A Look Back, A Look Forward
The team will agree there were a few bumps in the road last season: injuries to frontliners Ann Wauters, Crystal Robinson and Tari Phillips, head coach Pat Coyle taking over the team mid-season, moving to Radio City Music Hall for six games. But it was nothing the Liberty couldn't handle. "A lot of people were counting us out and we hung in there through all of our injuries and setbacks," said KB Sharp. "We stuck together as a group."
The ladies shined on center stage at Radio City, posting a 5-1 record while there. The team finished the year 11-6 under Coyle and secured its sixth playoff appearance. "We played well and handled the coaching change well. Coach Coyle did a great job coming in mid-season," said Erin Thorn.
Once in the post-season, the Liberty defeated the defending champion Detroit Shock in the First Round to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Then-rookie DeTrina White was just happy to be there. "My fondest memory was playing in my first ever WNBA playoffs and eliminating the defending champs."
Although falling to the Connecticut Sun in the Conference Finals, the season was a successful one for the Liberty. "We came together and believed in each other to the end," said veteran Vickie Johnson.
With the start of the 2005 season on Saturday, the players are all optimistic for this season. Rookies like Loree Moore are looking forward to "being able to play at the professional level and just gaining as much experience as I can."
Veteran Becky Hammon hopes for "healthiness and just a smoothly run season."
All of the players agree on one thing for the coming season: they want to bring home a championship. According to Johnson, last year "was great, but it was incomplete. We need to win a championship."