July 23rd, 2024

Aces celebrate 2nd WNBA championship and promise more on the way

By Mark Anderson, The Associated Press on October 23, 2023.

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Las Vegas Aces celebrated their second consecutive WNBA championship Monday night on the Strip and said they aren’t done.

“We coming back,” WNBA Finals MVP A’ja Wilson said. “We’re going to do this (expletive) again.”

The Aces became the first WNBA team in 21 years to win back-to-back titles, defeating the New York Liberty in four games. Las Vegas won the 2022 title in four games against the Connecticut Sun.

“It’s hard to win a championship,” owner Mark Davis said. “It’s even harder to repeat.”

The Aces made it clear from the front office to the players they weren’t ready to stop, and Las Vegas has the kind of roster to make these parades a regular ritual.

“We’re going to keep coming back, and everybody hates it,” said All-Star guard Kelsey Plum, who walked onto the stage smoking a cigar.

“Last year, (Plum) said we’re just getting started,” All-Star point guard Chelsea Gray said. “Let’s run that (expletive) back.”

Wilson, who wore a brace on her left wrist, was greeted by chants of “MVP.” She is a two-time regular-season MVP, but lost out in a close vote this season to the Liberty’s Breanna Stewart.

“I played against all the GOATs,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said. “This is going to be the GOAT of the GOATs. She’s that good. I’m trying to think of an NBA comp and I’m trying to think of a WNBA comp, and there’s nobody like A’ja Wilson.”

This is the second year in a row the Aces paraded down Las Vegas Boulevard, but this time they ended at Toshiba Plaza outside T-Mobile Arena. Last year, the parade ended near the Bellagio fountains, where fans jammed both sides of the Strip. The route was changed this year because of construction for next month’s Formula One race.

Organizing championship parades is something Las Vegas officials are getting used to. This was the third in 13 months. The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights partied on the Strip and at Toshiba Plaza in June after winning the Stanley Cup.

Recording artist 2 Chainz took the stage and performed after the Aces’ speeches.

AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball

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