Currie then had her pocket picked by Boyd immediately after crossing mid-court, who then extended the New York Liberty lead to 67-54 with 4:21 left in the first game of the season.
Nearly one full minute later, Currie was called for a travel, and held the ball for an extra second. A charged up Boyd went to help by stripping Currie of the ball, taking matters into, literally, her own hands.
A face-to-face confrontation ensued, and the 5-foot-8 Boyd showed the six-foot Currie that she is, in fact, “bout that life.” The two had to be separated, and Boyd was awarded a technical foul, but the message was clear.
Oh, and as for the game, the Liberty won 73-64, beginning their season 1-0.
“In order for us to win a championship we have to play way better, and we have to be consistent on that level every single night,” Boyd said of the Liberty’s performance. “We only have 34 games and every game is important, we figured that out last year.”
The Boyd-Currie face-off was a microcosm of just that: every game matters.
And because of that, Liberty head coach and former NBA great Bill Laimbeer didn’t mince words when dissecting his team’s performance after the nine-point victory over the undermanned Stars, who were missing two key players in 2016 second overall pick Moriah Jefferson and 2017 first overall pick Kelsey Plum.
“I hope this is the worst game we play all year long, it was awful,” said the fifth-year Liberty head coach. “We didn’t execute the things that we are supposed to. I had to put Tina Charles back in and I felt really bad for doing that, she sat so long. This is the year I want to play her a lot less.
“It became one-on-one basketball, they didn’t execute anything and we had people miss assignments all over and that’s just bad, Laimbeer added. “I told them so in very strong language.”
Again, he didn’t mince words.
A legitimate excuse for the Liberty could be that the team simply needs more time to gel, after-all, it was the first game of the season.
Not for Laimbeer.
“I told them that’s not an excuse, they just didn’t do what they’re supposed to do,” he said in the post-game presser. “They want to be all talk? They can be all talk but they won’t go anywhere.”
Maybe the team is also just rusty. Laimbeer wasn’t having that either.
There’s no rust,” he continued Laimbeer. “Whether our action will come around to be an elite team and a consistent elite team, well then, that’s what we’re going to find out.”
In the victory, the Liberty did have five players reach double figures, providing a balanced attack on offense. The aforementioned Charles, an alum of Christ the King High School in Queens, led the charge with 12 points and seven rebounds, both were team highs.
Epiphanny Prince (11 points) and Cierra Burdick (10 points) gave solid efforts off the bench. Boyd capped off the night with 10 points, eight of which came in the fourth stanza, and fellow starting guard Shavonte Zellous added 10 of her own on the afternoon.
Next up for the Liberty is a May 18th home game where they’ll host the Minnesota Lynx, who’ve won three WNBA Titles in five trips since 2011.