Mostly Clear
75.2 ° F
Full Weather
Sponsored By:

Aces honored with rings, 2nd championship banner as quest to three-peat starts versus Mercury

Sponsored by:

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Las Vegas Aces received their championship rings and then unveiled and raised their WNBA banner, lifting it into place on Tuesday night alongside their first title banner won two seasons ago.

Las Vegas celebrated its back-to-back titles ahead of its 89-80 regular-season opener against the Phoenix Mercury. And, it doesn’t sound as if the Aces are finished.

“We’re back,” owner Mark Davis told the sellout crowd. “Not only are we back, we’re back-to-back world champions.”

He concluded by saying, “All I can say is let’s three-peat.”

Las Vegas brings its roster back for another run at the title, but point guard Chelsea Gray remains out with a leg injury suffered in last season’s Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.

The Aces debuted their new silver and black uniforms, more closely mirroring the unis of Davis’ other Las Vegas team, the Raiders.

Davis sat next to Aces minority owner and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. From the Raiders, coach Antonio Pierce and punter AJ Cole were in attendance, as was Vegas Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson.

Davis and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert greeted coach Becky Hammon and the players when they were introduced to the crowd.

WNBA Finals MVP A’ja Wilson was greeted with chants of “MVP!” by the announced sellout crowd of 10,419, a record for the team at Michelob Ultra Arena.

“We’re so grateful to have a fanbase that is supportive of us,” Wilson told the fans. “We’re blessed to be in this situation. We worked our butts off to get to this point, so we just want to say thank you.”

Engelbert could have been in Connecticut for Caitlin Clark’s debut, but instead took center stage in Las Vegas.

“The favorite part of my job is handing out the trophy and then the following year helping hand out the rings,” Engelbert said before the ceremony. “So this is important — back-to-back champions.”

The Aces are hoping to be the first team since the Houston Comets in 1997-2000 to win at least three titles in a row and the second club to ever accomplish that feat. Las Vegas became the first team since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001-02 to repeat when the Aces beat the New York Liberty in four games last year.

___

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

By MARK ANDERSON
AP Sports Writer

Feedback