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Dawn Staley, Alex Morgan add to 2023 WNBA MVP reactions

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Las Vegas Aces star A'ja Wilson played for Dawn Staley at South Carolina from 2014-18. (Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)

The announcement of the 2023 WNBA MVP award, won by New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart, elicited a flood of reactions on social media.

Stewart won the award with 446 points, but received fewer first-place votes than runner-up Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun. Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson finished in third place.

Dawn Staley, who coached Wilson at South Carolina, congratulated Stewart on her victory and Thomas on her historic season. But she had harsh words for one voter, who put Aces guard Chelsea Gray in third place on the ballot over Wilson.

“To the fourth place voter, your hate is real and on display,” Staley wrote on X.

U.S. women’s national team and San Diego Wave star Alex Morgan also complimented Stewart.

Several WNBA players and members of the media called out the voting process. Each voter on a national panel of 60 sportswriters and broadcasters listed their top five candidates, with the No. 1 player on each ballot receiving 10 points. Each subsequent spot on the ballot received fewer points, from seven for a second-place vote down to one for a fifth-place vote.

 

Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud wanted to see members of the voting panel stand behind their choices. Voters can reveal their ballots, but they are not required to do so.

Cloud already had slammed the WNBA awards voting process after being shut out for the All-Defensive Team selections, writing in a since-deleted post: “Voting for this league is a joke.”

Meanwhile, Indiana Fever rookie Aliyah Boston joked about her own MVP prospects. The former South Carolina star appeared on one MVP ballot, receiving a single point for a fifth-place vote, but she remains the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award.

“I’m almost there don’t play,” she wrote on X.