New York Liberty History

All-Time Overall Record: 349-313 (.527)
All-Time Playoffs Record: 27-35 (.436)
4 WNBA Finals Appearances (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002)
3 EasternConference Championships (1999, 2000, 2002)

1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

1996

  • On October 30, New York was selected as one of eight charter members of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
  • Rebecca Lobo and Teresa Weatherspoon joined as the team’s first players and the franchise name and logo were introduced.

1997
Final Record: 17-11 (2nd in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the WNBA Finals
Defeated the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Semifinals: 1-0
Lost to the Houston Comets in the WNBA Finals: 0-1
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  • Carol Blazejowski, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, is named vice president and general manager for the Liberty.
  • The Liberty’s and WNBA’s first game was played on June 21 in Los Angeles. Led by head coach Nancy Darsch, the Liberty defeated the Los Angeles Sparks, 67-57, before a crowd of 14,284 at The Forum.
  • On June 29, in front of a Madison Square Garden (MSG) crowd of 17,780, the Liberty scored its first win in its first game at home, defeating Phoenix, 65-57.
  • New York notched seven straight victories to start the inaugural season, finished in second place in the conference and advanced to the first ever Championship game versus the Houston Comets.
  • An average of 13,270 fans attended each of the Liberty’s 14 home games.

1998
Final Record: 18-12 (3rd in Eastern Conference)
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  • Despite a rough start to the season, New York rallied late in the second half, including a stretch when it won 10 out of 11 games.
  • One of those wins was a 70-54 victory over the champion Houston Comets. This rematch took place in front of the Liberty’s first ever-MSG capacity crowd of 19,563 in a nationally televised contest on NBC.

1999
Final Record: 18-14 (1st in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the WNBA Finals
Received a bye for the Conference Semifinals
Defeated the Charlotte Sting in the Eastern Conference Finals: 2-1
Lost to the Houston Comets in the WNBA Finals: 1-2
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  • Veteran NBA coach Richie Adubato took over the team reins on June 10 and guided the Liberty to an 87-60 victory over the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Rockers.
  • With the Liberty posting impressive attendance figures for the third straight season, MSG played host to the first-ever WNBA All-Star Game, which saw a sellout (18,649) crowd on July 14. Four Liberty players participated: Rebecca Lobo, Teresa Weatherspoon, Kym Hampton, and Vickie Johnson.
  • The Liberty posted an overall mark of 18-14 and won its first Eastern Conference title.
  • Despite falling short of the WNBA title, the series against the Comets was pushed to a third game when Weatherspoon made the most famous shot in WNBA history – a half court buzzer-beating shot that won Game Two before a stunned Houston squad and Compaq Center crowd.

2000
Final Record: 20-12 (1st in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the WNBA Finals
Defeated the Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals: 2-0
Defeated the Cleveland Rockers in the Eastern Conference Finals: 2-1
Lost to the Houston Comets in WNBA Finals: 0-2
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  • Newly acquired center Tari Phillips thrived in the New York spotlight, leading the team in points and rebounds and earned the WNBA’s Most Improved Player Award.
    Weatherspoon was voted to the WNBA All-Star squad as well as the WNBA All-Second Team.
  • With a club best 20-12 record, the team finished atop the Eastern Conference and earned a third trip to the WNBA Championship. New York fell went 2-0 against Houston, but had a strong Game Two showing with four players scoring in double figures.

2001
Final Record: 21-11 (2nd in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals
Defeated the Miami Sol in the Eastern Conference Semifinals: 2-1
Lost to the Charlotte Sting in the Eastern Conference Finals: 1-2
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  • In its fifth anniversary season, the team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals versus Charlotte, however fell in the series 2-1.
  • The franchise led the league in attendance, averaging 15,660 fans per game. The team set a new franchise record for victories, finishing the season 21-11.The team tied a record win streak with seven in a row from June 21 – July 5.
  • Both Tari Phillips and Teresa Weatherspoon reached the 1,000 career point mark.
  • The All-Star Game featured the Liberty coaching staff leading the East squad, which included Liberty starters Phillips, Weatherspoon and Johnson.
  • Sue Wicks capped off the season by winning the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

