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The rookie Statue of Liberty focuses on the “basic season”-Women’s Basketball World

the6man Jul 24

The No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu, veterans Amanda Zahui B. and Kia Nurse in the group media day. Photo courtesy of the New York Liberty.
The No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu, veterans Amanda Zahui B. and Kia Nurse in the group media day. Photo courtesy of the New York Liberty.
The No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu, veterans Amanda Zahui B. and Kia Nurse in the group media day. Photo courtesy of the New York Liberty.

This season, the New York Liberal Party took the term “reconstruction year” to another level.

In this tight season, one of the founders of the WNBA may bring the youngest team in league history to the floor. Seven of the 11 on the roster are rookies and only two-third-year guard Kia Nurse and fifth-year center/forward Amanda Zahui B-adopted for the Liberal Party in 2019 action.

“[F]Or us, this will be the foundation year. “General Manager Jonathan Kolb (Jonathan Kolb) said. “This will be our year. . . Looking back, I hope to say “That’s when it all started” many years later.

In this unusual season, every one of New York’s many draft picks-plus a rookie they traded for-will be on the bench for Saturday’s game against Seattle. It is safe to say that there will be fewer rookies in non-COVID-19 years.

Since the establishment of the alliance in 1997, Every Technically speaking, this player is a rookie, and every team has the same number of players in the first year. This very young roster with an average age of 23 1/2 does reflect a reconstruction plan that emphasizes young people, but it is not entirely for design purposes.

This roster reflects the overall reorganization of the WNBA’s original franchise-the process began in January 2019 when Joe Cai, 56, of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba, purchased the Liberal Party’s Liberal Party from the team’s Madison Square Garden Company. It has a history of 22 years.

Two months later, Tsai hired 34-year-old Kolb, who has served as the head of basketball strategy and analysis in the WNBA office for only four years. In the six years before that, he worked in a financial services company and obtained a law degree.

Tsai and Kolb watched the team underperform that summer in a small dark entertainment center gym in White Plains, New York, and finished the game 10-24. The level of futile effort is unacceptable for large franchises.

After the season, Kolb fired head coach Katie Smith and hired 34-year-old Walt Hopkins, who is now the youngest head coach in WNBA history. Hopkins has served as an assistant to the Minnesota Bobcats for the past three years, but has no previous experience as a head coach.

Then, Kolb and Hopkins choose the displaced veterans and form a new culture while adopting another style of play.

All-star Tina Charles (Tina Charles) has been a franchise star for six years, and he is no longer happy in New York. She was traded to Washington with a three-team trade, which allowed Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Taylor Hill to board the game, as well as 9, 12 and 15 picks in the upcoming draft. (In the end, Charles opted out of this season, Hill was waived, and the Liberal Party exchanged Virginia’s outstanding Jocelyn Willoughby’s draft pick with Walker Kimbra.)

Six-year veteran Bria Hartley also left the team and signed with Phoenix.

New York chose to retain young players instead of bidding for experienced free agents, with one exception: Layshia Clarendon, a seven-year veterinarian. After they signed the former All-Star guard in February and drafted Oregon’s outstanding Sabrina Inescu with the first overall pick, it became clear that Clarendon could help the learning curve of the year. College players.

The original plan was to rely on the draft to supplement the steady state of young international players in the lineup: 5-10 guard Kia nurses (Canada, age 23), 5-10 guard Marine Johannes (France, age 25), 6-9 Squadron Han Xu (China, 20) and 6-2 winger Rebecca Allen (Australia, 27).

Then the pandemic broke out and the plan changed.

Brooklyn, New York-January 8: New York Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb speaks with new head coach Walter Hopkins at the New York Liberty Press Conference to announce their new head coach. Mike Lawrence / NBA, via Getty Images.
Brooklyn, New York, January 8: New York Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb (Jonathan Kolb) spoke with the new head coach Walt Hopkins at the New York Liberty Press Conference, announcing their new head coach coach. Mike Lawrence / NBA, via Getty Images.

In the expected international core competition, only nurses can participate in this season, and others opt out. Another prospect of progress is Canadian forward Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, who has chosen to prepare for the Olympics and has not changed his mind after the cancellation of the Olympics.

When the WNBA announced that it would start a shortened season at one location starting Saturday, the Statue of Liberty would have only 5 veterans for a total of 19 seasons. Forward Zahui B. and Kiah Stokes re-signed. Guard Asia Durr planned to come back for the second season, but contracted the coronavirus in June and chose that year.

Suddenly, the New York management team will have to rely on all their draft picks to complete the team. They think that is a good thing.

With 9, 10, 12, 13, and 15day Draft picks, the Liberty League chose winger Megan Walker (Connecticut), 6-0 forward Jocelyn Willoughby (Virginia, traded through draft day), 6-0 guard Jazmin Jones (Louisville) , 6-4 forward/center Kyrie Shuker (Louisville), and 6-2 forward Oona Odom (Duke).

In an ordinary season, only one or at most two draft picks can become a roster. But all five people, plus Ionescu, are ready to make significant contributions this summer. Last week, after the Storm was waived by her, they joined 11 players as a 6-3 rookie forward Joyner Holmes (Joyner Holmes) (ranked 19th). Walker tested positive for COVID-19 and only arrived in Florida today.

Hopkins said, first of all, he was surprised by what he called the perfect draft.

He said: “In a sense, it’s easy because we really want everyone we elect.” “If we didn’t trade, we could have traded these picks.”

“We are targeting the exact people. You know, from the few drafts I participated in, this is really an amazing thing, but usually, it doesn’t work like that, especially… I have one. Millions of draft picks… But we need to be able to nail each one… Because we are not sure whether we can make a draft day trade, so we can profit from Megan (Walker) and Jocelyn (Willoughby). “

Then he and his coaching staff affirmed these decisions during the training camp for the past two weeks.

Hopkins said: “To be honest, I really appreciate it, because we can fully understand all the players in this unique season, and none of them let them down.” “Each of them has absolute moments of glory. , We are excited about each of them.”

Hopkins once said that his coaching style avoids “creating expectations”, which means he will not set goals for winning or losing, nor will he preach the end of the standings. He and Kolb are realistic and believe that the team and freelance fans will be satisfied with the signs of continued growth.

Bradenton-July 11: New York's Statue of Liberty Walter Hopkins in practice at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Ned Dishman / NBAE Photography: Getty Images.
Bradenton – July 11: Walter Hopkins of the Statue of Liberty in New York in practice at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Ned Dishman / NBAE Photography: Getty Images.

“That started with our player development team and our young core, right? So even our veterans are very young,” Kolb said. “Also… They are really good. They are leaders. Their voices are full of opportunities and their voices are full of power. They lead by example.”

“Then you look at our young team, our rookies, we will establish a benchmark here and look at their starting point… and the final result.”

In the unprecedented WNBA season, New York promised an unprecedented reconstruction. Watching this should be an interesting experiment.

Zahui B. said she wants the team to be “fearless.” So far, rookies have repeated this mantra and suggested that they will work hard to achieve this. In the Eastern Free Zone two days later, the Statue of Liberty started their season, and we will have the opportunity to see how their experiments proceed.

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This post is written by Jim Clark


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