Seattle says a tough goodbye to Stewie

Breanna Stewart, one of the most popular players in the WNBA, and Stephanie Talbot announced Wednesday that they are leaving the Storm.

It was just the kind of social media fandom Seattle Storm fans prepared for.

After seven seasons with the Storm, Breanna Stewart (aka Stewie) has taken to social media to post her decision to join Liberty for the 2023 season. It’s about how the brand communicates with fans in the off-season, posting Encrypted tweets containing all emojis That left bread crumbs of information about whether she would re-sign with the Storm.

Stewart built her professional career with the WNBA team in Seattle.

The first draft was the year the Storm signed her, she won the league’s Most Valuable Player award, and won two WNBA championships with the Storm in her five years with the team.

Leaving another hole in the Storm’s already broken roster, Stephanie Talbot is a sharp-shooting attacker who was first off the bench in most games.

Talbot, who hails from Australia, is Signing a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Sparks.

“I loved seeing them for both myself and the team,” Talbot said in announcing her plans. “I’m really looking forward to meeting my teammates and getting to work.”

So, why are you leaving Stewie?

Stewart hasn’t said publicly what prompted her to say goodbye to Seattle, but New York is a state with great opportunities. One of them, in particular, could be the chance to work more with Puma, which produces Stewie’s signature sneakers.

As for the factors that led to her decision: She’s a free agent this year, is from upstate New York, and her wife is from Spain (shorter flying distance), and the Storm is currently re-stacking their rosters and figuring out a future without Sue Bird.

Sportswriter Eden Laceywho covers the WNBA for Just Women’s Sports, said Stewie sees New York as a place she can make the most of her mark.

“New York is a place with a great market, and it’s really interested in moving the NBA forward as a league,” Lacey said.

“So I guess for her it just ended up being the perfect time. You know I’m sure with Sue Bird retiring, it kind of felt like the end of an era and the perfect time to move on to something else.”

As for whether or not salary is a factor, Lacey said that’s unlikely. Stewart was already earning the WNBA salary cap with the Storm, $228,094 in 2021-22, and gets a large portion of her income from playing internationally and from her Puma shoe deal.

A seismic shift for Stewart and the Tempest

Already one of the leading faces and players in the WNBA, Stewart has the potential to leave a great legacy. In addition to her heroic abilities on the court (she has the highest points per game in 2022, averaging 21.8), she has become the most vocal of the league as a whole.

She Tweeted Every Day Brittney Greener was imprisoned in Russia and was a leader in the Free PG movement.

Now, she’s on a new mission: She’s pushing teams to start offering players charter flights. They are now flying commercials with the public. Stewie’s agent told ESPN that “Stewie’s free agency is the story of the WNBA at an inflection point: the players understand its value, the WNBA’s potential, and are enthusiastic partners in growing a business that has incredible momentum.”

A Seattle Storm spokesperson, when asked to comment on Stewart, said that coaches and owners are not allowed to discuss players under contract with other teams. They say they don’t have a statement at this time, as the team has 9-10 roster spots to fill at this point.

WNBA in 2023 and Joel Lloyd

There are now two “super teams” in the WNBA. This is what analysts call the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberties, all because of the free agents they got stuck with.

Storm’s roster is still unclear. They have new job opportunities and salary space, and the potential to sign one or more strong players who are also in free agency.

But there’s still a gem at the core of Storm’s roster – Jewell Loyd, also known as Gold Mamba.

“Seattle fans can rejoice in the fact that you still have a really nice piece to build on at Jewell Lloyd,” Lacey said.

She is a franchise player for the Storm that Laase called “phenomenal”.

“She’s someone who can take your team to new heights, too, so having her as a central focus is a great thing to fall back on,” Lacey said.

Loyd, the Ranger, is an elite shooter and the new rock in the middle of the team.

“It’s not going to have a Seattle storm, like a terrible year I don’t think, no matter what,” Lacey said.

She said it may take some time for Seattle fans to get over the loss of Stewie, but the team is entering a new era and the question, “What’s Seattle like as a Jewell Lloyd team?”

2022 was one of the WNBA’s most watched seasons, and sportswriters expect it to grow even more this year.

Slot to Seattle?

Courtney Vandersloot was a wild card for Storm’s 2023 roster. But Thursday afternoon, she announced that she, too, would be joining New York Liberty.

Vandersloot, better known as “Sloot”, is a free agent and one of the best point guards in WNBA history. The Kent, Washington native left Seattle fans on the edge of their seats when she announced she was leaving the Chicago Sky, leading some to believe she would take the baton from Sue Bird and join the Storm.

The Seattle Storm’s season begins May 20 with a home game against the defending champions, the Las Vegas Ice.

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