Breanna Stewart’s WNBA free agency as told by Twitter

Breanna Stewart’s WNBA free agency as told by Twitter

Breanna Stewart, arguably the best player in the WNBA 2023 free agent class, will take her talents to the Big Apple after signing with the New York Liberty.

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Details of Stewart’s contract are still being worked out, sources told ESPN.

Before making her decision, Stewart asked WNBA Twitter to play detective as she tried to decode the cryptic tweets she posted during her free agency journey. The emoji-filled posts had the basketball world on the edge of its seat until Stewart announced his move.

Here’s a recap of Stewart’s WNBA free agency on Twitter:

January 16

Five days before the trading window for WNBA free agency began, Stewart posted a mystifying tweet containing 15 emojis. Among these were a trophy, a bag of money, a crocodile and a newspaper. The post sent WNBA Twitter into a frenzy as multiple accounts attempted to decipher what Stewart wrote.

Sue Bird, who performed with Stewart on the Seattle Storm from 2016 to 2022, just had to let Stewart know which emoji she forgot.

You forgot the 🍆

— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) January 16, 2023 January 19

Three days after his first emoji-laden tweet, Stewart posted another message with a chili pepper and a timeline.

Based on Stewart’s emoji selection, Chili’s Bar and Grill restaurant thought it had inquired about its hours of operation.

we are open ❤️‍🔥

— Chili’s Grill & Bar (@Chilis) January 20, 2023

On the Jan. 19 episode of The Ringer’s “Real Ones” podcast, Bird discussed Stewart’s free agency.

Sue Bird explained how New York might be a better fit for Breanna Stewart’s lifestyle and why money might not be a big factor in her decision 👀

— espnW (@espnW) January 20, 2023 January 20

Stewart’s next tweet featured eight emojis, including a light-up mermaid, an ice cube and a checkered flag.


— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 20, 2023

But his second tweet of the day provided legit information about free agencies. Stewart posted a tweet with four emojis: a storm cloud, a wolf, a classic-style building, and the Statue of Liberty.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne later reported that Stewart would meet the Storm, Minnesota Lynx, Washington Mystics and New York Liberty. The fixtures took place in Istanbul, Turkey, where Stewart plays for Fenerbahce 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, sources have told ESPN. The fixtures will take place in Istanbul, where Stewart currently plays.

— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 20, 2023

News of Stewart’s upcoming reunions came after the Liberty acquired 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones from the Connecticut Sun.

January the 21st

The day WNBA free agency began, Stewart posted another mysterious tweet. Some of the characters used were a female basketball player, the “soon arrow” emoji, and a warning sign.


— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 21, 2023

Although free agents can begin negotiating contracts on January 21, they cannot officially sign with the teams of their choice until February 1.

January 22

Stewart returned to Twitter with a longer tweet than the day before. Among the emojis used were an airplane, an alien, a teddy 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 spoken out for the provision of such transportation in the past and, according to Shelburne, made it a factor in her free will.

I would love to be part of a deal that helps subsidize charter travel for the entire WNBA.

I would contribute my NILs, positions + production hours to ensure that we all travel in a way that puts player health and safety first, which ultimately results in a better product.

Who is with me?

— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 22, 2023

Her tweet received support from stars across the sports world, including freedom guard Sabrina Ionescu, who added her not-so-subtle opinion on where she could get there.


— Sabrina Ionescu (@sabrina_i20) January 22, 2023


— ESPN (@espn) January 26, 2023 January 26

Nearly a week into WNBA free agency, there was no news of Stewart’s decision. Instead, she tweeted three emojis.


— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 26, 2023 January 28

The WNBA got some big news from free agency, but not from Stewart. Two-time MVP Candace Parker announced she would be signing with the Las Vegas Aces in an Instagram post. Parker joins an Aces team that won the 2022 WNBA title and has tons of star power in A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young.

Read more: Candace Parker at Las Vegas Aces stuns WNBA Twitter

After Parker’s decision, unrestricted free agent Erica Wheeler wanted Stewart to reveal her choice next.

Stew where you are!!!! 👀👀👀 the people waiting for you! 🤣🤣🤣 stop playing 🤣

— Erica Wheeler (@EWeezy_For3eezy) January 28, 2023 January 30

NBA superstar Kevin Durant has spoken about his feelings on where he wants Stewart to sign. In an episode of his “The ETCs with Kevin Durant” podcast, Durant said he reached out to Stewart about a possible signing with the Liberty.

[email protected] REALLY wants Breanna Stewart to join the New York Liberty. 🗽👀

“I hit [Breanna Stewart] the other day, and I never do this, and I was like, ‘Yo, it would be an amazing dynasty in New York if you came here.'”

— Boardroom (@boardroom) January 30, 2023 February 1

Stewart made her announcement to the world by tweeting one last emoji: the Statue of Liberty. To make it even clearer, she had an image of the Empire State Building (which recently made headlines to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers) with her name in light, as well as a video of her wearing a Liberty Shirt Ensemble to Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind”. A fitting ending to an epic saga.


— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) February 1, 2023

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