Sabrina Ionescu is excited about her team’s chances to win the WNBA title this season.
The New York Liberty made blockbuster offseason additions in Jonquel Jones, Breanna Stewart and Courtney Vandersloot. As a result, much is being made of the team’s chances in 2023 — and Ionescu is in on the hype.
“I’m super excited. I think everyone will feel that pressure,” Ionescu said in a recent interview with Boardroom. “And for me, I’ve always wanted to win. So I was wanting to win a championship last year. I knew that we didn’t have the team to be able to do so, and now we do.”
Sabrina's full answer (via @boardroom): pic.twitter.com/1y3kd4hi25— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) February 23, 2023
Sabrina's full answer (via @boardroom): pic.twitter.com/1y3kd4hi25
To reach that lofty goal, though, will take some work. Ionescu acknowledged as much, noting that every player will need to make sacrifices in order to create a cohesive atmosphere.
“I think starting training camp, there’s just this level of hard work, dedication that you have to put in. And that can’t come two, three weeks into the season,” the 25-year-old guard said. “You’ve got to figure it out from the beginning. And it’s going to take a lot of us working together, sacrificing.
“Like, some players aren’t going to be able to shoot 30 shots a game now because you’re looking over and you’ve got Jonquel, Stewie, we’re going to have to be able to really work together and get to know each other really quickly on the court. But I think when everyone’s bought into wanting to win, anything can happen and people sacrifice and do what’s best for the team.”
The wait for Stewart to make her free agency decision was difficult, Ionescu said.
“When you’re on the team you don’t want to press them and do too much and let players make their decision with their families and – because it’s a big decision, you know. She was drafted there, has won MVP’s, has won a championship there,” she said. “And so, I know it was a big decision and so you don’t want to press too much, but you also don’t want to go radio silent. And, you know, they feel like they aren’t welcome there.
“So I was trying to find the middle ground of being able to reach out.”