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Breanna Stewart thinks this will be the biggest WNBA free agency yet

Over the previous 14 months, since coming back from her torn proper achilles, Breanna Stewart has received: a WNBA title and Finals MVP, a Russian league title, a Euroleague title and Closing 4 MVP, an Olympic gold medal, and the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup and Commissioner’s Cup MVP.

So it was a shock to the system when Stewart’s mortality got here into play as she suffered a minor achilles harm in her different foot in October, lacking the Seattle Storm’s remaining two regular-season contests and their solely 2021 playoff recreation, a single-elimination time beyond regulation loss to the Phoenix Mercury.

Stewart is now rehabbing this newest harm, which required minor surgical procedure in October and has prevented her from heading over to Russia to play with UMMC Ekaterinberg. In the interim, she is making ready for her first foray into unrestricted free agency as a WNBA participant as a number of high-profile gamers round the league, together with her teammates Sue Chicken and Jewell Loyd and 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper, hit the open market.

Over the weekend, Stewart partnered with NBA 2K22 and AMEX for an occasion that introduced components of the recreation to life. After dealing with off in opposition to LA Clippers star Paul George in 2K, she spoke with SB Nation about her offseason.

Stewart and George performed a WNBA battle as the Storm vs. the Chicago Sky after which switched to NBA as Stewart performed with the Milwaukee Bucks in opposition to George’s Clippers.
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Word: This interview has been frivolously edited for readability.

SB Nation: Are you a lot of a gamer?

Breanna Stewart: I’m, I play 2K typically, however particularly once I’m abroad, I’ve my — I don’t have the PS5 abroad, I’ve PlayStation 4 nonetheless in my Russia condo. Simply because once you’re 13 hours time distinction away from all people else, it’s onerous to attach, so I’ve a whole lot of time for gaming. Yeah, clearly as 2K continues to type of develop and convey the WNBA into the recreation, need to play.

SBN: Who do you normally wish to play with aside from your self?

BS: Aside from myself? Nicely, I wish to play with myself, but when I’m taking part in on the males’s aspect, I feel that I want to play with the Nets, want to play with KD, however I went with a distinct strategy in the present day once I performed with the Bucks.

SBN: I really feel like KD’s recreation fashion makes a whole lot of sense with the means you play too.

BS: Yeah (Editor’s be aware: Stewie received creamed with Bucks and doubtless ought to have caught to her weapons and picked the Nets)

SBN: How did you get entangled with AMEX and this partnership?

BS: Getting concerned with the AMEX expertise and the NBA 2K22 occasion — I’ve been part of, I suppose, the 2K household for some time and being an AMEX card holder type of introduced all this stuff collectively and made me be capable of proceed to have one other alternative off the basketball courtroom the place I’m nonetheless round a whole lot of basketball and an excellent occasion.

SBN: Yeah, I feel I noticed you at the Warriors-Clippers recreation earlier this yr. You’ve been round LA throughout your offseason?

BS: Yeah. So I’m truly rehabbing right here in LA. That is the place I rehabbed once I got here again from my my first achilles, and now I’m simply with the those that I belief. It was nice to be capable of get out and go to a Clippers recreation, simply be out and watching basketball. I really feel like I haven’t accomplished that shortly. And it was good to simply type of watch another person play as a substitute of getting to consider taking part in.

SBN: How is the foot doing?

BS: Doing rather well. I’m actually pleased that I’m out of the boot, I’m again into two sneakers. It’s good to be capable of type of stroll and transfer round considerably usually. And I’m simply hoping that as we proceed after the holidays, I’ll be beginning to ramp again as much as get again on the courtroom.

Stewart’s again in two sneakers and hopes to rejoin UMMC Ekaterinberg (her Russian staff) earlier than the 2022 WNBA season.
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SBN: So are you continue to planning on going to Russia this yr or no?

BS: It’s TBD. I feel that you already know it simply is determined by precisely how a lot I progress in the subsequent couple of months. If I may go, I might like to go — you already know, that’s my staff, and my teammates and stuff like that, however I don’t wish to have like a date if I’m gonna be prepared or not.

SBN: How does that have of taking part in there examine to the WNBA? What’s the biggest distinction?

BS: Enjoying in Russia in comparison with the WNBA is — I imply, the biggest distinction is the reality that you just’re in Russia, you’re abroad, you’re lacking holidays, issues like that, you’re away from household, however the love for the recreation remains to be the similar. Nonetheless tremendous aggressive, particularly now with the ability to, like they’re capable of journey by way of Europe once more, whereas final yr we had been in bubbles. However you get to expertise all various kinds of locations, meet a whole lot of totally different individuals. And you already know, I get pleasure from going abroad, and that’s why it type of sucks that I’m not proper now, however hopefully I will be later.

SBN: You guys have a fairly thrilling offseason this yr in Seattle. I imply, I don’t count on you to inform me what you’re gonna do subsequent yr. However do you suppose all of the free agency motion is sweet for the WNBA?

BS: Yeah, I feel that — I used to be telling somebody I feel that this yr, this free agency might be gonna be the biggest free agency since our new CBA. Clearly, proper once we had our new CBA, that free agency was large. However now it looks like there’s a whole lot of massive names which are up and see if there’s gonna be any motion inside groups and stuff like that, however I’m excited. I can’t consider it’s developing. And this is my first time as a free agent, so I do not know what to anticipate, but it surely’ll be cool to type of see what occurs.

SBN: It’s type of thrilling to be have groups wooing you proper? You get to be recruited yet again.

BS: Yeah, precisely. It’s like recruiting, so some thrilling and a few not so thrilling components about that.

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