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Mark Davis chooses Aces over Raiders on Sunday

Updated September 18, 2022 - 12:00 pm

Mark Davis knew the schedules and what he would do if a decision needed to be made.

It has been.

Davis, who owns the Raiders and Aces, said he will be in Connecticut on Sunday for Game 4 of the WNBA Finals between his team and the Sun. Tipoff is 1 p.m. PDT.

The Aces lead the best-of-five series 2-1 and can become the first major league professional sports franchise in Las Vegas history to win a championship.

Meanwhile, the Raiders host the Arizona Cardinals in a 1:25 p.m. kickoff at Allegiant Stadium.

“I knew if it was a potentially (series-) deciding game, I would be with the Aces,” said Davis, who also attended Game 3 at Mohegan Sun Arena, a 105-76 Connecticut win on Thursday.

Davis had a similar decision to make Sept. 11, when the Aces hosted Game 1 of the finals and the Raiders opened their season at the Los Angeles Chargers.

In that scenario, he chose to attend the football game, the first for Josh McDaniels as Raiders coach.

The Chargers won 24-19.

The Aces would win their series opener.

“It’s funny,” Davis said. “I told everybody I didn’t want to know about the basketball game because I was there for football, and I’d learn about the basketball score in due time. I didn’t want to think about it because I get so emotionally invested. But then someone said, ‘Hey, man, the Aces are up four with two minutes left.’ I was like, ‘Oh, come on!’

“It’s the exact opposite this week. I’ll be 100 percent into the basketball game. I won’t be worried about the football game until the basketball game is over.”

Davis returned to Las Vegas after Game 3 and was planning to attend the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin title fight Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena before returning to Connecticut.

The Raiders won their last of three Super Bowls in the 1983 season, a now four-decade span not lost on Davis when thinking about what it means to win a championship.

“We went back to the Super Bowl (in 2003) and got blown out and haven’t sniffed one since,” he said. “I know how hard it is. Even though (the Aces) are up 2-1, I’m not counting any chickens. You have to go do it. But when you do, it’s so rewarding. If the Aces can do this — be the first major league professional team in Las Vegas — I’d be very proud of that. It would be a statement that would last forever.

“This has never been a hobby for me. We’re looking for success on and off the court, and we’re making progress in both endeavors. This is very important to me. I’ve said it before — these women are the greatest athletes in the world at what they do. It’s really good basketball, and we have some of the greatest fans in the world.”

He isn’t surprised at the latter and that Games 1 and 2 sold out Michelob Ultra Arena.

“You can hear it in the fans’ voices,” Davis said. “They’re also emotionally invested. It’s not just about being there. The women on the court feel that.

“We have the opportunity to claim a championship Sunday. That’s very exciting. We’re on the brink. Just close the deal. Just win.”

He’ll be there. The decision has been made.

Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

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