Bill Laimbeer says Las Vegas Aces need to be mentally tougher


The Las Vegas Aces fell short of the WNBA Finals, losing to the Phoenix Mercury 87-84 in Game 5 of semis. The team was a heavy favorite to contend for the title after finishing the season 24-8 and sending six players to the Tokyo Olympics.

Even with the team’s embarrassment of riches, the Aces were no match for the Diana Taurasi-led Mercury.

“They have two outstanding mentally strong players,” Las Vegas coach Bill Laimbeer said following the loss, referring to Taurasi and Brittney Griner. “We need to acquire that trait.”

Ultimately, Laimbeer says, he hopes the semifinals defeat serves as a learning experience for the Aces. Leadership is something Laimbeer admits the team “has consistently lacked throughout the course of the year.”

The Mercury now advances to the WNBA Finals, facing the Chicago Sky, who have an undeniable leader in Candace Parker. The series kicks off with Game 1 on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.