Liberty's Breanna Stewart Talks About Physicality in WNBA

Following Tuesday's 88-75 win over the Chicago Sky, New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart was asked about the physicality of the WNBA. It's been a major talking point across the league over the last month.
New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart
New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past several weeks, the physicality of the WNBA has been a major topic of discussion. The conversation exploded over the weekend, when Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter body-checked Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark.

Tuesday, Breanna Stewart, one of the biggest stars in the WNBA was asked about the physicality in the league. The question came after the New York Liberty defeated Chicago 88-75, a game in which 38 fouls were called.

Stewart, a two time WNBA champion and two-time league MVP — including the 2023 season — said the toughness is nothing new.

"Really, to anybody, this is the best league in the world. Nobody's gonna give you anything easy," Stewart said. "Understanding that and learning how to play through it at this level. They're the fastest, the strongest, the quickest and that's why this is the WNBA.

"Continue to pay attention to what we do. Understand that we're trying to bring our best basketball when we're playing against other teams. We're obviously trying to win. But knowing as a collective we're continuing to bring this league to a better place altogether."

Most of the commentary about the league's aggressive nature has come from fans new to the WNBA. With so many new eyeballs tuning in, there's a lot of unfamiliarity with the physical nature of the game.

Because she was such a tremendous college player at Iowa, Clark has been centered around most of the conversation. Some of labeled the physical nature as "jealousy" and "resentment" towards the Fever star.

In reality, it's just part of the WNBA. And it doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.

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Dustin Schutte