Bragging About Past Coaching Credentials, Stephen A Smith Evokes His Inner Fanboy for Rooting Against A’ja Wilson and the Aces: “Got Love for Her but… New York Is Desperate”

Published 10/07/2023, 8:45 AM EDT

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The Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty are prepared to square off in a championship title matchup that has WNBA fans on the edge of their seats. Featuring some of the league’s most electric talent, this exciting game promises to be a ‘superteam’ showdown for the ages. The reigning champions, the Las Vegas Aces, are no strangers to success. Meanwhile, on the other side of the court, the New York Liberty led by MVP Breanna Stewart have been making noise after a 21-year hiatus from the Finals. With stakes at an all-time high, this matchup is surely one to watch.

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Recently, bragging about his past coaching credentials, Stephen A. Smith evoked his inner fanboy for rooting against A’ja Wilson and the Aces.

Stephen A. Smith makes his pick


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The Las Vegas Aces battled through the regular season in Sin City style, notching a record 34 victories despite suffering injuries and losing MVP Candace Parker from the roster. The Most Valuable Player from the previous season, A’ja Wilson, swept the playoffs with astounding averages of 25.8 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. Despite losing the MVP battle this year, she remains adamant about maintaining the championship trophy in Las Vegas, following their WNBA Championship last year.

As for the Liberty, Stewart’s outstanding leadership has brought the Liberty to the Finals, fulfilling the ‘superteam’ forecast. If the Liberty does win the WNBA championship, they will be taking home their first-ever championship since the founding of the team.


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The Aces-Liberty matchup is just the kind of spectacle that fans have been waiting for, especially after the WNBA’s most-watched regular season in almost 20 years. Many predicted that it would be the ‘superteams’ clashing in the WNBA Finals. Even Stephen A. Smith is hyped, and he has thrown his support behind the Liberty!

Appearing on ESPN’s ‘First Take,’ Smith said, “I’m going with the Liberty for the upset. New York has been starving for a championship. This is the best shot that we’ve had in lord knows how long.

“A’ja Wilson. that’s my girl, you know the level of affection I’ve got for her. Because I was coaching an NBA All-Star Celebrity game years ago when Mike Wilbon collaborated with the NBA. And they cheated by giving him a bunch of ringers from Chicago to beat my team. But A’ja stepped up and she tried to handle the business for me. I got love for her. But that’s the one team the Aces have had a problem with this year… Ionescu and her crew, the Liberty. And I’m of the mindset, that the Liberty gonna pull an upset. They gon’ win the WNBA championship this year, I’m rolling with that.

New York is desperate, we’ll take whatever we can get.”

“New York stand up, that’s right,” he stated.

While the WNBA showdown is as exciting as it is, the Stewart-Wilson ‘rivalry’ takes the fever surrounding the WNBA Finals to a whole new level.

A’ja Wilson vs. Breanna Stewart: Who will lead their team to a championship title?


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A legendary rivalry is developing in the realm of women’s basketball, similar to the ones that made the NBA so popular — LeBron vs. Curry, Magic vs. Bird. A’Ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart, two WNBA titans, will square off in a best-of-five series kicking off this Sunday. With four of the previous six MVP titles shared between them, these two incredible athletes have dominated the WNBA. Three of their last four postseasons’ on-court encounters have merely fanned the flames.

The spotlight couldn’t shine any brighter on the WNBA’s outstanding players as they compete now on the biggest platform. Wilson’s postseason play has been nothing less than outstanding; she has averaged a staggering 25.8 points on 59.5% shooting, 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. Even when playing Stewart’s team, her effectiveness has been unrivaled, yet the Liberty has been able to win three of their four meetings this season. A’ja Wilson must step up for her team if the Las Vegas Aces are to successfully defend their crown.

Watch This Story: Making the MVP Shout Louder, A’ja Wilson Lauds 30YO Teammate After Special WNBA Playoff Achievement


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On the other hand, Breanna Stewart will be the key player for the New York Liberty as they attempt to win their first title. Stewart, who won this year’s MVP award for the regular season, is under tremendous pressure to live up to her laurels. Despite having a stronger roster than other teams, Stewart’s performance will be crucial if they are to win the WNBA championship this year.

All eyes will be on A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart during the WNBA Finals as these two superstars compete for the ultimate honor. With Stephen A. Smith rooting for the Liberty, this WNBA title matchup is definitely one to look out for!



Written by:

Ranjitha Ramesh


One take at a time

Ranjitha Ramesh is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Ranjitha has a strong foundation in reporting and writing. Her passion for basketball, particularly the Lakers and LeBron James, fuels her desire to delve into the lifestyle and off-court activities of NBA stars.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor




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