Raiders’ Mark Davis among those saluting Aces’ first season

As the final seconds of their inaugural season filtered through the hourglass and the clock around Flavor Flav’s neck as he hip-hopped around courtside, it occurred to one longtime observer of Las Vegas’ pro sports scene that the WNBA’s Aces had lasted longer than the Posse of the Canadian Football League.

The Posse almost made it to the end of their only season in 1994. The team couldn’t make payroll and essentially folded ahead of its last game at Sam Boyd Stadium before the CFL wrote checks to save face.

The game was moved to Edmonton at short such notice that Eskimos fans who had chartered flights to Las Vegas couldn’t cancel. So a bunch of people wearing green and gold toques wound up watching the game on a special feed pumped into a ballroom at the old Imperial Palace after truckloads of Labatt’s Blue were pumped in first.

To no one’s surprise, Aces coach Bill Laimbeer didn’t mention any of this during his postgame news conference.

“Off the court, I think we established our fan base,” said Laimbeer, the baddest of the Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boys as an NBA player. “I think we have a very proud fan base that’s growing.”

After he thanked MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay for creating a raucous game-day experience, Laimbeer also thanked the media. So like the Posse’s demise, there also was a surreal aspect to the Aces’ finale.

There was a pro football element to it, too.

Davis comes up Aces

The Aces gathered at center court to salute the 5,737 who showed up for a meaningless game but cheered as if it were Game 5 of the WNBA Finals. Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” was played over the public address system.

Aces point guard Kelsey Plum fired a T-shirt in the general direction of where a familiar face with an even more familiar dutch boy haircut was standing and cheering.

During the game, Mark Davis had been sitting in the Aces’ version of UNLV’s Gucci Row.

Whereas the Lakers of the Showtime era had Jack Nicholson and Dyan Cannon and the Knicks still have Spike Lee, the Aces have the owner of the NFL’s soon to be Las Vegas Raiders on their A list of spectators. Only Davis didn’t engage the Atlanta players in verbal sparring the way Lee would with the Pacers’ Reggie Miller back in the day.

“First off, I love women’s basketball,” Davis said of becoming a regular at Aces games. “(The women) are fantastic. I’ve watched them for so many years (but) they’re getting so much better now.

“This team has been really exciting. They got off to a slow start but they picked it up and ended up giving it a good run.”

Women’s pro basketball games that start at 3 p.m. on Sunday leave plenty of time for the business of pro football. But you usually don’t see Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sitting out in the open and posing for selfies and interacting with fans wearing pro football T-shirts who charge down from the cheap seats during timeouts at Dallas Wings’ games.

When the Wings honored women’s basketball trailblazer Nancy Lieberman of the old Dallas Diamonds, Jones sent a video greeting. DallasNews.com filed it under “Other” among the sports stories on its website.

Uniform appeal

“What they’ve done is just fantastic,” Davis said as Aces fans finally started heading for the exits. “We look to them as our sisters in bringing professional sports to the area and we’re just excited to be a part of it.”

And here you thought it was only about the uniforms.

The Aces’ primary colors of silver and black mirror those of the Raiders. But as Davis pointed out, the Aces have added gold accents to create their own identity, or perhaps cherry pick the one their NHL brothers engendered during their wildy successful debut season in Las Vegas.

“They added a little gold that brings the Knights into it,” Davis said. “But it’s still silver, black and gold, so yeah.”

Long after Kelsey Plum and her teammates had flung commemorative T-shirts into the stands, supporters of women’s professional basketball still were milling about them with smiles on their faces.

The Aces did not make the playoffs but their inaugural season had been a success. There was no need to switch the season finale to Atlanta. Unlike the 55-yard line and Edmonton Eskimos fans and the Imperial Palace, the Aces will be back.

