NEW YORK — The brewing rivalry between Kelsey Plum of the Las Vegas Aces and the Liberty is making headlines. Plum, who just secured her second consecutive WNBA championship, made some controversial remarks about the Liberty’s lack of team cohesion and care for each other immediately following Game 4 of the Finals at the Barclays Center.
Naturally, the Liberty players and staff were quick to respond. During their end-of-season exit meeting at the Barclays Center on Friday, star player Jonquel Jones had the strongest reaction. “She’s not in our locker room. She doesn’t know what goes on in our huddles and in our huddles. I think it’s easy to kick people when they’re down and you’re up,” Jones asserted. She went on to express her disappointment, calling Plum’s comments “classless” and emphasizing the lack of empathy shown by the Aces.
Sabrina Ionescu, another Liberty player, echoed Jones’ sentiments, stating, “That couldn’t be further from the truth. I believe that I’ve never been on a team that’s been more committed to one another than what it’s been like this year.”
Plum’s provocative remarks came less than 48 hours after her team’s victory celebration for the second consecutive WNBA title. She was attempting to explain the Aces’ resilience throughout the season to Yahoo Sports’ Cassandra Negley. Plum stated, “We knew we had to just keep chipping away, keep getting stops, keep getting rebounds, space the floor and people made good plays. But we were a team. And that’s been all year.”
In response to the backlash on social media, Plum clarified her comments and offered an apology. “What I said was taken extremely out of context. I was trying to articulate that my teammates and I have been through a lot and we used our bond to overcome challenges,” Plum clarified on X. “I see how it came off, never was my intention and I apologize.”
The Liberty’s general manager, Jonathan Kolb, spoke during the exit meetings and took the high road in addressing Plum’s statements. “I do believe her words were taken a bit out of context, to be fair to her,” Kolb commented. He acknowledged Plum’s accomplishments and empathized with the Aces’ struggles in past seasons.
Rachel Adams is your WNBA insider, delivering comprehensive coverage of women’s basketball. With a commitment to highlighting the talent and achievements of WNBA players, she provides game analysis, player profiles, and inspiring stories from the league.