WNBA's Breanna Stewart Says Leaving Bubble Has Been Adjustment: I 'Miss' the 'Safety' of It
Life outside of the bubble was just as much of an adjustment for Breanna Stewart as life was in it.
In a new interview with the New York Times, the Seattle Storm forward opened up about spending time with her team in the WNBA's coronavirus-safety league bubble in Florida — AKA the "wubble" — in the run-up to the championship.
"It was kind of weird leaving," Stewart said of departing the bubble after the Storm's title win last month. "I took a 6 a.m. flight back to Seattle and it was like, ‘OK, bye.’ There wasn’t much more to it. We celebrated that night. And then people took their flights, people got to go home."
She continued, "I landed back in Seattle and my mom picked me up and we went back home. I think that’s what it needed to be. We had a virtual Zoom celebration with our fans, which was cool. But, you know, we all know you can’t replicate things on Zoom. Whenever I see anybody, they say congratulations, which is nice."
The Storm won the championship after facing the Las Vegas Aces in game three of their best of five series. The team beat the Las Vegas Aces 92-59, marking a three-game sweep and the Storm's second championship in the last three seasons.
"It was weird seeing different people than the ones I’ve been seeing every single day," Stewart continued to the Times. "When I was walking down the street in Seattle, I’m seeing people that I’ve never seen before. When I’m walking down the street in the bubble, I’m seeing the same people over and over again."
The safety and security of the bubble is something Stewart is currently missing, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States, with infected numbers continuing to increase in some states.
"You got to have a conversation with people and not be worried about where they’ve been or who they’ve been around or the possibility of having COVID-19. Our bubble was super, super secure and that was nice."
Stewart also opened up to the Times about WNBA players' advocacy and support of the Black Lives Matter movement during the season, and said she was proud of the "important messages that we were able to highlight."
In July — during the season opener between the Storm and the New York Liberty — all members from both teams walked off the court during the national anthem and returned to their respective locker rooms at the IMG Academy in protest of racial injustice.
In addition, the players held a 26-second moment of silence for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers inside her home on March 13.
"I’m going to remember that we were able to come together as a league, all of the players representing more than just us," she said. "It’s going to be a historic season because we really amplified the message and that was priority No. 1, and then we played basketball."