December 31, 2020
Seattle Storm player season review: Breanna Stewart
If Stewart walked away today at age 26, she would be a legend; but she is far from done
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited, and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives, and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues, and grows. Paid subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
I have always known Breanna Stewart was a great player. I remember seeing her during her rookie season when the Seattle Storm played the Minnesota Lynx at Target Center. She was impressive from Day 1.
Now that I am covering the Storm and have watched them regularly, I have realized just how great she is.
Incoming expectations for Stewart were tempered a bit by her coming off an Achilles injury. Although she was off of a minutes restriction overseas in March, it was reasonable to expect her to have a bit of a down year.
That was not the case.
Stewart averaged an efficient 19.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game in 20 games. Defensively, Stewart added 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. That’s the thing about Breanna Stewart: she is everywhere.
My favorite NBA player growing up was Kevin Garnett — a do-it-all forward/center not terribly dissimilar from Stewart, had Garnett played more in a 3-point era. To see someone with size have strong ball-handling and playmaking skills was remarkable.
When Sue Bird was out with a bone bruise and the Storm needed someone to run the offense, Stewart would sometimes bring the ball up the floor. Other times, she could hit the trailing 3-pointer or post up inside. Breanna Stewart did whatever she wanted to WNBA defenses in 2019.
Should she have won MVP? Yeah, maybe; but there’s nothing wrong with A’ja Wilson winning. Both players are great and just beginning to enter their primes, which is terrifying.
While MVP may have been nice, the battle of the two finalists in the WNBA Finals made for a compelling storyline. Stewart shone in the playoffs, averaging 25.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. She even connected on 17-of-34 3-point attempts in the postseason.
Few players have won two championships as quickly as Stewart, and she nearly earned her second MVP award. What Stewart did in 2020 only added to her growing legacy. If Stewart walked away today at age 26, she would be a legend; but she is far from done. Where Stewart winds up when it is all said and done will be something truly special and maybe unmatched.