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With New $1M Coach, Aces Poised for 1st WNBA Title

  • The Aces tip off Becky Hammon’s highly anticipated first WNBA season against the Mercury on Friday.
  • There's no shortage of expectations: Las Vegas (+350) is the favorite to win the 2022 WNBA title.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The city of Las Vegas has yet to win a title since the Golden Knights became the first pro team to move there in 2017 — but behind new coach Becky Hammon, the Aces should give Nevadans renewed hope.

The Aces tip off Hammon’s highly anticipated first WNBA season against the Phoenix Mercury on Friday — and there’s no shortage of expectations for the 2020 Finals runners-up.

An assistant coach for eight years with Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs, Hammon brings championship pedigree to the team with the league’s fourth-highest payroll ($1.2M)

  • Hammon became the first WNBA coach to earn a $1 million salary.
  • She was the first woman to ever coach an NBA game after Popovich was ejected in Dec. 2020.
  • The Aces lost All-Star center Liz Cambage, but re-signed 2020 MVP A’ja Wilson (2 YRs, $398,000).

Of course, Hammon’s $1 million contract came with plenty of controversy — she makes almost as much as the entire team’s payroll. The WNBA felt the high salary was a step in the right direction, but Cambage slammed the deal in light of how poorly players are paid.

But ultimately, the Aces spent well, forming one of the toughest backcourts in the league with Kelsey Plum ($196,267) and Chelsea Gray ($180,250). 

With Wilson re-upping and Hammon at the helm, Vegas might finally raise its first banner — the Aces (+350) are favorites to win the 2022 WNBA title.

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