For the second time in her profession, Breanna Stewart has gained the WNBA MVP.
Stewart, who additionally earned the award in 2018, topped the Connecticut Solar’s Alyssa Thomas (439) and Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson (433) with 446 voting factors, the league introduced Tuesday afternoon earlier than Stewart and the Liberty host the Connecticut Solar in Sport 2 of their semifinal collection at Barclays Middle.
Thomas earned extra first-place votes, however Stewart’s whole factors topped the Solar’s ahead.
Stewart averaged a career-best 23.0 factors per recreation whereas including 9.3 rebounds and three.8 assists per recreation.
She’s the primary Liberty participant to win MVP, in addition to the eighth WNBA participant to win the award a number of instances.
“I believe the three of us proceed to make each other higher, simply actually having respect for one another’s video games,” Stewart mentioned of Thomas and Wilson in an ESPN interview Tuesday. “Clearly, A’ja and AT had super seasons this 12 months and proceed to take action 12 months in and 12 months out.
“And I believe that what’s essentially the most thrilling half about that is the power to have extra conversations round a number of gamers and present how nice we’re at numerous various things, and proceed to make use of that to amplify the message of the WNBA and the place we’re going and to proceed to combat for respect and equality.”
The battle for equality served as a outstanding storyline all through Stewart’s free company sweepstakes.
She advocated for constitution flights all through the whole WNBA, whereas additionally persevering with her push for gender equality that dated again to her 2016 ESPYs speech.
When Stewart finally signed with the Liberty in February, she turned the foundational piece of their superteam.
She joined Jonquel Jones — acquired through commerce — and later Courtney Vandersloot as new items of a bunch that gained 32 video games, took the Commissioner’s Cup for the franchise’s first title and set a group file for wins in a single season with their twenty fourth victory.
Stewart, the previous UConn star who’d already made 4 All-Star appearances throughout her six-year profession, continued advancing her particular person legacy, too.
She set the league’s single-season file for factors, although the Seattle Storm’s Jewell Loyd ultimately surpassed that mark earlier than the season ended — with Loyd’s 939 narrowly topping Stewart’s 919.
“I believe that 12 months 8 within the league for me, within the WNBA, and I need to proceed to be nice and convey greatness wherever I’m,” Stewart mentioned throughout her ESPN interview, “and that’s a normal that I set for myself, and ensuring that I try this.”
Stewart set Liberty file after Liberty file all through the season, and whereas Vandersloot turned the facilitator and Sabrina Ionescu turned the 3-point specialists, Stewart, 29, turned the hyperlink that helped make the spacing and motion ideas of Sandy Brondello’s offense function effectively.
Her scoring bursts exceeded 40 factors in 4 video games. In June, she additionally turned the quickest WNBA participant to attain 4,000 factors.
Stewart known as this latest stretch a “rollercoaster of a journey” Tuesday.
Her spouse, Marta Xargay Casademont, is anticipating their second little one, and Stewart added that this would be the first time that their 2-year-old daughter, Ruby, can watch Stewart settle for an MVP award.
The one factor that made her cross-country transition easy was the individuals round her, Stewart mentioned Tuesday. Seattle to New York — the Storm to the Liberty — mirrored an enormous transition.
However then these feelings turned to pleasure. The Liberty saved successful video games. Stewart’s mid-career leap, maybe daunting at first, began to pay dividends.
“She embraces the strain,” Brondello mentioned Sept. 7. “I believe she embraces the chance to have greatness, as a result of she’s nice. She’s an incredible participant. We already know that. However I nonetheless suppose there’s a ceiling for her, that she’s gonna get higher and higher.”
- Liberty’s Breanna Stewart narrowly wins WNBA MVP
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