Andrea Nagy – New York Liberty
When New York Liberty coach Richie Adubato asked point guard Andrea Nagy if she’d be willing to exchange her starting position with the Washington Mystics and come to New York to back up all-star Teresa Weatherspoon, she didn’t hesitate.
“For a chance at a WNBA Championship ring?” thought Nagy. In a New York minute.
But, considering the fierce rivalry between Washington and New York, Nagy may have wondered if her new teammates would accept her as quickly. Any doubts were put to rest when, at the end of the first practice, the players huddled at center court to give their ritual “LIBERTY!” Weatherspoon looked her in the eye and said, “Nagy, make sure you’re not saying Mystics!”
Nagy laughs at the memory and revels in the welcome she’s received. For her, the trade is ancient, if somewhat painful, history. At Washington, she remembers feeling that not just the fans, but the organization felt she was the mistake in the Mystics – that she was the reason they couldn’t achieve. And while the Mystics have struggled this season, Nagy won’t second-guess the trade. “They felt like they had to make a change. I got into a better situation.”
A two-year starter in Washington, Nagy has no problem calling herself ‘second string.’ As she sees it, the “only reason I’m going to go in is to give (Weatherspoon) a break so she can rest up and play better.” Early in the season, Nagy has already made an impact. Last season, Weatherspoon averaged almost 36 minutes a game. Currently she averages 28.8.
Nagy also expects to reap the benefits of playing against Weatherspoon every day in practice. But, she reflects, equally important, is that “this is the first time I really have a good relationship with the other point guard. Before I felt like the other point guards on the bench, ‘Ok, I can’t wait until she messes up so I can go in.’ I don’t feel that. I support her, no matter what, and she supports me we when I go in. I cherish that.”
Clearly, the talent on the Liberty and the possibility of a Championship ring drew Nagy to New York. But she seems to have discovered something equally precious in the process. “Our team, ” she muses, “is probably one of the best teams I’ve been on in terms of how much we care about each other”