Wilson scores record tying 53 points in win

Courtesy: Derek White (NBA Photos) via Las Vegas Aces
Las Vegas Aces star A'ja Wilson tied a WNBA record with 53 points against the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday in a 112-100 road victory.

I was recently asked by a radio host who I’d choose if I were starting a WNBA team: Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson or New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart.

In one breath I explained how Stewart’s all-around game for her size was, in my opinion, the best in the league. One breath later, I stipulated that Wilson, whenever she feels like it, can be the most dominating force on a basketball court on any given night.

Like Tuesday in Atlanta, where Wilson tied a WNBA single-game record by scoring 53 points, leading the Aces to a 112-100 win over the Atlanta Dream.

“I don’t know what kind of creature she is, but I can tell you she runs like a deer, jumps like a cat, and catches like if she were Spiderman,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said. “I’m not sure what that is, but she is just special.”

The two-time league MVP is a rare specimen whose dedication to the game should be admired by every basketball fan on the planet.

Wilson, whose 53 equaled Liz Cambage’s accomplishment in 2018, is above and beyond basketball.

She’s as humble as they come, she plays for the success of not only her team but also the city of Las Vegas, her dedication on and off the court has no bounds, and, uhm, she’s just getting started.

As I said earlier this season, Wilson is thriving as the face of the WNBA.

Her infectious smile brightens Michelob Ultra Arena, her intoxicating personality reverberates when the crowd needs a boost, her contagious passion fuels her teammates, and for the second straight season, she’s created championship fever throughout Southern Nevada.

Yet through it all, there’s humility.

“I get the opportunity to play with some amazing women, I don’t take these moments for granted,” Wilson said.

She never has, in any of her 182 games played or 3,584 points scored, which ranks 53rd all-time.

Think about this for a moment: Diana Taurasi, the league’s all-time scoring leader who just topped the 10,000-point plateau a few weeks back, is now sitting on 10,108 in 528 games.

At Wilson’s pace, she would have 10,397 by her 528th game.

“She is a phenomenal superstar,” Hammon said. “She’s about winning, and that’s it. She’s about winning and lifting her teammates, and her teammates adore her for that.”

She loves her teammates, and would much rather talk about them than herself – that’s a fact.

Saturday when the Los Angeles Sparks came to town and stuck it to the Aces with an upset win, I needed a quote about Kiah Stokes for a story I was working on.

The question would have seemed out of place during the post-game press conference, especially after a loss, so I followed Wilson out of the conference room and explained what I needed. Without hesitation and with her trademark ear-to-ear smile – while I might add her family awaited her arrival so they could celebrate her mother’s birthday – she gladly took the time to speak with high regard about Stokes.

Wilson just gets it.

She’s above and beyond two MVP trophies, a WNBA title, and a record-tying scoring accomplishment.

She is, as Hammon said, just special.

Now, about that choice between all-around Stewie or dominating A’ja

Can’t I just pick both?