Kolb becomes first Liberty GM to win league’s award for top basketball executive
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 – The WNBA announced today that New York Liberty General Manager, Jonathan Kolb, has been named the 2023 WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year.
“I am profoundly humbled to be named this year’s WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year by my esteemed peers, a group for whom I hold the deepest respect,” said Kolb. “This accolade, at its core, is a testament to the synergy of our team – from Clara and our ownership group’s unwavering trust, to lockstep partnership with Keia and our business team, the brilliance and unity our players exhibit on the court, the meticulous dedication of Sandy and our coaching staff, the strategy sessions with my confidant Ohemaa and our front office, and the ceaseless care factor from our performance staff and entire team.”
He continued, “Serving as the General Manager for the New York Liberty has been a dream realized for me, and I bear the weight of this role with immense responsibility and gratitude. Witnessing our fans rally behind this team has been incredible, and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes us.”
Kolb made history this past off-season, becoming the first GM in WNBA history to acquire three All-Stars from the season prior, including two previous MVPs, with Jonquel Jones, Breanna Stewart and Courtney Vandersloot. Kolb’s off-season transactions were also highlighted by the acquisitions of Kayla Thornton, player rights to Leonie Fiebich, and 2025 First Round pick swap rights with the Phoenix Mercury.
The Liberty’s roster excelled to historic heights during the 2023 regular season, finishing with a franchise-best 32-8 (.800) overall record and becoming the second-ever 30-plus win team in WNBA history. In addition to setting franchise records across most team statistical categories, New York also set the all-time WNBA record for team assist percentage (75.0%).
Further, in the fifth season of his tenure, Jonathan positioned New York for continued success, securing multi-year extensions of Sabrina Ionescu, Kayla Thornton and Betnijah Laney through the 2025 season.
This award marks the first-ever in New York Liberty franchise history since it was instituted in the 2017 season.