Liberty Trades for Charles, Serious About Championship Run
Bill Laimbeer has two areas that are apparent about him. One, he believes in big players. He likes the power game on both ends of the court. The other however is a lack of patience with youth. Both were satisfied on draft day yesterday as the New York Liberty, conscience of needing to do something big upon their return to Madison Square Garden, did just that.
The Liberty completed a blockbuster of a trade sending their first pick of this year’s draft Alyssa Thomas, second year forward, Kelsey Bone, and its first round pick in 2015 to Connecticut for Tina Charles, a former WNBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, and two-time NCAA champion with the University of Connecticut.
Bill Laimbeer, the general manager as well as head coach of the Liberty was looking to bring elite talent to New York. The addition of a proven veteran center-forward like Charles to enforce their no nonsense attitude confirms this aspiration, something reflected in their new black uniforms to be unveiled for home games this season.
“With Cappie, Essence (Carson) who returns from a season ending ACL injury, and Tina, we have a sound nucleus to build a championship caliber team,” Laimbeer explained.
New York was bestowed this bit of good fortune when Charles wanted out of Connecticut. The Sun saw this trade as an excellent opportunity to unload a player who was obviously not happy there.
GM Chris Sienko had no doubts this was the way to go after he, along with coach Anne Donovan went to Russia to talk to Charles.
“We’re not going to be held hostage by anybody,” Sienko admitted. “We had to do what’s best for our organization and fan base. New York came back with a significant offer…that’s a great trade.”
The two teams will open the season at the Mohegan Sun Arena on May 16th.