2002
Final Record: 18-14 (1st in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the WNBA Finals
Defeated the Indiana Fever in the Eastern Conference Semifinals: 2-1
Defeated the Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference Finals: 2-1
Lost to the Los Angeles Sparks in WNBA Finals: 0-2
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  • Coach Adubato and company led New York to 18 wins, tying for fourth best in the league – including a streak of 10 wins out of 14 games.
  • The Liberty won four consecutive season ending games to advance to the Playoffs, first in the opening round versus the Indiana Fever, followed by the Conference Finals against the Washington Mystics.
  • The Liberty advanced to the WNBA Finals for the fourth time in six years, before falling to the Los Angeles Sparks, 2-0.
  • New York shot a franchise and all-time WNBA record 66 percent from the floor versus the Mystics on August 24, in game two of the Eastern Conference Championships along with scoring a franchise-high 96 points in the same game.
  • Weatherspoon became the first player in WNBA history to tally 1,000 points and 1,000 assists. Johnson became the first Liberty player and 11th in the WNBA to score 2,000 points. As a result of her dominant play, Phillips was named to the 2002 All-WNBA Second team.
  • For the first time in franchise history, four players finished the season averaging double-figures in scoring; Phillips (14.1), Whitmore (12.7), Robinson (11.8) and Johnson (11.6).
  • By posting a sixth consecutive winning record, the Liberty is also able to boast that they were one of only two teams in the WNBA to have had a winning record in each year the WNBA had been in existence.

2003
Final Record: 16-18 (6th in Eastern Conference)
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  • Sue Wicks, the Liberty’s first ever draft pick, announced her retirement just prior to training camp.
  • New York started the season winning three of its first five games with guard Hammon leading the charge by averaging 18.6 ppg during that span.
  • On July 12, the organization hosted the 2003 WNBA All-Star game for the second time in franchise history.
  • At Connecticut versus the Sun on August 12, the Liberty overcame a 17-point deficit to post a 74-73 last second victory, which was the second largest comeback in team history. New York defied the odds a second time in Washington versus the Mystics on August 21, battling back from a 20-point halftime shortfall to mark the largest margin of a comeback victory (65-60) for the Liberty all-time.
  • In the strangest scenario all season, due to the New York City blackout on August 14, the Liberty became the first team in WNBA history to play three games in as many days – playing the first back-to-back-to-back in league history.

2004
Final Record: 18-16 (2nd in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals
Defeated the Detroit Shock in the Eastern Conference Semifinals: 2-1
Lost to the Connecticut Sun in the Eastern Conference Finals: 0-2
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  • The Liberty was feeling confident heading into its eighth WNBA season and sprinted out of the gate, posting a 6-1 record.
  • After encountering a rough patch in the middle of the season, Pat Coyle replaced Adubato as head coach and immediately turned the team around. Under Coyle’s guidance, the team registered an 11-6 mark and secured their sixth playoff appearance.
  • The Liberty played to sellout crowds for six games at the historic Radio City Music Hall and posted a 5-1 record.
    New York City’s “Great Stage” hosted The Game at Radio City, which featured the USA Women’s Olympic team vs. a WNBA Select Team.
  • In Game Three of the Playoffs first round, the Liberty knocked off the defending champion Detroit Shock. With the clock winding down, Becky Hammon dished off to Bethany Donaphin, who calmly drained a game-winning jumper and sent New York to the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Connecticut Sun.

