The 2023 WNBA Finals kicks off Sunday, when the New York Liberty play the Las Vegas Aces.
It is a matchup between teams in two of the league’s biggest markets, featuring some of its brightest stars. New York forward Breanna Stewart said the series has a “different kind of buzz.”
“Everybody’s been talking about New York and Vegas since the beginning of the season and now we’re the last two standing,” Stewart said to the media. “As women’s sports continue to grow and people continue to get behind the WNBA, they want to be a part of it. They are locked in. They are watching. It’s exciting to be part of continuing the momentum and the push behind equality.”
Stewart and the Liberty advanced to the Finals after beating the Connecticut Sun, 3-1, in the semifinals. Stewart, in particular, was a force in the clinching game, scoring 27 points and recording nine rebounds as New York won, 87-84.
But the team is likely to face a stiffer test in Las Vegas, led by star forward A’Ja Wilson, who’s averaging 25.8 points per game this postseason.
The Finals represents a matchup between the league’s two “superteams,” and the hype surrounding the league is palpable.
“There’s been a lot of talk all year,” Aces guard Jackie Young told reporters. “I think it’s good for the game. People are excited, people want to see us play. I mean, it’s going to be a sold-out crowd, so there’ll be a lot of big names there.
“The coolest thing is that people are excited to watch us play.”