An inside look at A’Ja Wilson, Dearica Hamby and the most fun team in the WNBA

An inside look at A'Ja Wilson, Dearica Hamby and the most fun team in the WNBA
Las Vegas Aces star forwards, from left, Dearica Hamby and A’Ja Wilson pose during a post-practice press conference. (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

As practice winds down, staff members roll out a Las Vegas Aces-themed cake onto the court.

The team gathers as head coach Becky Hammon takes a look front-and-center.

Players begin singing “Happy Birthday,” before slices are cut and distributed throughout the team. Rookie Mya Hollingshed appears to be the most excited about the cake, as she receives a large chunk and places it on the sideline before jumping for joy and shaking her dreads while returning to the court to get a couple more shots up before leaving the gym.

The celebration made far too much sense until Hammon made a confession at the beginning of her media availability.

“It’s not my birthday,” she said. “I don’t know why they were singing it.”

The cake was to welcome first-year coach Hammon and general manager Natalie Williams to their new positions before the 2022 season got underway. Turning a welcome to the organization cake into an opportunity to sing “Happy Birthday” is just fitting for the same group that treats arena tunnels as full-blown supermodel runways, uses lost teammate keys as a chance to perform stand-up bits and has veteran guard Sydney Colson, who happens to also be an actual comedian.

“We have a fun team because each individual is a lot of fun to hang out with,” Hammon said, “but they know when to walk in here and get serious, and when they don’t I’ll let them know.”

An inside look at A'Ja Wilson, Dearica Hamby and the most fun team in the WNBA
Las Vegas Aces forward A’Ja Wilson talks to guard Jackie Young during practice. (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

The Aces are a team full of funny people, but the group still has one of the best units in the WNBA. Led by A’Ja Wilson, one of the faces of the WNBA, an extremely marketable superstar who recently appeared on LeBron James‘ “The Shop,” released the Cosmic Unity shoe under Nike during the offseason and appeared in a Saweetie music video. Dearica Hamby who is signed to the Jordan Brand balances motherhood while ascending to All-Star status on the floor and recently appearing on “Wild ‘N Out.”

Beyond that, four-time All-Star Chelsea Gray returns as the starting point guard to go with two spare No. 1 picks in 3-on-3 Olympians Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young. Las Vegas has boasted one of the deepest benches in the league consistently for years now, thanks to the talents of Hamby and Riquana Williams. This season, after losing star center Liz Cambage to the Los Angeles Sparks, the team enjoyed a quality draft night, adding the likes of Kierstan Bell and Khayla Pointer to the equation.

Las Vegas has knocked on the door of winning a title in recent seasons, and the quest to make 2022 the year of realizing that championship goal begins on the road at 10 p.m. ET. on May 6 against the Phoenix Mercury.

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