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Kelsey Plum criticizes WNBA for ‘poor process’ of Aces investigation

Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon has been suspended for the first two games of the 2023 WNBA season, but Kelsey Plum has taken issue with the investigation. (Richie Banks/NBAE via Getty Images)

Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum criticized the WNBA for the way it conducted its investigation of the team in the wake of Dearica Hamby’s claims of misconduct.

The WNBA penalized the Aces as a result of the investigation, suspending head coach Becky Hammon for two games to start the season and rescinding the Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick. But Hammon, the Aces and the WNBPA have expressed dissatisfaction with the results; Hammon called Hamby’s claims “completely false,” while the players association called the penalties “far from appropriate” and pledged its continued support for Hamby.

Speaking as the first vice president of the WNBPA, Plum noted that her job “is to represent the players,” which puts her in an interesting position as she also is a starter for the Aces.

“My job is to represent the players, and that’s the totality of everyone,” she said. “It’s amazing when verdicts come back and no one is happy, and I think that just shows a poor level of leadership and a poor process on the investigation.”

The WNBA investigation was conducted by two former prosecutors, one from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and one from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The investigators interviewed everyone who they thought would have relevant information, including people suggested by the players association, but the Aces declined to recommend any potential interviewees.

Other Aces players expressed their support for Hammon after the league handed down its penalties.

“I know a number of us players have reached out and just been like, ‘We love you. We care about you. And we’re going to represent you in the best way that we can,’” Candace Parker said.

Reigning league MVP A’ja Wilson called the suspension “unfortunate.”

“But at the end of the day, we have to make sure that we’re performing and doing what we need to do on the court,” she continued. “We’re for Becky. We’re for anyone that’s for us. We’re going to play for her, no matter what. It’s going to be tough to be without her those couple games, but we still have to go out there and be us, through and through.”