2002 Record
18-14, .563
(T1st in East)

Points Scored
2089 (12th overall, 6th in East)
Points Allowed
2015 (2nd overall, 1st in East)
Scoring Differential
+2.3 (T5th overall, 2nd in East)

Offensive Efficiency
99.0 (5th overall, 3rd in East)
Defensive Efficiency
95.5 (4th overall, 1st in East)
Possessions per 40 min.
65.4 (15th overall, 7th in East)
What are these stats?

Award Winners & Honorees
Tari Phillips
Teresa Weatherspoon
All-WNBA, Second Team
Tari Phillips

2002 Draft Recap
Rd. 2 – 26, Linda Frohlich
Rd. 3 – 47, Tracy Gahan
Rd. 4 – 62, Deedee Warley

Playoff History
Five out of six years
Last Appearance
2002, lost in WNBA Finals

2002 In Review: What Went Right?

New York made the playoffs for the fifth time in six years, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the fourth time before falling to the Los Angeles Sparks. The Liberty also won their third Eastern Conference regular season title in Richie Adubato’s fourth season at the helm.

Tamika Whitmore emerged as a legitimate force establishing career highs in scoring (12.7), rebounding (4.4), field goal percentage (.477), free throw percentage (.733), blocked shots (1.34) and steals (0.84). Crystal Robinson also established a career highs in scoring (11.8) and steals (1.50) and Vickie Johnson hit a career-high 45.6 percent of her field goal attempts.

New York’s defense continued to be its strong suit posting the third best opponent field goal percentage in the WNBA and the second lowest points allowed per game.

What Went Wrong?

Although the Liberty made the WNBA Finals for the fourth time in six years, they walked away holding the short end of the stick yet again. Of course, there are plenty of other teams in the WNBA that wouldn’t mind having that problem.

New York continues to search for bench help at the point. Last season, Liberty GM Carol Blazejowski acquired Korie Hlede from Utah in an effort to give the 35-year-old Teresa Weatherspoon some assistance. Instead, Hlede averaged only 1.6 points, 1.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 8.1 minutes of action. Not only did Hlede not work out as a back up, but outside of her assist figures, “Spoon” posted some of the lowest numbers of her career in the starting role – 3.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 34.2 percent shooting from the field, .100 from beyond the arc and 51.9 from the charity stripe.

Head Coach Richie Adubato

2002 Starting Line-up
G Teresa Weatherspoon
G Vickie Johnson
C Tari Phillips
F Tamika Whitmore
F Crystal Robinson

Key 2002 Reserves
G Becky Hammon
F Sue Wicks

Looking Ahead To 2003

Key Questions

Is this the year that the Liberty’s age finally shows? Prognosticators have been predicting the demise of the Liberty for several years now, pointing to the age of its primary roster and the lack of bench depth as evidence of an eventual collapse. Of course, all New York keeps doing is winning, with essentially the same club, year after year.

Where will the help come from? Even if New York’s primary components stave off Father Time for another year, they still need bench depth.