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Liberty star Jonquel Jones: ‘I’d give up my MVP trophy to be a champion’

Jonquel Jones scored 20 points in the first game of the postseason. (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jonquel Jones has accomplished a lot in her career, but there’s one thing that has eluded her.

Jones, a forward for the New York Liberty, is one of the most decorated players in the WNBA. But she has never won a WNBA Championship. In a recent interview with ESPN, the 2021 WNBA MVP spoke to the lengths she would go to achieve that goal.

“I’d give up my MVP trophy to be a champion,” Jones says. “That’s what you play for. You don’t play for individual accolades.”

Jones has sacrificed this season in pursuit of that goal. She’s fourth on the team in scoring (11.3 points per game), way down from her 2021 (19.4 points per game). It appears to be working: The Liberty entered the postseason at 32-8, the second best record in the league.

In the team’s 90-75 win over the Washington Mystics in the first game of their first-round series, Jones scored 20 points and recorded 12 rebounds and four assists. She was one of four New York players to score in double-figures, including Sabrina Ionescu (29 points), Betnijah Laney (19 points) and Breanna Stewart (10 points).

Jones, Stewart and point guard Courtney Vandersloot all previously played together overseas for UMMC Ekaterinburg. Now, alongside Ionescu and Laney, they’ve formed a “superteam” intent on making noise in the postseason.

“I’m very happy to be in New York and be playing with these ladies,” Jones said in an interview with Slam.

The Liberty host the Mystics in the second game of the series Tuesday, before heading to Washington, D.C. for Game 3 on Friday.