07 Jan

‘It’s a joke’

The Las Vegas Aces beat the New York Liberty in Game 2 of the 2023 WNBA Finals on Wednesday and are one win away from winning a second consecutive championship. While the reigning champs have had a ton of team success, head coach Becky Hammon voiced her disappointment in this season’s MVP voting after their latest victory, as A’ja Wilson finished third and failed to win the award in back-to-back seasons despite putting together one of the league’s best individual campaigns.

“This lady’s been ridiculous, and she’s heard it all,” Hammon said in a postgame presser on Wednesday. “Third in MVP voting? OK. Rest on that. It’s a joke. She’s been off-the-charts efficient.”

Wilson ranked third in points per game (22.8) while shooting an impressive 55.7% from the field. She also ranked second in rebounds per game (9.5) and first in blocks (2.2). Wilson logged 30.7 minutes per game during the regular season while the 2023 MVP Breanna Stewart and runner-up Alyssa Thomas both eclipsed the 34-minute mark. Hammon believes Wilson resting in the fourth quarter during blowout wins contributed to her third-place finish.

“If I would’ve played her as many minutes (as Stewart and Thomas) she would’ve averaged 28 (points) and 13 (rebounds),” Hammon continued. “And that’s all anybody in here would’ve been talking about. But she got screwed because her coach didn’t play her in fourth quarters.”

The Aces will look to secure their second consecutive championship on Sunday, Oct. 15 in New York. Wilson is averaging 22.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per contest on 62.9 percent shooting in the series.

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