The 2023 WNBA Finals were billed as a battle of the titans between the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty. But in the end, only one team lived up to the superteam label.
The Liberty assembled a superstar lineup in the offseason, signing Breanna Stewart and Courtney Vandersloot and trading for Jonquel Jones. The Aces, meanwhile, added Candace Parker – though they went without the injured star for the latter half of the season.
In the end, the Aces came out on top, winning a second consecutive WNBA title. Las Vegas won the first title in franchise history in 2022 with much the same lineup.
“This group has been through so much. But it’s here,” Aces guard Kelsey Plum said. “And there was a lot of years that we weren’t so super. But you can’t build a superteam in a couple of months. It takes years.”
Plum also questioned New York’s team mentality, not just its superteam credentials.
“We also knew that, as much as they’re a team, they’re not a team, if that makes sense,” she told Yahoo Sports. “They’re really good individual players, but they don’t care about each other. And you can tell in those moments. They revert back to individual basketball.”
For Las Vegas, the road back to the championship wasn’t an easy one. Injuries left the team depleted for Game 4 of the Finals, but in the end, there wasn’t anything that could keep the Aces from back-to-back championships.
“This is a moment that we need to celebrate,” Finals MVP A’ja Wilson said. “Not a lot of people get a chance to do it, and for us to do it short-handed is truly amazing. It just makes this win that much better.
“I’m going to get choked up … This s— wasn’t easy.”
Winning one title isn’t easy. Winning consecutive titles is even harder.
“This one’s sweeter,” head coach Becky Hammon said after the series-clinching win. “It just is. It’s harder to do.”
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