Breanna Stewart is just one of those athletes, the special ones. We have seen it before when Mark Messier led the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994 after arriving with championship credentials. Stewart, after only four games with the New York Liberty Uber-team, has shown what her credentials look like in person.
Though the Liberty have come close so often, they never had a player who brought four NCAA Championships, two WNBA titles, an Olympic gold medal along with All-Star, Rookie of the Year, and MVP awards on her mantle. They very well may have found the one free agent player that will lead them to the promised land. And at 28, she is well into her prime.
Moses led with two tablets in hand. If Stewart does the same, it will be an image of her with two WNBA trophies in hand and a shiner under one eye. Stewart is hungry. It's been three years since her last championship and after dropping the opener, the New York Liberty have run off three straight wins which included a game against the Sun where she got clobbered. What should be quite obvious on the court is that the Liberty are deep in talent and are led by the kind of player who will not be denied.
They expect to win and they the goal is not to contend for a championship but to win it. Stewart was the top pick in the 2016 draft and has done nothing but win. Stewart has already won a player of the week award for a sample size of excellence not seen since Tina Charles played for New York. Brenna has already broken the record for most points in franchise history with 45 at the home opener in the Barclays Center. She has scored, rebounded and defended like a demon, showing her complete all-around game.
Breanna had a homecoming recently in Seattle, a game which highlighted every thing that is right about Stewart, the site of her last championship, and responded with a 25-point, 11-rebound, and two steal game, while sporting the badge of honor under her eye after feeling the weight of her return stating it was "emotional roller coaster of a day." However Brenna dipped deep into her championship soul with a halftime conversation with herself.
"I was like, let's get my s--- together a little bit," Stewart explained afterwards. "Just continuing to have that mentality of "next play, next thing."
Stewart understands its the little things that build to better things. It's a championship mentality. She has already displayed it with her numbers. She has shown her heart and focus even after getting physically challenged. She showed her mental toughness by force of thought to turn a pedestrian performance to something special. It is very early in the season, but the signs are there. The New York Liberty have their Cynthia Cooper, their Lisa Leslie, their Maya Moore, the best player in the game who also knows what it takes to win championships and no one will "shiner" a light like Brenna Stewart will in 2023 in New York. It's as clear as the mark on her face.
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