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

Over the previous 14 months, since getting back from her torn proper achilles, Breanna Stewart has received: a WNBA title and Finals MVP, a Russian league title, a Euroleague title and Final Four 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 ultimate two regular-season contests and their solely 2021 playoff sport, a single-elimination additional time 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 Bird 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 parts of the sport to life. After dealing with off in opposition to LA Clippers star Paul George in 2K, she spoke with SB Nation about her offseason.

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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.

Associated Press for American Express

Note: This interview has been evenly edited for readability.

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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. Just as a result of once you’re 13 hours time distinction away from all people else, it’s exhausting to attach, so I’ve plenty of time for gaming. Yeah, clearly as 2K continues to sort of develop and produce the WNBA into the sport, must play.

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

BS: Other than myself? Well, I wish to play with myself, but when I’m taking part in on the males’s aspect, I feel that I choose to play with the Nets, choose to play with KD, however I went with a special method as we speak once I performed with the Bucks.

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SBN: I really feel like KD’s sport fashion makes plenty of sense with the manner you play too.

BS: Yeah (Editor’s notice: Stewie obtained creamed with Bucks and possibly 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 assume, the 2K household for some time and being an AMEX card holder sort 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 plenty of basketball and an amazing occasion.

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

BS: Yeah. So I’m truly rehabbing right here in LA. This 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 sport, simply be out and watching basketball. I really feel like I haven’t executed that shortly. And it was good to only sort of watch another person play as an alternative of getting to consider taking part in.

SBN: How is the foot doing?

BS: Doing rather well. I’m actually glad that I’m out of the boot, I’m again into two footwear. It’s good to be capable of sort 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 footwear and hopes to rejoin UMMC Ekaterinberg (her Russian group) earlier than the 2022 WNBA season.

Associated Press for American Express

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 dependent upon precisely how a lot I progress in the subsequent couple of months. If I might go, I’d like to go — you already know, that’s my group, 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: Playing in Russia in comparison with the WNBA is — I imply, the biggest distinction is the reality that you simply’re in Russia, you’re abroad, you’re lacking holidays, issues like that, you’re away from household, however the love for the sport continues to be the similar. Still tremendous aggressive, particularly now having the ability to, like they’re capable of journey by means of Europe once more, whereas final yr we have been in bubbles. But you get to expertise all several types of locations, meet plenty of completely different folks. And you already know, I get pleasure from going abroad, and that’s why it sort 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 anticipate you to inform me what you’re gonna do subsequent yr. But 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. Obviously, proper once we had our new CBA, that free agency was big. But now it looks like there’s plenty of large 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, nevertheless it’ll be cool to sort of see what occurs.

SBN: It’s sort of thrilling to be have groups wooing you proper? You get to be recruited another time.

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

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