A’ja Wilson told Las Vegas Aces fans to come to the team’s WNBA championship parade Tuesday ready to party, and they delivered.
The famed Las Vegas Strip provided the backdrop for the celebration. While city officials planned to shut down just the southbound lanes, so many people showed up that both sides were closed to traffic to accommodate them all.
“Las Vegas, I can’t thank you enough for how much you rallied behind myself and my teammates, we did this one for y’all,” Wilson said. “I’ve got some of the best teammates in the world. I mean that.”
The WNBA MVP told everyone after the Aces’ Finals-clinching win to come to the parade “four shots in,” and she played off that comment throughout the day, even wearing a T-shirt with four shot glasses on it.
Fans responded in kind, with one even holding up a sign.
Wilson started the party early, tweeting about needing to find Four Loko at 8 a.m. PT. Later in the day, she admitted to needing a nap and implied that the world was spinning.
Peep the shirt 😂@_ajawilson22 // #RaiseTheStakes pic.twitter.com/DyQ30SwzVp— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) September 21, 2022
Peep the shirt 😂@_ajawilson22 // #RaiseTheStakes pic.twitter.com/DyQ30SwzVp
🥃🥃🥃🥃 pic.twitter.com/Rq4IL8Yibi— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) September 21, 2022
The Aces’ title win made good on team president Nikki Fargas’ goal for the season, and gave the city its first championship parade since UNLV won the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 1990.
The team and the city provided a fitting celebration for the city’s first professional championship. But it won’t be the last if Kelsey Plum has anything to say about it.
“This is a long time coming,” she said. “I wanna let you guys know that this is just the beginning. We’re just getting started.”
yo we really shut the strip down!!!— Jackie Young (@JackieYoung3) September 21, 2022
yo we really shut the strip down!!!
Finals MVP Chelsea Gray echoed the sentiment.
“I got the best teammates and staff in the world,” she said. “I got the best family in the world. I’m so thankful for y’all. I’m so glad we won a chip for the city. Mark Davis the best owner in the world. We not done up in this thang.
“I see y’all next parade, you feel me?”
Davis opened the speeches by thanking the fans in attendance.
“I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it now, to the greatest fans in professional sports, Las Vegas, we are world champions,” he said. “It wasn’t an overnight journey. The WNBA and this franchise has been around for 26 years. Over the years, we’ve had alumni, fans, staff, coaches that helped build this organization to where it is today.”
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak honored the team by declaring the day Las Vegas Aces Day in the state.
“It is incredible; these women deserve it so much,” Sisolak said. “They’re great leaders on the court but off the court they’re an inspiration to every young person, especially young women who now know that if they can dream it, it can come true.”