NEWARK, NJ - The magazine Conde Nast, for all things travel and adventure related, recently published a poll naming Newark "the most unfriendly city on the planet." Yes, the planet, as the Brick City was beaten out by a city in Pakistan. Well, at least it was not a poll of the universe. At any rate, teams like to call their court the "friendly confines of home." The New York Liberty do not subscribe to the Conde Nast results, I am sure, but on this evening, the Prudential Center was anything but congenial for them. The Liberty were defeated 88-66 by the visiting Connecticut Sun.
Once again, it was another third period meltdown for New York. The Liberty, now 8-12, led by one at the half and proceeded to yield 55 second half points. Coming off a nice win at Washington, this performance leaves this Liberty team as one virtually impossible to figure. Problem is, coach Bill Laimbeer, who knows his way around the sidelines, is currently sharing the same opinion and in quest of answers.
You have to love the women's game, the game itself where the ball is actually shared, and also running into people who have a passion and discuss the game in revered tones, such as Felicia Oliver, the University (Newark) High School coach. Oliver is so proud of her former players such as Nadirah McKenith and Amber Thompson, whom she sent to St. John's. In fact, Oliver, a Liberty fan, will be rooting for McKenith of the Washington Mystics as well as her Liberty on Tuesday.
Also, you have to admire what the players give back. Even after a one-sided setback, Liberty players are fulfilling their meet and greet obligations with genuine enthusiasm and interest. They realize they are the true role models for the next generation of the game. Who said this place is not friendly?
Excitement in the Liberty huddle during pregame introductions:
The Sun's Renee Montgomery is all concentration at the free throw line:
In search of answers, Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer walks down the hall after meeting with the media:
The Sun's Tina Charles (21 points, 14 rebounds) signs autographs for members of her former NY Gazelles program:
The Liberty's Leilani Mitchell is gracious and enthused to meet fans, even after a rough loss: