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The Liberty Pull Off WNBA Equivalent of Trading for LeBron

Sit down, folks: You're about to get a WNBA post. Cappie Pondexter, former star of the Rutgers women's basketball team, has led the Phoenix Mercury to two of the last three WNBA titles. She won the Finals MVP three years ago, was an All-Star last year, and starred on the Olympic team that won gold in Beijing. A couple of months ago, though, Pondexter began rumbling that she was sick of playing in Phoenix, and that she wanted to come home to New York to play with some of her old teammates. (Just yesterday, Liberty coach Anne Donovan said this would be her last season with the team because she's taking a job at Seton Hall. The WNBA and the NCAA seem to have an exact opposite relationship to that of the NBA and the NCAA.) This caused quite the WNBA message-board kerfuffle, and, finally, yesterday, the trade went down. The Liberty might be favored to win the WNBA this year — the season starts in May — and this is important because you should have civic pride, because the Liberty have a fantastic nickname, and because you can get season tickets in Section 229 for 180 bucks. This is as close to a champion as we're going to see at the Garden for a while.

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Photo: Patrick McMullan