More Aces: Follow all of our Aces coverage online at reviewjournal.com/aces and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Retractable Field Update - VIDEO
Much like the Arizona Cardinals field, the Raiders will also be playing on a field tray that can be retracted in order to maintain real grass. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Las Vegas Review- Journal reporter Rick Velotta discuss the latest updates regrading the Las Vegas Stadium as well as the groundbreaking of the Raiders headquarters in Henderson.
Raiders Henderson Practice Facility Render - VIDEO
Video of the Raiders practice facility that will be built in Henderson Nevada.
Raiders Headquarters Groundbreaking Ceremony - VIDEO
The Raiders make Henderson their new home with a groundbreaking ceremony. Derek Carr and many other players past a present came together to celebrate the new location. Cassie Soto and Ed Graney report from Henderson, Nevada.
Former Raider James Harris says fans will follow the team "to the moon" - VIDEO
The Oakland Raiders will play in Las Vegas when their team's move is completed in 2020. Former Raiders' defensive end and Las Vegan, James Harris, says fans will follow and support the team "to the moon".
Jim Plunkett on the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, changes under Gruden
At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Raiders new headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, former quarterback Jim Plunkett gave his thoughts on the new facility, the team's move to Las Vegas and what the future holds for the team with head coach Jon Gruden.
JT The Brick says where he thinks the Raiders should play in 2019
At the Raiders headquarters groundbreaking ceremony in Henderson, Nevada, radio host J.T. The Brick gave his take on where he thinks the team should play in 2019 and provided his thoughts on their three, first-round draft picks and more.
Raiders Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony For Henderson Practice Facility
The Raiders hold a groundbreaking ceremony in Henderson for the new practice facility for the teams move to Las Vegas.
A quick look at the Raiders HQ in Henderson
The Raiders held a groundbreaking ceremony for their Las Vegas headquarters, which is based in Henderson, on Monday, Jan. 14th.
Designers of Raiders Field Learn Lessons from Cardinals
The retractable grass in the future home of the Raiders will look largely like an updated and improved version of the field tray system used at State Farm Stadium, home of the Phoenix Cardinals. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Mahomes Throws his 50th TD in Victory over the Raiders
The Oakland Raiders lose the last game of the season to the Kansas City Chiefs 35-3. Pat Mahomes throws his 50th touchdown and the Chiefs take first place in the division. Cassie Soto is in studio and Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Kansas City.
Raiders look ahead to next season after loss to Chiefs
After the Oakland Raiders' 35-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, players analyze their play and look ahead to what they can do better in the next season.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hire Mike Mayock as new GM
Raiders beat reporter describes newly-hired general manager's opening press conference.
Vegas Nation: Players receive signing bonuses
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains why four players received roster bonuses and what that means for their respective futures on the roster.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Will the Raiders play in Oakland next season?
The Raiders get an emotional win against the Denver Broncos. The game was potentially the Raiders last time playing in the colosseum due to a lawsuit from the city of Oakland. Elaine Wilson and Ed Graney go over the Raider Nation reaction to the game an news.
Vegas Nation: Miller and Parker draw praise
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken takes a look at Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker's Monday Night Football performance against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Raiders to face Chiefs in season finale
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes how the team is doing after their emotional win over the Denver Broncos, and how they're preparing for the last game of the year in Kansas City.
Raiders Win Emotional Game Against Broncos - Vegas Nation
The Oakland Raiders win their Monday Night football game against the Denver Broncos. This game is potentially the last time the Raiders will play in Oakland before coming to Las Vegas. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney go over the emotional win.
Carr, Gruden reflect on what could be the last game played in Oakland
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr comment on what could be the the last home game the team played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Raiders locker room after victory over Broncos
Raiders players Jalen Richard, Lee Smith, Karl Joseph, and Erik Harris react to defeating the Denver Broncos in what could be the final game at the Oakland Coliseum.
Raiders fans react to possible final game in Oakland
Raiders fans from around the country respond to the team potentially playing their final game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum prior to Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold final practice before MNF
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes the trouble Von Miller and Bradley Chubb bring to the Raiders offensive line, as well as who's questionable for Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: McCarron returns to practice
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports that back up quarterback AJ McCarron returned to practice on Friday following the birth of his son.
Vegas Nation: Nathan Peterman practices with Raiders
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken unveils the reaction Jon Gruden received after signing quarterback Nathan Peterman to the practice squad.
Vegas Nation Mailbag - December 19, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Ed Graney go over all burning Vegas Nation Raiders questions
Vegas Nation: Raiders prepare for potential final game in Oakland
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports on how Christmas Eve could be the final game in Oakland for the Raiders, and how Jon Gruden will handle it with himself and the players.
RJ columnist Ed Graney goes in-depth to find out if an NFL team would have success in London
While London's Cray Wanderers may be the one of the oldest football clubs in the world, could an NFL team have the same success overseas? (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal @HeidiFang)
Raiders Fall To Bengals 30-16 - Vegas Nation
Raiders fall to the Cincinnati Bengals 30-16. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken recap the loss.
Raiders players on the team's loss to the Bengals
Raiders running back Doug Martin and tight end Darren Waller discuss their performances against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gruden and Carr share positive outlook on remaining games
After suffering a 30-16 loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr think the team can still finish the season strong.
NFL Draft Coming to Las Vegas in 2020 - Vegas Nation
The NFL Draft has been awarded to Las Vegas in 2020 as the Raiders move in. Michael Gehlken discusses what this means for the the city and the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Osemele, Jackson miss practice on Thursday
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains the injuries to offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson, and who the Raiders have signed to the offensive line in response to those injuries.
Raiders vs Bengals Preview - Vegas Nation Mailbag
The Oakland Raiders will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Vegas Nation Mailbag host Elaine Emerson and sports columnist Ed Graney answer all of Raider Nation's burning questions about the upcoming game.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like