2005
Final Record: 18-16 (3rd in Eastern Conference)
Lost to the Indiana Fever in the Eastern Conference Semifinals: 0-2
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  • The Liberty played five games in 10 days, winning each of them.
  • New York finished the season posting an 18-16 record, yet another winning year, resulting in another post-season appearance.
  • For its seventh playoff berth in nine years, the Liberty matched up against the Indiana Fever in the First Round.
  • Hammon was one of only two Liberty players (Vickie Johnson being the other) to start every game during the season. She was voted by the fans as a starter for the 2005 WNBA All-Star Game and recorded her 2,000th career point on August 16. To cap her stellar season, she was named to the All-WNBA Second Team.
  • Throughout the season: Vickie Johnson scored her 3,000th point, making her just the seventh player in WNBA history to accomplish this mark. Additionally, she pulled down her 1,000th rebound just over a month later. Elena Baranova recorded her 2,000th career point and Crystal Robinson notched her 500th rebound.

2006
Final Record: 11-23 (5th in Eastern Conference)
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  • New York, as well as the WNBA itself, celebrated its 10th Anniversary. The Liberty and Madison Square Garden also hosted the WNBA All-Star Game for the third time.
  • The franchise welcomed its two millionth fan and became the first team in the history of the WNBA to reach that mark.
  • New York became the first team in the WNBA to have its complete regular season aired on television, as Liberty games were seen on MSG Network, ABC and ESPN2.
  • In true New York spirit, the team rallied in the second half of the summer, finishing the season by winning seven of its last 10 games.
  • Despite missing part of the season with an injury, Hammon still finished as the top free-throw shooter in the league (.960) and Erin Thorn led the WNBA in three-point shooting, posting a .431 average on the year.
  • The Liberty honored legend Teresa Weatherspoon by making her just the second woman to ever be inducted into the MSG Walk of Fame. As a finishing touch, her name and the number 11 is permanently displayed on The Garden court in front of celebrity row. 

2007
Final Record: 16-18 (4th in Eastern Conference)
Lost to the Detroit Shock in the Eastern Conference Semifinals: 1-2
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  • In its 11th season, the Liberty carried its then youngest roster in franchise history.
  • On Opening Day, New York tied a Madison Square Garden record for the most three-pointers (13) in one game, against the Chicago Sky – leading to the team’s first season opening victory since the 1999 season.
  • The new-look squad went on to win its next four games for a roaring 5-0 start to the summer, the second best season start for the organization.
    In the entire history of the WNBA, never had two teams with at least 3-0 marks met face-to-face until the Liberty beat the Indiana Fever on June 5.
  • The Liberty went 6-4 in its final 10 games of the season and clinched the final Playoff for its eighth post-season campaign.
  • After capturing victory in Game One against the Shock – beating them by a franchise best 22-point margin – the Liberty lost by three points in Game Two and was within seconds of winning the series, but lost by one point in a Game Three overtime thriller.
  • Janel McCarville was named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year in her first season with the Liberty and Loree Moore earned second-team All-Defensive accolades for her third season in New York.
  • With a .372 percentage from three-point range on the year, New York wrapped the regular season as the League’s No. 1 overall leader and boasted five players in the WNBA’s Top 20 category of long-range shooters.

2008
Final Record: 19-15 (3rd in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals
Defeated the Connecticut Sun in Eastern Conference Semifinals: 2-1
Lost to the Detroit Shock in the Eastern Conference Finals: 1-2
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  • With an average age of 24.4 to tip-off the summer, New York’s roster registered as the youngest in the WNBA for the season, in addition to the youngest in its 12 year history.
  • New York scored 100-plus (105) points for the first time in franchise history when hosting the defending WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury on June 22. Ultimately winning the game 105-72, the Liberty’s bench out-scored the Mercury’s bench, 62-21 and set a new WNBA record for most points scored by a bench.
  • Just four days after recording the most points in club history, on June 26 the Liberty once again posted 100-plus points in a victory over the Indiana Fever – winning 102-96. The game went into triple overtime, a regular season first for both clubs and tied for the second longest in overtime periods in WNBA history.
  • On July 5, New York earned its 200th franchise victory with a win in Phoenix. The Liberty joined the Sparks, Comets & Monarchs as the only teams in the WNBA to reach the 200-win mark.
  • In front of a 19,393 fans, professional basketball history was made when the Liberty hosted the Fever at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the first regular season game to be played outdoors in the sport’s history. The game was also the first non-tennis sporting event to be held at the historic USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
  • Pat Coyle coached the young squad to the franchise’s first 19-win season since 2001, wrapping the regular season with a 19-15 record.
  • After topping the Connecticut Sun 2-1 in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs, the Liberty made its fifth appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals to face rival, the Detroit Shock. New York captured Game One, but was forced to a third match-up and lost the series 1-2.

