South Carolina Basketball: A'ja Wilson absurdly left off of award list

South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson (for some reason) was left off of the ballot for the People's Choice Athlete of the Year, despite Sabrina Ionescu making the cut.

Former South Carolina basketball star A'ja Wilson (now playing with the Las Vegas Aces) swatting the shot of New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu.
Former South Carolina basketball star A'ja Wilson (now playing with the Las Vegas Aces) swatting the shot of New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball legend A'ja Wilson is the best women's basketball player in the world. However, she was snubbed from the 2023 WNBA MVP award. She got her revenge by DOMINATING the WNBA Playoffs, including owning the one-sided matchup in the WNBA Finals against the player who won the MVP (Breanna Stewart).

Even with Wilson claiming the championship and the Finals MVP in obvious fashion and the women's basketball media world acknowledging their mistake of not giving out the regular season MVP honor to the deserving recipient, she still is not getting the respect she deserves.

The People's Choice Awards has released their lists of finalists for all of their 2023 awards. In "The Athlete" category, A'ja Wilson is conspicuously absent. With names like Stephen Curry, Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Travis Kelce, Simone Biles, and Coco Gauff on the list, not including Wilson is wrong but not unforgivable.

However, one name on the nomination list invalidates the entire voting. Sabrina Ionescu, a very good player in the WNBA, was nominated as one of the eight people eligible for voting for "The Athlete" People's Choice Award, but A'Ja Wilson was excluded.

Ionescu wasn't even a top-8 player in the WNBA this season, let alone a top-8 athlete across all sports. She didn't start the All-Star Game, and when A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart (the two captains for the game) were picking teams, Ionescu wasn't even the first player taken as a reserve by her Liberty teammate, Stewart.

None of this is meant as disrespect to Sabrina Ionescu who is a very good player. However, all of this is meant as disrespect to the People's Choice Award nomination process. There is no world in which A'ja Wilson should be left off a nomination list for the world's top athlete when another player in her league makes the cut. She is the best player in the world, and it is not particularly close.

Even other WNBA stars like Breanna Stewart and Alyssa Thomas would have belonged over Ionescu, but the fact that the league's top player (and, potentially, the sport's eventual GOAT) was left off? Absurd. Whoever the "people" are that made this "choice," well, they don't know ball.

The People's Choice Awards Show will be held on February 18th, but without Wilson nominated, South Carolina basketball fans have no real reason to watch.

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