Brianna Stewartarguably the best free agent player of the 2023 WNBA, will take her talents to the Big Apple after signing with New York Liberty.
Sources told ESPN that details of Stewart’s contract are still being worked out.
Before making her decision, Stewart had played whistleblower on WNBA Twitter trying to decipher cryptic tweets she posted during her free agency trip. The emoji-heavy posts had the basketball world on the edge of its seat until Stewart announced her move.
Here’s a rundown of Stewart’s WNBA free agency on Twitter:
Five days before the start of the WNBA free agency negotiation window, Stewart posted a bewildering tweet containing 15 emojis. Among them were a trophy, a purse, a crocodile, and a newspaper. The post sent WNBA Twitter into a frenzy as several accounts attempted to decipher what Stewart had written.
Sue Bird, who played for Stewart on the Seattle Storm from 2016 to 2022, had to tell Stewart about the emoji she forgot.
I forgot 🍆 https://t.co/lNKTXh31VA
– So Bird (@S10Bird) January 16, 2023
Three days after her first emoji-laden tweet, Stewart posted another message with chili peppers and a calendar.
Based on Stewart’s emoji selection, Chili’s Bar and Grill thought she inquired about her hours.
We are open ❤️🔥
– Chili’s Grill & Bar (Chili’s @) January 20, 2023
On the Jan. 19 episode of The Ringer’s Real Ones podcast, Bird discussed Stewart’s free agency.
Sue Bird discussed how New York could be a better fit for Brianna Stewart’s lifestyle and why money might not be a big factor in her decision 👀 pic.twitter.com/HkdF4TmZQH
– espnW (espnW) January 20, 2023
Stewart’s next tweet contained eight emojis, including a siren light, an ice cube, and a checkered flag.
– Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 20, 2023
But her second tweet of the day provided some legitimate insight into free agency. Stewart posted a tweet with four emojis: a storm cloud, a wolf, a classical-style building and the Statue of Liberty.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne later reported that Stewart would reunite with Storm, Minnesota LinuxAnd Sophia Washington and New York Liberty. The meetings took place in Istanbul, Turkey, where Stewart plays for Fenerbahçe of the Turkish Women’s Basketball League.
Breanna Stewart will meet the Seattle Storm, Minnesota Lynx, Washington Mystics and New York Liberty when free agency opens at midnight ET, ESPN sources report. The meetings will take place in Istanbul, where Stewart is currently playing. https://t.co/aj5w9JgMa8
– Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 20, 2023
News of Stewart’s upcoming meetings came after Liberty was named the 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquil Jones from Connecticut Sun.
On the day WNBA free agency started, Stewart posted another cryptic tweet. Some of the characters used were a women’s basketball player, an “arrow is coming soon” emoji, and a warning sign.
– Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 21, 2023
Although free agents can start negotiating contracts on January 21, they cannot officially sign with their select teams until February 1.
Stewart returned to Twitter with a longer tweet than the day before. Among the emoji used are an airplane, an alien, a bear, and a cookie.
– Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 22, 2023
Stewart also tweeted about providing charter flights for WNBA players for the upcoming season. She has been vocal about making such a transfer available in the past, and according to Shelburne, has made him a factor in her free agency.
I’d like to be a part of a deal that helps support charter travel for the entirety of the WNBA.
I will be contributing my NIL hours, engagements + production hours to ensure we all travel in a way that prioritizes player health + safety, ultimately leading to a better product.
Who is with me?
– Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 22, 2023
Her tweet received support from stars across the sports world, including the Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescoto which she subtly added her opinion as to where she could achieve this.
– Sabrina Ionescu (@sabrina_i20) January 22, 2023
more: https://t.co/8K2qBtDBrs pic.twitter.com/VTxkcGpNQU
– ESPN (espn) January 26, 2023
Almost a week after WNBA free agency, there was still no news of Stewart’s decision. Instead, she tweeted three emojis.
– Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 26, 2023
The WNBA has received some great free agency news, but not from Stewart. Player of the Year twice Candace Parker She announced that she would sign with Las Vegas Aces in an Instagram post. Parker joins the Aces team that won the 2022 WNBA title and has a lot of star power in him Aja WilsonAnd Chelsea GrayAnd Kelsey Bloom And Jackie Young.
Read more: Candace Parker Heads to Las Vegas Ice and Stuns WNBA Twitter
After Parker’s decision, an unrestricted free agent Erica Wheeler Stewart wanted to reveal her choice next.
stew where are you!!!! 👀👀👀 People are waiting for you! 🤣🤣🤣 stop playing 🤣
– Erica Wheeler (@EWeezy_For3eezy) January 28, 2023
NBA star Kevin Durant He made his feelings known about where he wanted Stewart to sign. On an episode of “The ETCs with Kevin Durant” podcast, Durant said he reached out to Stewart about possibly signing with Liberty.
.@KDTrey5 Breanna Stewart really wants you to join New York Liberty. 🗽👀
“I hit [Breanna Stewart] The other day, and I’ve never done this, and I was like, “Hey, it’s going to be a great dynasty in New York City if you come here.” pic.twitter.com/BTnCtkETJW
boardroom January 30, 2023
Stewart made her announcement to the world by tweeting one of her latest emoji: the Statue of Liberty. To make it even more clear, she had a photo of the Empire State Building (which was recently in the news to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles’ win over the San Francisco 49ers) with her name in the lights, along with a video of her wearing a jacket. Liberty’s jersey is set to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” A fitting end to an epic saga.
– Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) February 1, 2023