With every team, there are always milestones that are met. The New York Liberty is no exception to this and have met and exceeded many goals in their tenure during the WNBA.
As one of the first teams to start the league, the Liberty has taken on every obstacle in their way to come out stronger and continue on their journey.
The first season for the Liberty in the WNBA was a memorable one. With massive amounts of fans in attendance, the Liberty went on a seven game win-streak, a second place conference finish and a Championship appearance against the Houston Comets. In the 1999 season, the Liberty went 18-14 and won its first Eastern Conference Title. In 2002, the team won 18 games, which was tied for fourth best in the league, and advanced to the finals for the fourth time in six years.
Due to the massive blackout in 2003, the Liberty became the first team in WNBA history to play 3 games in 3 days and went 2-1. The team continues to strive for a Championship and 2011 is looking as good as any.
The New York Liberty has had many phenomenal players grace their roster, with many breaking records and achieving feats no normal human could. During the 2002 season, two Liberty players achieved great marks.
Teresa Weatherspoon was the first player in WNBA history to reach 1,000 career points and 1,000 career assists, while teammate Vickie Johnson was the first Liberty player and 11th WNBA player to reach 2,000 career points. Also during this season, Crystal Robinson, Tari Phillips, and Tamika Whitmore made their 1,000th career points with the Liberty. 2003 also was much success as multiple players reached benchmark scores.
Johnson reached her 2,500th career point, followed by Becky Hammon who scored her 1,000th career point and Phillips who grabbed her 1,000th career rebound, and Robinson who scored her 1,500th career point. 2005 was another big year for Johnson, as she scored her 3,000th point and 1,000th rebound.
Elena Baranova and Hammon also scored their 2,000th career points. In 2006, Teresa Weatherspoon was the second woman to ever be inducted in the MSG Walk of Fame where her name and number will be permanently on display in front of celebrity row.
Every team says they have the best fans, and to that team they do. The Liberty fans have proven their loyalty and support for their team and that is evident in the attendance levels, game after game, and season after season. In the first ever Liberty game, over 14,200 fans showed up to cheer on their team. For the entire first season, there was an average attendance of 13,270 fans and supporters.
The second season saw much of the same attendance, with one game in particular exceeding any expectations.
The rematch between defending Champions, the Houston Comets, and the Liberty was nationally televised on NBC, with almost 20,000 people in live attendance. Because of such high fan support, Madison Square Garden was chosen as the site for the WNBA All-Star Game for multiple seasons. The first ever match was sold out with a little fewer than 19,000 in the stands.