Was Alyssa Thomas Robbed of the MVP Award?
On Tuesday, September 26, the WNBA announced that Breanna Stewart won the race for the MVP award. Breanna Stewart had a spectacular season with the New York Liberty, averaging 23 points and 9.3 rebounds a game. She had quite a few games where she would put up 35 or more points this season. By being named the MVP of this season, Stewart also made history as the first player of the New York Liberty to be named MVP.
A'ja Wilson, one of the frontrunners of the MVP award, averaged 22.8 points and 9.5 rebounds a game this season. She finished third in overall votes for MVP. Many people were campaigning for A'ja to win the MVP award, especially after A'ja won Defensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row.
However, there has been one player who made a case for MVP that has not gotten as much recognition as A'ja Wilson or Breanna Stewart; that player is Alyssa Thomas.
Alyssa Thomas, who averaged 15.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 7.9 assists this season, was also a frontrunner for the MVP award this season. The voting numbers also show that more voters selected Thomas for first place than Stewart or Wilson, but Stewart was able to rack up second-place votes, and that was how she was able to win MVP.
So, was Alyssa Thomas robbed of the MVP award? One main factor is what team Thomas plays for. Thomas plays for the smaller-market Connecticut Sun, located in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Sun are one of the stronger teams in the league talent-wise, but this season, they have not been pushed as heavily as some of the other teams have. Some teams, such as the Las Vegas Aces or New York Liberty (which A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart play for, respectively) have been pushed by the league as the new superteams of the WNBA.
Alyssa Thomas set a record this season by putting up five triple-doubles in the regular season. She has nine triple-doubles throughout her career. She has also played a pivotal part in her team's success this season. The Sun has had a difficult road to the playoffs this season, starting with one of their star players, Brionna Jones to an Achilles tear, which ruled her out for the rest of the season. This dealt a heavy blow to the Sun's presence in the post, but Alyssa Thomas stepped up for her team, by averaging almost ten rebounds a game for the Sun.
One shocking fact, however, is that the Connecticut Sun did not defeat the New York Liberty once during the regular season. Alyssa Thomas and the Sun break through against the Liberty until Game 1 of the WNBA semifinals. However, this has not stopped the Sun's success this season. They earned a third seed in the postseason with a 27-13 record in the regular season.
A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart are on teams that are loaded with power. Thomas' team, however, does have power, but not as much as teams such as the Liberty or the Aces. Alyssa Thomas has had the most impact on her team this season. A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart have as well, but their teams have other players who can step up and help the team out if they are injured or just not having a good game. The Sun, however, does not really have that luxury. Alyssa Thomas is the most valuable player on her team.