The Liberty's and WNBA's first game was played on June 21, 1997, in Los Angeles. Led by head coach Nancy Darsch, the Liberty defeated the Los Angeles Sparks, 67-57. The attendance at the Forum was 14,284. The Liberty began their existence with a three-game road trip, where the Liberty went undefeated. The club came back to New York with a 3-0 record. Their first home game was played in Madison Square Garden. On June 29, 1997, in front of a crowd of 17,780, the Liberty scored their first win at home, defeating Phoenix, 65-57.
Rebecca Lobo ranked fourth in the WNBA with 1.8 blocks per game, fifth in defensive rebounds with 141, seventh with 939 minutes played, and tenth in the WNBA in offensive rebounds with 62.