Sabrina Ionescu, Jonquel Jones respond to ‘classless’ comments by Aces’ Kelsey Plum about Liberty

Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum said earlier this week, after her team’s 2023 WNBA Finals win over the Liberty, that New York is “not a team” and the players “don’t care about each other.”

Sabrina Ionescu and Jonquel Jones responded during Friday’s exit interviews.

“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Ionescu said. “I believe that I’ve never been on a team that’s been more committed to one another than what has been like this year. We had players from all over come together in such a short amount of time and commit to one another — commit to role changes — to try to win. And for a team as a new as we were with so many different role changes to come in and be in the Finals is unheard of.

“So, obviously, people are going to say what they want. But I believe, us, as a core, understand the commitment that we had to each other to get to this point. And I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else, and I’m so excited that we had the team that we did and we bought into one another, because it’s tough to get to this point. … So I think it’s not losing sight of that part of the struggle – that’s part of figuring out what it takes to get on top.”

Jones called Plum’s comments “classless.”

“She’s not in our locker room,” Jones said. “She doesn’t know what goes on in our locker room. … I think it’s easy to kick people when they’re down and you’re up. And, honestly and truly, to me, it felt kind of classless. You won a championship. You get to celebrate. You get to talk about things that your team did to be successful. But you choose to, essentially, s–t on somebody else.”

Plum took to social media after the quote from Jones made the rounds.

“Since the media wants to do click bait, imma cut this drama out right now so we can move on and be in peace,” Plum wrote. “What I said was taken extremely out of context. I was trying to articulate my teammates and I have been through a lot and we used our bond to get over the hump.

“And getting through it doesn’t happen over night. Never been the type to throw shade, quite the opposite actually. I see how it came off, never was my intention and I apologize. Our game grew immensely from this series, don’t let this bull s–t detract from the biggest win here.”

The Liberty, after finishing the regular season at 32-8 behind the 34-6 Aces, won playoff series against the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun before losing to Las Vegas in four games of a five-game set in the Finals.

“They’re really good individual players, but they don’t care about each other,” Plum originally said, in part. “And you can tell in those moments. They revert back to individual basketball.

“So 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.”


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