LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Aces have been on a dynamic journey ever sense
they arrived in Sin City, and not only to capture a championship, but also win over the
hearts and minds of a fan base that is ever growing. Putting the pieces together wasn’t
easy, finding the right coach had its trial and error, getting the best owner had been a
struggle before Mark Davis (owner of the Las Vegas Raiders), but like pieces to a
puzzle, it would all come together for a masterpiece and in the words of the rapper
Common, “one day it will all make sense.”
Fast forward to 2022, to some people’s surprise the Aces’ brass hired former WNBA
player and former NBA assistant coach under Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich,
Becky Hammon. She created a staff, and immediately impacted her players by treating
them as individuals as well as showing them how important moving as a collective can
lead to success.
The 2022 Defensive Player of the Year and two-time MVP A’ja Wilson had to adjust
to a new role. Jackie Young made some upgrades to her game, Kelsey Plum finessed
her role and Chelsea Gray continued to be the ‘Point Gawd’ far better than anyone
could ever imagine.
Fans followed the team through their successes and slumps throughout the season.
However, fans never lost hope as the players never truly lost sight of the ultimate goal
which is to bring a championship to one of the fastest growing media markets in the US.
“I think about it everyday. I have to bring a championship to this city,” Wilson said during
a recent shootaround.
As she was presented with her second WNBA MVP trophy in front of the Aces fans at
Michelob Ultra Arena, they went crazy in support of their superstar. This team knows
how to handle business on the floor as well as have fun with one another.
This was evident in their intro video that blasted on the jumbo that featured the 1997 Ice
Cube hit “We Be Clubbin’” a perfect theme song for the Las Vegas team. In front of
10,000 screaming and supportive fans, the Aces escaped with 67-64 win over a very
tough and defensive-minded Connecticut Sun team, who was relentless on rebounding
and being a force in the paint for the majority of Game One in the WNBA Finals.
It was the team’s first Finals win in franchise history.
The atmosphere was packed, the energy was lit, and it made you want to run out on the
floor just to get a glimpse of what the players received while playing a tough forty minute
game for a championship.
Throughout the entire season, fans have supported their team consistently and unlike
some WNBA cities, Las Vegas has embraced their franchise.
Could the city show more support? Sure, but they’re off to a fantastic start. There have
been a variety of support from fans from purchasing merchandise, to the fans truly feeling like the city has a team to call its own.
With just two more wins needed in the best of 5 series, the Aces can make history by bringing the city it’s first championship by a professional team. It’s going to be a fight, especially battling a
relentless team like the Sun for the next several games. If any team has been battle
tested in a season, through injuries, losing streaks and line-up changes, it has been the
Give Hammon, the 2022 Coach of the Year, a ton of credit. She had a vision, is
executing it, and is determined to bring the absolute best out of all of her players
whether they lose by 10 or win by 20. She wants excellence on both ends of the floor.