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The Nevada Independent

Las Vegas Aces: ‘Best fans in the world’ celebrate second consecutive WNBA championship

Fans say they are drawn to the team’s ‘sisterhood’ and chemistry, and want the Aces to get the same support as the city’s men’s professional teams.
Naoka Foreman
Naoka Foreman
CommunitySports
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The Las Vegas Aces brought their second consecutive WNBA championship trophy home to the Las Vegas Strip on Monday, celebrating with people they called “the best fans in the world” with a parade, speeches from players and performances from artists such as R&B singer Tank and Grammy award-winning rapper 2Chainz. 

The festivities in Toshiba Plaza came after the team defeated the New York Liberty 70-69 in a nail-biting game last Wednesday, making the Aces the first team in two decades to dominate the WNBA with back-to-back championship wins. 

Tyler Roberson, 35, said he brought his 5-year-old daughter, Sadie Roberson, out to the celebration after he and his wife brought her to games throughout the season, hoping that female representation on the basketball court would become a source of empowerment for her. He also wants to surround her with champions.

“I want to instill in her at a young age that ​​she can do anything she puts her mind to,” Roberson said.

The event brought out public officials including Las Vegas Raiders president Sandra Douglass Morgan, North Las Vegas Mayor Pamela Goynes-Brown and former Gov. Steve Sisolak, who rode on a double decker bus and tossed beaded necklaces and T-shirts to the crowd. Most players — along with Aces Head Coach Becky Hammon and team President Nikki Fargas — gave a speech.

Las Vegas Aces fans Tyler Roberson, 35, and his daughter Sadie Roberson, 5, during the back-to-back WNBA championship celebration at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

“A lot of people doubted us in game three … because we lost two [starters],” said MVP A’ja Wilson. “But we have a mighty, mighty bench squad.”

Fans lauded the chemistry between Aces players, which one fan compared to the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s.

“They kept winning the championship,” said Marcia Malcom, 64, who hails from the Windy City. “That’s what this [moment] reminded me of and I wanted to be here.”

After watching a single Aces game this season, Malcom said she was hooked — crediting player Chelsea Gray and the “sisterhood” between the team members as the reason she loves to attend games with her two grandsons and friends. 

Las Vegas Aces fans Marcia Malcom, 64, center, and Brenda Reed, 65, right, during the back-to-back WNBA championship celebration at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

“Her three-pointers,” Malcom said of Gray. “She got me. She got me right here [in the heart].”

She said she believes the Aces are building an “unbeatable team.”

Parade attendee Tawny Fields, 45, said she attended most of the home games this season and loves the team because of the players’ camaraderie. Fields is a U.S. Army veteran and former basketball player who played guard during Cimarron-Memorial High School's first year.

She said she would like the Aces to receive as much recognition from city leaders as the Las Vegas Raiders and Vegas Golden Knights. In 2022, the Aces became the first major professional sports team to bring home a championship in Nevada. 

“We were the first champions in Vegas, yet we didn’t get a jersey on the Statue of Liberty until now,” she said. “But I see now they corrected the problem.”

Las Vegas Aces forward Alysha Clark carries the trophy during the back-to-back WNBA championship celebration at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Fans gather for the Las Vegas Aces back-to-back WNBA championship celebration at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Las Vegas Aces ride a VIP bus during the back-to-back WNBA championship celebration at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Fans celebrate during the Las Vegas Aces back-to-back WNBA championship event at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum throws confetti during their back-to-back WNBA championship celebration at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon enjoy the moment during the back-to-back WNBA championship celebration at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
Confetti drops on fans during Las Vegas Aces back-to-back WNBA championship celebration at Toshiba Plaza on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)
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