The New York Liberty are just one step away from securing the most important signature of the offseason.
The New York Liberty just need the NBA Board of Governors to approve the sale of the franchise to Joseph Tsai. As most WNBA fans would know by now, Tsai is the minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. He purchased a 49 percent share of the franchise back in 2017.
Since that purchase, the Nets have started their way back out of the doldrums created by majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Tsai also has the opportunity to receive a controlling share of the Nets in 2021 so is quite the good businessman.
On top of this, Tsai owns several other sporting franchises in top leagues. The Liberty are going to go places once Tsai takes control of them. To put it simply, James Dolan, the teams current owner has been horrible for the franchise and for the WNBA as a whole.
He announced that the Liberty were for sale prior to free agency last year. As such, new coach Katie Smith was unable to lure any difference making free agents to the team. On top of this, Dolan complained at how much money the Liberty had lost the ownership and moved them to the much smaller Westchester County Center.
This damages the WNBA brand as it gives the trolls something to crow about, how a franchise in a huge city lost money, surely the WNBA is in trouble then. Well, when you look at Dolan’s record, it is no surprise the Liberty had the second worst record in the WNBA last season.
Under Dolan’s ownership the New York Knicks have become almost the laughing-stock of the NBA. People he has put in place have made poor decision on top of poor decision and the Knicks are down the bottom of the Eastern conference.
Maybe the Liberty have lost Dolan money due to the total lack of understanding he appears to have in running a succesful franchise. Tsai on the other hand has ben involved in many astute decisions at the Nets who have come out of their slump a lot quicker than most anticipated.
Now, Tsai is not taking the whole risk of the franchise ownership by himself, he is the head of the investment group who are putting the money up. Still, this is a good thing for this proud franchise, one which is crucial to the WNBA. For relevance the WNBA needs to have teams in both New York and Los Angeles, otherwise they are risking looking like a bush league.
However, there is plenty to be excited about for the Liberty. Smith is a quality coach and she will get superstar Tina Charles back as she has been cored. Add to this second year guard, and future of the franchise, Kia Nurse is growing into her role. The Liberty also own the second overall pick in the 2019 WNBA draft.
With this level of potential and the $750,000 that the Liberty have in salary cap space they could be a much better team in 2019