2009
Final Record: 13-21 (7th in Eastern Conference)
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  • Coming off of an Eastern Conference Finals berth in 2008, the Liberty struggled mightily, posting their second worst record in franchise history and finished last in the Eastern Conference.
  • Pat Coyle was fired during the season, as assitant Anne Donovan took over as the interim coach. She finished with the season with a 7-10 record.
  • Shameka Christon shined on the team, as she was selected to her first All-Star game, the first Liberty since 2006 to be selected to the team. Christon was also named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week during the week of July 13, 2009. She led the team in points, scoring 16.1 points per game. Janel McCarville, the teams leading rebounder (5.5) and shot blocker (1.38), was second on team in scoring, scoring 12.1 points a night.
  • Christon had a career year for the Liberty. She scored her 2,000th point in her WNBA career, and scored a career high 32 points against the Atlanta Dream on July 19. For the Libs, four players finished in the top 10 of six statical leader boards.
  • On July 25, 2009, it was announced that long-time Liberty great Teresa Weatherspoon and five other players were to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

2010
Final Record: 22-12 (2nd in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals
Defeated the Indiana Fever in Eastern Conference Semifinal: 2-1
Lost to the Atlanta Dream the Eastern Conference Finals: 0-2
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  • During the offseason, the New York Liberty acquired two players, forward Nicole Powell and star guard Cappie Pondexter, in hopes of returning to the postseason.
  • After a slow start, the Liberty began a franchise best 10 game win streak, and finish second in the Eastern Conference. With home court advantage in its first round matchup against the Indiana Fever, the Liberty win both games at home to take the series 2-1. The Libs then faced off against the Atlanta Dream, but lost in both games of the series despite Pondexter’s 30 points per game. It was the LIberty’s third playoff berth in the last four seasons and tenth overall postseason appearance.
  • Pondexter provided the Liberty with a star player. She was selected to the 2010 WNBA All-Star Team, the All-Defensive First Team and the All-WNBA First Team. Pondexter also finished in the top 10 in 21 different statistical categories, including second in points per game (21.4) and sixth in assists per game (4.8).
  • Guard Leilani Mitchell was the WNBA’s Most Improved Player and deadliest three-point shooter. Behind Mitchell’s great shooting, the LIberty ranked first in three-point percentage (.405), third in free throw percentage (.817) and third in field goal percentage (.454). During a game against the Tulsa Shock on June 25, the team set the franchise record for most three-pointers made in a game (14).
  • Taj McWilliams-Franklin collected her 2,500th rebound, putting her second all-time behind Lisa Leslie (3,307)
  • On August 14, 2010, the Liberty set the franchise record with 107 points in a 107-69 victory over the Phoenix Mercury.

2011
Final Record: 19-15 (4th in Eastern Conference)
Lost to the Indiana Fever in the Eastern Conference Semifinals: 1-2
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  • The Liberty opened its 15th season on June 5, 2011 at the Prudential Center and ended the regular season with 19-15 record (.559), securing them the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Liberty posted a winning home record of 12-5 on the season.
  • Early in the season the Liberty acquired center Quanitra Hollingsworth from Minnesota. During the season the team acquired All-Star center/forward Kara Braxton from Phoenix
  • On August 18, 2011 against the Connecticut Sun, Liberty head coach John Whisenant earned his 100th regular season career win as a WNBA coach as the Liberty came back from 17 points down to beat the Sun.
  • Cappie Pondexter and Essence Carson were both selected to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game in San Antonio. Pondexter received the most votes of any Eastern Conference guard with 20,226. Carson’s nomination marks her first All-Star appearance in her four seasons with the WNBA.
  • With an 86-68 win over the Minnesota Lynx, the Liberty clinched a spot in the 2011 WNBA Playoffs making it the team’s 11th appearance in 15 seasons. They faced off against the first seeded Indiana Fever in the first round of the WNBA Eastern Conference Semifinals. They lost the series two games to one.
  • Four players finished the season in the WNBA’s Top Ten rankings in a number of categories: Cappie Pondexter third in minutes played (1151), sixth in points per game (17.4) and seventh in assists per game (4.7), Kia Vaughn fourth in offensive rebounds (96), Leilani Mitchell third in assists per game (2.5) and Kara Braxton sixth in field goal percentage (.500).

