The New York Liberty was selected as one of the eight charter members of the WNBA on Oct. 30, 1996. The Liberty remains one of four original franchises to continue to compete in the league and is the only team in WNBA history to operate under the same ownership since the league’s inaugural season.
The New York Liberty fared better in 2010, during Donovan’s first and only full season as head coach. Led by newly signed high scorer Cappie Pondexter (formerly of the Phoenix Mercury) and the 2010 Most Improved Player Award winner Leilani Mitchell, the team made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Atlanta Dream.
On May 5, 2015, Liberty hired Thomas as Team President overseeing all business and basketball operations of the franchise. Under Thomas’ leadership as team president and the coaching staff led by Bill Laimbeer as head coach, the Liberty finished first in the Eastern Conference during the 2015 season.
History of the Liberty
The New York Liberty is one of the most iconic teams in the WNBA. Founded in 1997, they have been a staple of professional women’s basketball for over two decades. Throughout their illustrious history, they have had remarkable success on and off the court.
Regarding accomplishments on the court, The Liberty has won four Eastern Conference Championships and made six trips to Finals during its tenure in WNBA play. They also boast an impressive list of players who have become stars at college-level programs and international competitions like the Olympics or World Cup tournaments, such as Cappie Pondexter, Kia Vaughn, Tina Charles, and Essence Carson. Additionally, their coaching staff has included Hall-of-Famers Anne Donovan (the first female head coach)and Bill Laimbeer (who led them to three consecutive Finals appearances).
Off-court wise, The Liberty is widely regarded as a pioneer in promoting women’s basketball through marketing campaigns targeting young girls, encouraging them to take up sports from a very early age. This was further backed by initiatives like the ‘Her Time To Play' program, where aspiring athletes were given access to resources needed for pursuing a career in the sport without any financial burden - something that few other organizations offer today. All these efforts eventually helped increase attendance figures at games significantly over time, making Madison Square Garden one of the most sought-after venues to watch live action inside hardwood floors every game night!
1997 – Present / Women’s National Basketball Association
1997 – Present / New York Liberty
Liberty – The New York Liberty is one of the most iconic teams in the WNBA, and their nickname has an interesting origin story. The team was founded in 1997 as part of a new professional basketball league for women. When it came time to name their franchise, they looked to history for inspiration.
The Statue of Liberty is an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy that stands tall over New York City’s harbor – so it made perfect sense for them to adopt “Liberty” as their nickname! It also reflects the spirit with which this team plays; they are always looking forward, anchored by solid fundamentals and a commitment to excellence on both ends of the court.
In addition, “Liberty” speaks directly to fans who have longed for more representation from female athletes at all levels – especially within professional sports leagues like the NBA or NFL, where opportunities were limited until recently. As such, when you cheer on your favorite players wearing those classic blue-and-orange uniforms emblazoned with Lady Liberty herself - make sure you take some extra pride in knowing what this name truly represents: strength through unity!
WNBA Championships 0
2020 - Present / Barclays Center
2018 – 2019 / Westchester County Center
1997–2010, 2014–2017 / Madison Square Garden
2011 – 2013 / Prudential Center
2020 - Present / Joe and Clara Tsai
2010 – 2019 / Madison Square Garden, Inc.
1997 – 2009 / Cablevision
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
*Blue is this team’s history