One of the WNBA’s original franchises, the New York Liberty made their debut in 1997 with Nancy Darsch serving as head coach.
Darsch oversaw a lineup that featured Rebecca Lobo, Sophia Witherspoon and Teresa Weatherspoon. The team posted 17 regular season wins and reached the WNBA Finals after defeating Phoenix 59-41 in the semifinals. New York lost the title match, though, falling 51-65 to the Houston Comets.
The club averaged 18.4 wins over the next eight seasons, reaching the playoffs six times during that stretch.
The Liberty experienced its greatest success between 1999 and 2004 under the direction of head coach Richie Adubato. New York reached the WNBA Finals in 1999, 2000 and 2002 on Adubato’s watch and his team’s produced 18 or more wins five times during his six seasons on the sidelines.
In 2015 New York posted a franchise high 23 wins in Bill Laimbeer’s third season as the team’s coach, earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Liberty were denied another trip to the Finals, though, falling 1-2 to the Indiana Fever in the Conference Finals.
New York will enter its 2016 campaign still seeking its first championship. Leading the way for the Liberty will be Tina Charles, Epiphanny Prince and Kiah Stokes.