An anonymous WNBA poll discovered that almost 27% of WNBA players want to play for the Las Vegas Aces.
The poll — which was created by The Athletic as part of its WNBA Confidential series — asked about one-third of active WNBA players this question: "Which organization would you most like to play for?" The Aces were the overwhelming winner, securing 26.7% of votes. After Las Vegas, "Other" received the second-most votes (23.3%), followed by the Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks each with 20% of votes, then the New York Liberty and Chicago Sky with 10% of votes each.
It's no surprise that the Aces are the WNBA's premier destination. Not only did they win last season's WNBA championship and have the league's most popular head coach, they also are the league's top team heading into this year's playoffs and recently opened a $40 million, 64,000-square-foot practice facility that includes two courts, hot and cold pools, a sauna, a nutrition bar and a TV and mini computer at each player's locker.
Another question polled by The Athletic was: "Which coach would you most like to play for?" The top pick — 31% — was Becky Hammon, the Aces' head coach and 2022 WNBA Coach of the Year. When asked why they'd want to play for Hammon, players responded with, "It seems like a lot of [Hammon's] players, no matter who is out there, are very confident," "I think [Hammon's] pretty dope. I think she lets her players play pretty free," and "Becky is the top of the top."
After Hammond, "Other" received the second-most votes (21.8%), followed by a tie between Atlanta Dream head coach Tanisha Wright and New York Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello (13.8%). After them, the Connecticut Sun's Stephanie White and the Los Angeles Sparks' Curt Miller each received 10.3% of votes.
The third and final question asked by The Athletic was: "Would you prefer team expansion or more roster spots?" To that, 58.1% of players responded with roster spots, while the other 41.9% preferred team expansion. Some players who answered in favor of expanded team rosters noted that the WNBA should "develop from within" and improve the current franchises before expanding into new markets. Of those who wanted to prioritize expansion, a main reason was that doing so would grow the game, which would ultimately be best for current — and future — players.
If a team manages to topple the Las Vegas Aces in this year's playoffs (to start Sept. 13), perhaps that team will be the WNBA's preferred destination next year — although a TV and mini computer at each player's locker will still be tough to beat.
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