2012
Final Record: 15-19 (4th in Eastern Conference)
Lost to Connecticut Sun in Eastern Conference Semifinals: 0-2
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  • The Liberty opened its 16thseason on May 19, 2012 at Madison Square Garden and ended the regular season with a 15-19 record (.441), securing them the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
  • Veteran forward and New Jersey Native DeMya Walker was signed on April 13, 2012. Leilani Mitchell, Essence Carson, Plenette Pierson and Cappie Pondexter’s contracts were also extended during the 2012 campaign.
  • Cappie Pondexter was named WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week presented by Boost Mobile, for games played Sept. 10 through Sep. 16. The award is her first of the season and the 13th of her career. Pondexter was also selected as WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the month, for games played in September.
  • The Liberty clinched a spot in the 2012 WNBA Playoffs, making it the team’s 12thappearance in 16 seasons. They faced off against the first seeded Connecticut Sun in the first round of the WNBA Eastern Conference Semifinals. They lost the series two games to none.
  • Four players finished the season in the WNBA’s Top 25 rankings for 2012 in a number of categories: Pondexter second in minutes per game (34.2); third in points per game (20.4); 10thin assists per game (4.3); 20th in free-throw percentage (.867). Mitchell 20th in assists per game (3.0) and three-point field goal percentage (.411). Powell tied 20th in free-throw percentage (.867). Pierson 21st in rebounds per game (5.4).
  • WNBA Awards: Cappie Pondexer for All-WNBA Second Team 

2013
Final Record: 11-23 (5th in Eastern Conference)
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  • The Liberty opened its 17th season in franchise history under new head coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer.
  • The Liberty played its final season at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ while Madison Square Garden underwent the third and final phase of the Transformation.
  • Katie Smith finished her WNBA career with the Liberty, capping 15 years in the league as the second-leading scorer all-time with 6,452 career points.
  • Liberty guard Essence Carson missing nearly all of 2013 due to injury. Carson played in the first four games of the season before suffering a torn left ACL. The injury occurred during the second quarter at Atlanta (June 7). Carson was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 17.7 points through the first three contests. She successfully underwent surgery to repair the tear on June 26.
  • The Liberty ranked among the league leaders in opponent field goal percentage throughout the season. New York was fourth in opponent field goal percentage, holding opponents to 41.2 percent shooting.
  • New York led the WNBA in rebounding average with 37.5 boards per game. The team was also third in rebounding differential, out-rebounding opponents by 2.5 boards per game.
  • Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter became the 12th player in WNBA history to eclipse the 5,000-point mark with a bucket against Tulsa (9/1). Pondexter currently has 5,005 career points and is the second fastest to reach 5,000 points.
  • Cappie Pondexter was voted to her fifth career All-Star team.
  • Kelsey Bone was named to the 2013 WNBA All-Rookie team. Bone appeared in all 34 games (two starts), averaging 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. The fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, she ranked third and fifth, respectively among all rookies in rebounding and scoring.

