Thursday September 28, 2023

WNBA’s Reigning MVP Says Owners Need To Do More for Players

  • Las Vegas Aces star A'ja Wilson calls on WNBA owners to invest more in players.
  • Wilson believes better practice facilities, more chartered flights can help the league grow.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Reigning WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson wants owners to step up financial investments in their teams ahead of this weekend’s All-Star festivities in Las Vegas, where the Aces star is a team captain.

“We have to sometimes look owners in the face and tell them to make a decision,” Wilson told Front Office Sports. “Either you’re going to give us your all and your team and go from there, or get someone in that really, actually cares.”

WNBA teams are still limited with regard to chartered flights, despite this year’s expanded program — Wilson’s Aces were even fined for breaking travel rules. Wilson says she feels blessed that Aces owner Mark Davis “wants us to be able to feel and be professional athletes, and he’s treated us as such.” 

The Aces have the only practice facility dedicated solely to a WNBA team — a disparity other players have noticed.

“People kind of hunt at the league, obviously, because that’s the easy target,” Wilson said. “But at some point, you’ve got to start looking at owners.”

New Money

Wilson — a brand ambassador for All-Star Game title sponsor AT&T, which helps promote her candle business — said she believes more corporate investment in the WNBA also would help achieve players’ individual goals. “The biggest thing is just diving into more than just the athlete of who we are,” she said.

Additional revenue could also lead to expanded rosters or new teams — a topic Wilson said she feels the WNBA isn’t ready to address until it’s 144 players are in a better collective position.

“I would love to expand our league,” Wilson said. “But at the same time, I think we need to take care of the ones that are in it right now, before we really start to expand.”

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