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