July 23, 2019, Published on BleacherReport.com

The 6 a.m. flight from Vegas to New York is brutal. But Liz Cambage is trying to make light of it. The 6’8’’ All-Star center from Australia is seated window-side, in emergency row 19, which offers a bit of a relief in terms of leg room. Elbow room is another story. It’s a three-seater. Her teammate JiSu Park, a 6’5’’ center from South Korea, sits two seats over, sticking her white Fila sneakers out into the aisle. A woman with blond hair is sandwiched between the two. When the flight attendant asks if they are comfortable performing emergency-exit duties, Cambage belts out an enthusiastic, “Yasssssss.”

It’s the beginning of a four-game road trip. The beginning of a surge that will land them atop the
WNBA standings and among the favorites to win the title. That’s where everyone expects the Aces to be as the newest superteam. Head coach Bill Laimbeer, the former Detroit Pistons “Bad Boy” who coached the Detroit Shock to three WNBA titles, has given himself at least three years to lead the Aces to the title. (The team is now in the second year of its relocation from San Antonio.) As the flight takes off, Laimbeer is seated in first class—at 6’11”, still a tight fit—in a plaid blue shirt and black pants, trying to rest his eyes.

The Aces are brimming with talent, but as the flight progresses it is clear that they’re also drained. Disoriented. Last night, a 7.1 earthquake shook Mandalay Bay Events Center, causing the Jumbotron to sway for nearly 15 Mississippi’s. (READ FULL STORY HERE).