2014
Final Record: 15-19 (5th in Eastern Conference)
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  • The Liberty opened its 18th season at Madison Square Garden and ended the regular season with a 15-19 record (.441).
  • Katie Smith continued her tenure with the Liberty as first-year assistant coach.
  • The team unveiled a new uniform that was both an evolution of previous designs and a nod to the first-ever uniform worn by the team from 1997 through 2002.
  • Center Tina Charles received the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm for her charitable contributions in the month of May.
  • Tina Charles was named the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played June 30 through July 6. Charles was also named the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month for July.
  • Guard Cappie Pondexter was voted a starter for the 2014 Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game, while Tina Charles was selected as a reserve. Charles went on to be named to the 2014 All-WNBA Second Team.
  • Tina Charles led the league in double-doubles with 17. She also finished the season averaging 17.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, ranking her fifth in scoring and second in rebounds during the 2014 WNBA season.
  • Alex Montgomery was 28-65 in three point field goal attempts, putting her second in the league with a .431 percentage.
  • WNBA Awards: Tina Charles for All-WNBA Second Team

2015
Final Record: 23-11 (1st in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals
Defeated the Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals: 2-1
Lost to the Indiana Fever in the Eastern Conference Finals: 1-2
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  • The Liberty opened the 19th season in franchise history with an 82-73 win over the Atlanta Dream at Madison Square Garden.
  • New York started the season with several changes in the front office. During the offseason, after his contract initially was not renewed, Bill Laimbeer returned as the Liberty’s head coach. Kristin Bernert was named the Senior Vice President for Business and Basketball Operations. Isiah Thomas was officially announced as the Team President on May 5
  • Herb Williams was named an assistant coach, joining Laimbeer and Katie Smith on the coaching staff. Liberty legend Teresa Weatherspoon was brought back to New York to serve as the team’s first-ever Director of Player Development.
  • New York posted a franchise-best 23-11 (.676) regular season record and finished with the best record in the WNBA for the first time in franchise history, and was the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2002.
  • The Liberty established itself as the best defensive team in the WNBA, leading the league in points allowed per game (71.1) and defensive field goal percentage (.393).
  • New York beat the Washington Mystics, 2-1, in the Eastern Conference semifinals, advancing to the conference finals for the first time since 2010.
  • The Liberty fell to the Indiana Fever 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • The team debuted new uniforms and a new uniform sponsor in DraftKings.
  • The team leaders for this season were Tina Charles who averaged 17.1 points per game and 8.5 rebounds. Tanisha Wright averaged a team-leading 3.5 assists per game. Epiphanny Prince led the team with 2.0 steals per game.
  • Prince was acquired during the offseason in exchange for guard Cappie Pondexter. Prince missed the first 10 games of the season to compete internationally, but returned to averaged 15.0 ppg, 3.4 apg, and 2.0 spg.
  • Tina Charles was named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for games played in July. Epiphanny Prince was named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for games played in August.
  • Charles was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on July 20 and August 3. Prince was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on August 17 and August 31.
  • Essence Carson received the WNBA Community Assist Award presented by State Farm for the month of June.
  • The Liberty drew 18,617 fans for its Camp Day game against the San Antonio Stars on July 15, the sixth largest crowd to ever see a Liberty game at Madison Square Garden and the most fans for New York since August 11, 2002.
  • WNBA Awards: Brittany Boyd and Kiah Stokes for WNBA All-Rookie Team; Kiah Stokes, Tanisha Wright, Tina Charles for WNBA All-Defensive Second Team; Tina Charles for All-WNBA First Team; Epiphanny Prince for All-WNBA Second Team; Bill Laimbeer for WNBA Coach of the Year.

