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WNBA star Jonquel Jones ‘annoyed’ by league’s Commissioner’s Cup venue choice: ‘Feels like a road game’

Jonquel Jones and the New York Liberty went through a shootaround on Tuesday morning ahead of the WNBA’s Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game. 

But instead of going through the pregame routine inside the friendly confines of the Barclays Center, the Liberty warmed up at UBS Arena, the home of the New York Islanders. 

While the Liberty were several miles from their traditional home court, there were multiple indications throughout the arena that the Liberty were the designated home team. But Jones was not pleased that the league decided to host the deciding game of the in-season tournament away from the Liberty’s home turf.

“To me, it feels like a road game,” the Liberty star said. “Having to pack my [outfit] in a suitcase and all that stuff, get on a bus.” The Barclays Center was not available to host Tuesday’s game due to a scheduling conflict. The arena is the site of Wednesday’s NBA Draft.

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The Liberty elected to stay in the Elmont, New York, area in the hours leading up to Tuesday night’s game instead of commuting back to Brooklyn.

Jonquel Jones interviews

Jones shared her feelings about the situation ahead of the shootaround, saying she was “annoyed” before adding that she was “a little bit frustrated, especially because the Commissioner’s Cup schedule was tough.”

The Liberty earned “home-court advantage” after going 5-0 in games that were designated as Commissioner’s Cup matchups. 

Jonquel Jones smiles on court

Jones said the team pushed to earn the right to play home games.

“We wanted to cement that home-court advantage, and we understood that the game against [the Mystics] was big because of that,” Jones said. She also noted that she was disappointed the league did not explore all avenues in an effort to keep the game at Barclays Center.

Jones’ teammate and two-time WNBA MVP, Breanna Stewart, also voiced frustration with the circumstances surrounding the title game.

“I think we worked really hard for home-court advantage, and it would be nice if our home court was actually available before we choose the date that the event was going to be,” Stewart said.

Jones was named the MVP of the 2023 Commissioner’s Cup. 

The Minnesota Lynx led the Liberty with just over two minutes remaining in the championship game.

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