoors.  2008 also saw the New York Liberty return to the play offs where they face Connecticut in the first round.

 

LOCATION:

The New York Liberty currently play in Madisen Square Garden, located at 2 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10121-0091. The main office number is (212) 564-9622. Madison Square Garden Training Center is located at 711 Old Saw Mill River Road, in Tarrytown, NY 10591.  While repairs on the Garden are being performed during the 2009 season it is not known at this time where the team will play.

For media inquiries about the Liberty, please contact Casey Sherman at 212-465-6208.

For Community Appearance information click here or call 212-465-6256.

TICKETS:

For tickets call Ticketmaster or 212-465-6073 for further information.  For season tickets write to  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Visiting fans will find seats behind the visitor's bench in sections 18 and 19.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

All New York Liberty games are broadcasted on MSG cable channel.  Check your cable listing or contact your service provider for further information.

The team web site can be found here

The team message board can be found here

The team myspace can be found here  

TRANSPORTATION:

There are several major airports that serve the NYC area.  JFK or LaGuardia are the easiest to travel from into Manhattan.  Newark Airport is located in New Jersey but is still within an easy drive.  JFK and LGA are located in Queens.  You can travel to Manhattan via a taxi for a flat rate.  The subway A line has a stop at JFK and it is a direct line into and through all of Manhattan. Click here for a subway map.

HOTELS:

The Hotel Pennsylvania is located right across the street from Madisen Square Garden.  Room rates start at 139 USD per night.  The hotel is pet friendly. For further information click here .

 

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