After winning last year’s WNBA Finals, the Las Vegas Aces expected to open the season at home like past champions. Instead, they will open their first two games on the road and two of the faces of the franchise aren’t happy with it.
“Someone looked at this schedule — not saying any names — but someone looked at this schedule and said, ‘How can we screw over the Aces?’” Kelsey Plum told Yahoo Sports. “Well, they tried. We’ll see if it works.
“Yeah, I think that for me I looked at it, I just smiled, I looked at it as a great challenge, a great opportunity.”
Plum has a point. Outside of the 2020 season that took place in Bradenton, FA, the last six champions have played at home in the season opener the following season. A’ja Wilson also questioned how the schedule was structured.
How the hell the champs play on the road the first couple of games of the season …😒😐
— A'ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) December 1, 2022
The Aces will also not have their ring ceremony until a month into the season. In past years, it has been normal for teams to wait for players to finish their seasons overseas before handing out their championship hardware. However, the WNBA’s new prioritization rules will enforce players with three or more years of experience to be at training camp on day one.
The Aces won the first championship in Las Vegas professional sports history in 2022. They had four players named to the all-star game while Wilson took home the most valuable player and defensive player of the year awards. When they turn the page in 2023, the Aces will open the season vs. the Seattle Storm.