The first day of the WNBA season was a surreal one for former All-Star Vickie Johnson, who made her head coaching debut inside the arena where everything started.
The game marked the head coaching debut of Vickie Johnson, who started her career in NY as a player when the WNBA debuted in 1997. A member of the Liberty's Ring of Honor, she still ranks as the franchise's all-time leader in points (3,246), rebounds (1,053) and games played (282).
Injuries: For the Stars, Kelsey Plum has an ankle injury and missed their opener yesterday against the New York Liberty but may play today.
During a timeout in the second quarter, the Liberty played a tribute to Johnson on the video screen, featuring highlights from her time at The Garden and an emotional interview.
"I'm very happy Bill did that", the Liberty's star forward said.
The enemy this time around, Johnson received a standing ovation from the crowd at MSG.
"I thought it was good", Johnson said of the opener.
The 2017 WNBA season kicks off at 3 p.m. ET Saturday at Madison Square Garden with two teams on the opposite end of the spectrum facing off. I'll always remember the energy we brought and the incredible fans.
"They have it within them, they have it in that locker room to be able to do it, it's just a matter if they're willing to pay the price", Laimbeer said, "They have to do the little things, Kiah Stokes, I mean, she looked bad tonight, out of shape, she couldn't get the ball".
Familiars like Liberty legend Vickie Johnson, who is the current head coach of the Stars and Alex Montgomery, former NY guard returned to their old haunts but without Moriah Jefferson and the 2017 WNBA number one pick, Kelsey Plum for this contest they were short-handed. It didn't help that they faced a Liberty team that finished first in the Eastern Conference each of the last two seasons.
It is often thought about because they have fallen short of that goal in the first 20 years of the WNBA's existence, making the Liberty the league's only original team without a championship. "We missed free throws all over the place".
Tina Charles, last year's MVP runner-up, was held to just 12 points on 6-of-19 shooting. That said, they should be able to play. The teams we played on in San Antonio were teams where both of us had similar mindsets into the culture we wanted to have in San Antonio.
If they had their full squad, we probably would have lost the game. "We have to play the whole game like that". The San Antonio Stars won't be as bad offensively as they were last season, but there's still holes on this team if you're expecting a huge jump in improvement. She then became an assistant coach for the Stars before being promoted before this season. The x-factor for the Liberty would be Epiphanny Prince if she's healthy, as she has great scoring potential but played in just six games last season.