Liberty forward Breanna Stewart won the 2023 WNBA MVP award, the second of her career, the league announced Tuesday.
Stewart, who joined New York ahead of the 2023 season, earned the MVP in her first season as a member of the Liberty after winning the award for the first time in ’18 during her tenure with the Storm. She also became the eighth player in WNBA history to win the award multiple times, joining Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper, Elena Delle Donne, Candace Parker and A’ja Wilson.
The 29-year-old received 20 first-place votes from the panel while Sun forward Alyssa Thomas finished second with 23 and Aces center A’ja Wilson—the ’22 MVP—grabbed 17 to finish in third. Stewart’s new hardware comes after the five-time All-Star was named to this year’s WNBA All-Defensive First Team. Stewart was propelled by her 23 second-place votes, to 12 for Thomas.
Stewart winning this year’s MVP marks the second time in league history that the runner-up for the award earned most first-place votes. Swoopes received more first-place votes (20) than Jackson (16) did in ’05.
Stewart finished second in scoring, averaging 23 points per game. She also finished third in rebounding (9.3), fourth in blocks (1.57) and minutes (34.1) as well as eighth in steals (1.45) in 40 games during the regular season. With Stewart’s production, the Liberty registered the second-most wins in a single season in WNBA history and earned the No. 2 seed in the WNBA playoffs.
New York swept the Mystics in round one and will seek to bounce back in Game 2 against the Sun in the WNBA semifinals on Tuesday. Connecticut defeated New York, 78–63, in Game 1 of the best-of-five series.