All the pieces seemed to fit for freedom except one: victory.

It looks like Liberty did everything right.

They moved into a new home last year at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. The star power of top draft picks and a deep roster promised a strong season this year. He was a new coach. Even a new look mascot.

While all the pieces fell into place for the Liberty, one of the WNBA’s original eight teams in 1997, there was one glaring exception: winning.

“I’ve been feeling lately that maybe this is where we should be right now,” said Francois Monroque, 41, a fan who watched the Liberty beat the Chicago Sky, 83-80, on Saturday in a rare strong showing. . “There’s a lot of ambition for the players in New York, and people in New York want their teams to succeed. It’s hard to accept failure. New Yorkers are very impatient, waiting and waiting is hard. “

Liberty is 10-17 this year. The team started the season 1-7 before turning it around in June, only to lose momentum this month after the All-Star break.

Saturday night’s win over the Sky (21-7), the defending champions and the league’s top team, snapped a five-game losing streak and was a balm to a rocky season.

A string of injuries left the Liberty with a poor record, just when a winning season could have helped the franchise gain a better footing in the hyper-competitive New York market.

New Yorkers could use a winner. The last team in the four major sports to win a championship was the Giants, who won the Super Bowl after the 2011 season. The Liberty haven’t won a championship and the Nets, their arena mates at Barclays Center, haven’t won one since being in the NBA.

“We’re trying to get a ring,” said Janice Battle, 74, who has stayed with the team despite its ups and downs. “It was a little disappointing. But it’s exciting to be part of a team, a professional women’s team, right here in Brooklyn.”

Battle has followed the team since its first season and has traveled with the team as it has played in five locations over the years, from Madison Square Garden to White Plains, NY and now the Barclays Center, which the team has called home since 2021. .

“It’s tough every year, but you know, you’re a fan,” Battle said with a little shrug. “They are Yankee fans. Here’s to Met fans. Here are the Giants fans. So I’m a Liberty fan. I love them.”

Still, enthusiastic fans or not, with just nine games left in the regular season, their chances in the postseason are fading.

Much of that pressure rests on Sabrina Ionescu, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. Ionescu played just three games into the 2020 season in Florida on the so-called bubble before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As Ionescu began to recover, the team was plagued with more injuries. Jocelyn Willoughby tore her Achilles tendon before the 2021 season and Natasha Howard missed 15 games with a knee injury; All three returned this season, only for the team to lose Betnija Lenny, who was named to his first All-Star team last season, to a knee injury this season.

Freedom had some successes. Ionescu set a franchise record for points against the Las Vegas Aces earlier this month, finishing with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the third triple-double of his career. On Saturday, Howard notched his sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Fans hoped that the new coach would be able to more consistently manage the Ionescu core group of the team; Howard; Didi Richards, sophomore guard; Stephanie Dolson, Veterans Center; Michaela Onyenwer, 2021 WNBA Rookie of the Year; and reserve center Han Xu. Midseason addition Marine Johannes also became a rotation player.

The Liberty have hired Sandy Brondello, the former head coach of the Phoenix Mercury, to try to make the jump to the 2022 season. This has not always been the case.

“I think the ability of the players is one thing, but the ability of the coach to get the best out of their players consistently is probably more important,” said Dara Ottley-Brown, 59. “That’s the challenge.”

The team still has the problem of attendance. Attendance is averaging about 5,100 fans per game this season, which ranks the Liberty eighth among 12 teams. Saturday night’s game drew 6,926; A July 14 game against the Las Vegas Aces, one of the league’s best teams, drew 9,896, a record for the season so far. Barclays Center has a seating capacity of 17,732, but the upper tier seats are often closed for Liberty games.

“It’s a combination of being on the rollercoaster with the team, but also just watching and seeing how women’s basketball can get more traction,” said Martha Stark, 62, who went to high school at Brooklyn Tech just a few blocks away. in the arena and has been a season ticket holder since 1997.

Elaine Kim, 47, has been coming to Freedom Games with her 12-year-old twins since they were kids, and said it’s been fun developing the team — and the mascots. Eli Spilo was introduced as a new team in 2021.

But Kim said he believed the league and its teams needed to invest even more to make a bigger splash. A low salary cap, infrequent access to televised games and fewer marketing dollars than their male counterparts have long kept the WNBA afloat despite a growing fan base.

“The WNBA needs the kind of investment that men’s sports are getting,” she said. “We’re arguing that there’s a lot of interest that it’s economically viable.”

There’s no doubt there’s some excitement surrounding the team despite its record, but ultimately New York calls for winners, no matter the sport.

“I know the record isn’t exactly what we’d like it to be,” said Alex Don, 26. “But from last year to this year, you can really start to improve and see where the two of us can be. or after three years.”

Don and his group of friends, including Paul Garlick, find satisfaction in watching the team develop, “as opposed to when they’re doing well,” Garlick said.

On Saturday, the Liberty and Sky went point-to-point until the bitter end, with Ionescu’s key 2-point jumper in the final seconds and Onyenwer’s block on Candace Parker sealing the game and ending the Sky’s six-game winning streak. .

Howard said the win was an opportunity to correct the team’s course.

“We found ourselves in this game right here,” he said. “That’s one thing we’ve really talked about — we’ve got to learn how to win games. That’s a start.”

They face Chicago again on Friday.

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