Las Vegas Aces forward A’Ja Wilson talks to guard Jackie Young during practice. (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)
There is no doubt about it for WNBA fans in the know – A’ja Wilson is the best basketball player in the world.
The Las Vegas Aces star forward took matters into her own hands in the second half of the Finals’ Game 4 against the New York Liberty. In the third quarter alone, when the Aces trailed by as much as 12 points, Wilson had 9 points and 6 rebounds. She ended the night with 24 points and 16 rebounds, which was her 18th career playoff double-double and tied for fifth in the league’s postseason history. She also knocked down a contested turnaround mid-range jumper over former league MVP Jonquel Jones with 1:26 remaining to seal the deal.Dawn Staley, Wilson’s former coach with Team USA and at the University of South Carolina, celebrated the clutch moment.
A’JA TOO CLUTCH AND DAWN STALEY IS LOVING IT 🍿 pic.twitter.com/y6uxqQaWTr
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 19, 2023
Her spectacular play against Breanna Stewart, the Liberty’s star who won the 2023 WNBA MVP trophy over Wilson further cemented her status.Although initially irritated and offended by the snub after winning her second consecutive championship, Wilson said she’s OK with finishing third in MVP voting, if it means finishing first at the end of the season.
Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas, who finished the regular season with a record number of triple doubles, finished second in voting.
Stewart finished Game 4 with 14 rebounds, 10 points and five assists. She shot 17.6 percent from the field in the game, which was the worst playoff shooting performance of her career. Stewart also passed up the final shot for a swing that eventually went to an open Courtney Vandersloot, one of the best shooters in league history. Vandersloot airballed the shot.
THE FINAL SECONDS THAT CROWNED THE @LVACES BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPS 👑 pic.twitter.com/YhlV9rCzYb
— WNBA (@WNBA) October 19, 2023
Wilson and the Aces become the first WNBA franchise in 21 years to win back-to-back championships. The last team to accomplish the feat was the Los Angeles Sparks in 2002, led by Lisa Leslie.
Source: Rolling Out