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Kayla Thornton agrees to multi-year extension with Liberty

Kayla Thornton has become a crucial player for the Liberty, a defensive stalwart on an offensive powerhouse. Today, she got rewarded.

2023 Commissioner’s Cup Championship - New York Liberty v Las Vegas Aces Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s always awesome to see someone get rewarded for their hard work. You see the dedication they put in, the sacrifices they make to get better, and the support they provide their colleagues. Having good people on your team is a must and they make everything around them better. And when their hard work gets acknowledged and appreciated, it makes everything even better.

On Friday morning, the New York Liberty announced some big news.

Richard Cohen of Her Hoop Stats has the financial details...

Kayla Thornton joined the Liberty in the big trade that brought Jonquel Jones over from Connecticut, and her all-around skills would serve the Liberty well. KT has been a great defender since she joined the league all the way back in 2016 and has always contributed to a winning culture. And for a Liberty team looking to do big things, she was the perfect fit for their vision.

Since her arrival, Thornton has been a key part of the Liberty’s improving defense. The team’s switching on defense has continued to improve throughout the season, and KT is a big part of that. She can take on any assignment Sandy Brondello hands her, and her combination of size, effort, and instincts makes her one of the best defenders in the WNBA

She’s also someone that has great instincts and can play passing lanes really well

After the game against the Las Vegas Aces on Monday night, Alford Corriette of Her Hoop Stats asked Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb about the importance of getting Thornton and Jonquel Jones and how it got the ball rolling for the rest of the offseason. Kolb spoke about Jones’ excellence, praised the success of Crystal Dangerfield and Natasha Howard, ex-Libs on the Dallas WIngs, then spoke of KT, saying that she “was a player that we have tried to acquire for many years and when we had the opportunity to do it, we jumped on it. So for us when we were getting Kayla, we were getting someone that is relentless defensively, could help us on the glass...”

At Liberty practice on Wednesday evening, I spoke with KT about what goes into playing the versatile defense she does, and she said:

“It’s the passion, you what I’m saying? I wouldn’t say everybody has it, but it’s just a passion that I have that I’ve just gained over the years, and it’s something that I take pride in. And that goes in studying players, knowing where to be at, and knowing tactical things on how to get yourself going.”

In her first interview as a member of the Liberty organization, KT spoke about her warrior mentality and how she’ll do whatever needs to be done in order for her team to win. She’s more than lived up to that standard, and Liberty fans will get to cheer her on for many years to come.