2016
Final Record: 21-13 (1st in Eastern Conference)
Advanced to the WNBA Playoff Second Round
Lost to the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Playoffs Second Round: 0-1
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  • The Liberty tipped off its historic 20th WNBA season with an 87-76 win at Washington in a rematch of the 2015 Eastern Conference semifinals.
  • New York won its home opener on Sunday, May 15, against the Dallas Wings 79-71. It was the first-ever meeting with Dallas, which relocated from Tulsa following the 2015 season.
  • Prior to the start of the season, Katie Smith was promoted to Associate Head Coach, and Teresa Weatherspoon was named Director of Player Development and the Liberty Basketball Academy.
  • The Liberty finished the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference for a second-straight season, going 21-13 overall. It was also just the second time in franchise history that New York surpassed 20 wins in back-to-back seasons, and the first since 2000-01.
  • In the first season of a new playoff format, New York finished 1st in the Eastern Conference but was the No. 3 seed for the WNBA Playoffs, resulting in a 1st Round bye, but a single-elimination game against the No. 8 seed Phoenix Mercury at Madison Square Garden. Phoenix won the game 101-94, ending New York’s season after one postseason game.
  • There were a pair of trades during the preseason, with New York sending a 2nd Round pick to Atlanta for guard Shoni Schimmel, and then a 1st Round pick to Dallas for 2015 2nd overall pick Amanda Zahui B and a 2016 2nd Round draft pick.
  • New York jumped out to one of the best starts in franchise history, riding a 6-game winning streak to a 10-4 mark. It was the best record through 14 games since 2001, and the first 6-game winning streak since 2010.
  • Tina Charles was named All-WNBA First Team for a 2nd-straight season, becoming the 1st player in team history to be named First Team in consecutive seasons.
  • Charles, who finished 2nd in the league Most Valuable Player voting, had one of the best seasons in team history, averaging 21.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. She led the league in both scoring and rebounding, becoming the 1st Liberty player to lead the WNBA in either category, and the 3rd all-time to lead the league in both statistical categories. Her 21.5 ppg was a Liberty single-season record.
  • Selected to the United States Women’s Basketball Olympic National Team for the 2nd time in her career, Charles represented the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, capturing a personal 2nd gold medal while helping guide the United States to its unprecedented 6th-straight Olympic gold. Charles, who started every game during the Olympic tournament, because the first active New York Liberty player to represent the U.S. during the Olympics.
  • A pair of Liberty players, center Kiah Stokes, and guard Sugar Rodgers, were selected to the 11-member USA Basketball Women’s Select Team, where they practiced with the Olympic squad and played an exhibition against the national team before it began a series of international exhibitions leading up to the Olympics.
  • Guard Sugar Rodgers took advantage of having an increased role by sinking a franchise record 86 3-pointers, eclipsing the old mark of 78, set by Shameka Christon in 2009. Rodgers ranked 2nd in the league in 3-pointers, and was 5th shooting .413 from long distance.
  • Rodgers scored a career-high 30 points in an overtime win at Minnesota, sinking a franchise single-game record 7 3-pointers in the victory, one shy of matching the league single-game mark.
  • Celebrating its 20th season all year long, the Liberty held a reunion of the inaugural 1997 New York Liberty team on June 26, honoring the entire team on the court during a pregame ceremony.
  • For what became one of the most iconic moments of the entire 2016 season, before the game against the San Antonio Stars at Madison Square Garden on July 10, New York Liberty players all wore black warmup shirts that said #BlackLivesMatter and #Dallas5 on the front and #_________ on the back, speaking out against the social injustice in a public stance that received national media attention.
  • WNBA legend Swin Cash announced she would retire at the conclusion of the season, and was honored during a postgame retirement ceremony at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 9. Cash ended her 15-year career as a 3-time WNBA Champion, ranked 14th in scoring (5,119), 7th in rebounding (2.521), and one of just two players with 5,000-career points, 2,500-career rebounds, and 1,000-career assists.
  • Head coach Bill Laimbeer picked up his 200th-career victory with an 88-85 win at Chicago on July 8, becoming the 7th coach in league history to surpass the 200 victory milestone.
  • Charles swept the Eastern Conference Player of the Month awards, taking the crown for all four periods of competition, the first time in league history one player won 4-straight Player of the Month awards.
  • Charles was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week an unprecedented 7 times, setting a new single-season record.
  • Continuing to demonstrate a commitment to community involvement, the a player from the Liberty received the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award for 3-of-5 months the award was handed out. Tina Charles won for May, Carolyn Swords for July, and Swin Cash in September. It was the first time in league history the same team had an individual win the Community Assist Award on three separate occasions.