She did it. SHE DID IT. Breanna Stewart will sign with the New York Liberty in WNBA free agency, she announced on her own Twitter account. The Liberty and Las Vegas Aces will far and away be the frontrunners in what is essentially a two-team superleague.
The reigning champions boast four No. 1 picks in Candace Parker, A'ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young with their fifth presumptive starter being the reigning Finals MVP in Chelsea Gray.
The Liberty will start two No. 1 picks in Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu alongside 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones. Courtney Vandersloot has been rumored to sign where Stewart is, but so far has only publicly stated that she won't return to Chicago.
In sport, all you can ask for is top-tier competition, and now there are two teams on opposite coasts with players from big-name colleges, and veterans with storied professional careers who everyone feels some type of way about.
Breanna Stewart and A'ja Wilson have been a perennial MVP debate based on their elite play made even more heated by their alma maters, UConn and South Carolina, forming a budding college hoops rivalry of their own.
Since her announcement on Saturday to join the Aces, Candace Parker — a Tennessee grad (who also holds a rivalry with UConn) — has heard chatter of ring-chasing from her foes, and claps of joy from Aces fans who have eyes on a second consecutive ring.
Jonquel Jones has led her team to two finals in four seasons, falling short in both. The 29-year-old is undoubtedly one of the world's best, but can she finally earn an elusive ring?
Chelsea Gray handled the Minnesota Lynx dynasty once upon a time, then lit up everyone in last year's Finals. If she's played against your team, you feel a way about arguably the world's best point guard.
And the list goes on.
This. Is. Going. To. Be. Fun.
It's no coincidence that the teams who saw the most free agency success are owned by notorious billionaires Mark Davis and Joe and Clara Wu Tsai. Both have proven their investment in their teams is for real. The Tsais secretly chartered flights for his team in the offseason, and Davis inked head coach Becky Hammon to the richest contract in WNBA coaching history, worth more than $1 million.
Stewart and Parker aren't able to be paid more than their max contracts (and Parker is even taking a paycut), but good ownership is important for any dynasty's growth. And though Parker may be close to retirement, Stewart is just 28 years old and in her prime, positioning herself to play for a top-flight ownership in the years after a new collective bargaining agreement — whatever that should bring.
There will be complaining about a lack of parity, but if the NBA proved anything in its Kevin Durant-Golden State Warriors era, it's that fans are all talk. Those Warriors playoff games were some of the most-watched in league history, and Liberty-Aces series are poised to do the same. Each team's starting five is an All-Star team and fans want to watch the best play against the best.
So start thinking of who'll you'll be rooting for because the WNBA is about to hit another gear.