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Why Stefanie Dolson left Liberty in free agency: ‘Unfortunate situation’

On Tuesday night, Stephanie Dolson happily greeted former Liberty teammates and staff members at the Entertainment and Sports Arena as they arrived for the 2024 season opener in Washington, D.C.

Just one year ago, the two-time All-Star center was at the beginning of a long road to a WNBA Finals appearance in New York.

However, during free agency, she decided she didn’t want to be part of the action for another year.

Dolson held a starting role with the Liberty during the 2022 season before starting the superteam era with the acquisitions of Brianna Stewart, Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot.

After the 2023 season, she chose to attend Washington, where she began her professional career and earned All-Star selection in 2015.

Stephanie Dolson will leave Liberty after the 2023 season. Michelle Falci/New York Post

“A lot of things happened after last season, some good, some not so good. So this was an unfortunate situation that should have happened,” Dolson said of the Liberty’s 85-1 loss to the Mystics. he told the Post before his 80 win. “But I wanted to make the best choice for me and play and I knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of space for me because they have so much talent on that team.

“So I was excited to come here and have more opportunities to play and showcase my game.”

Dolson, who won with the Sky in 2021, scored 12 points in 27 minutes in the Mystics’ season-opening loss, time on the court that was largely absent from the 2023 Liberty. .

Without Dolson, Liberty has added a new element to their rotation.

And for some rookies, including Leoni Fievich, joining a team with championship aspirations was a selling point, even if it meant taking on a supporting role.

Dolson left the Liberty in the offseason and joined the Mystics. Michelle Falci/New York Post

“When you look at the way the team plays, I think they move the ball really well. There’s also a lot of freedom, so I think everyone can bring their own style of basketball,” said Fivic, a forward who played in the WNBA. He talked about why he came from overseas to do this.

“And you can never say no to a GM who comes to you and says, “We want to win a championship.”

Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb also plucked Ivana Dozic from the Storm and Kennedy Burke, who played one year with Villeneuve d’Ascq in France after four seasons in the WNBA.

Sandy Brondello gained a new spot in the Liberty rotation in the first game of the season. Michelle Falci/New York Post

“I’m just excited to be surrounded by great athletes, great players, great women. I mean, yeah, there’s not much to say, I’m just happy to be here,” Burke said.

Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello had nine players play in the first quarter Tuesday.

Fijevic, Dozic and Burke combined for nine points in a combined 29 minutes that Brondello called “really productive.”