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Liberty in an Empire State of Mind as Playoffs Arrive

Liberty open playoffs Friday night at MSG.

(Photo by Marlene Amaya-Vazquez / Double G Media, LLC)

(Photo by Marlene Amaya-Vazquez / Double G Media, LLC)


The Observation Deck of the Empire State Building has quite a view of Manhattan and the outlying areas of New York City. The New York Liberty currently share a similar view of the WNBA. The Liberty finished the 2015 regular season with a league best 23-11 record and will enjoy home court advantage throughout their playoff run.

Three of their key players visited the Empire State building to honor their accomplishments thus far. All-Star forward Tina Charles, starting shooting guard Epiphanny Prince, and starting small forward Swin Cash represented the Liberty yesterday.

The Liberty have started to see more attention the further they go but for Tina Charles, not easily impressed by the attention or for that matter any forward she has met this year, its par for the course.

“That’s what happens when you win,” Tina responded. “It’s really good for women’s sports, for the city, it’s been years since the Liberty has been where it’s been.”

New York’s first round opponent in the best of three series, beginning tomorrow night, Friday, September 18 at Madison Square Garden, will be the Washington Mystics (18-16). The Mystics have been a thorn in New York’s side and caught their attention on 9/11, smashing them 82-55 in the next to last game of the season, the third win in four contests against New York.

The main concern at this point would be if the Liberty can be at peak performance starting Friday. Charles knows the answer.

“It’s not hard at all, there’s a reason why Bill played everybody,” Charles explained. “He didn’t want us to lose our edge. Doing that kept us in that same mind set.”

Another problem was the loss of Brittney Boyd with a wrist injury which forced her to miss the last four games. Between her and center Kiah Stokes,  they represented the impactful youth that was one of the keys to Liberty success.

“We’re fine, we’re covering those potholes that we don’t have anymore,” added Charles. “I believe we’re going to be fine.”


(Photo by Luis Vazquez)

(Photo by Luis Vazquez)


Tina Charles will be the first to tell you that the keys to this series will come from within. The Liberty have the talent and have proven their standing in the league, but the second season is another animal that New York will have to traverse.

“Playing our game and staying in tune with one another and staying together,” Charles reminded. “If we do stay together more then anything, we’re going to have lapses, teams will go on runs, we just have to stay together.”

Its that unity that has served them well. For Charles and most of the Liberty, the driving force is the WNBA Championship,  something New York has never attained. Its fair to say that it is the goal at this point.

“It would mean everything,  I don’t know the feeling,” Charles explained. “I feel it will be up there with the NCAA Championship.”

For the city of New York, living in a basketball wasteland, it means a lot more and the raising of that trophy will do more for this group of women than they can conceive at the start of this special race.

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