Breanna Stewart finished a distant second behind Las Vegas forward A’ja Wilson in the WNBA MVP voting, which was announced Thursday by the league.
The Storm forward received just three of 47 first-place votes and 308 points from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters while Wilson tallied 43 first-place votes and 458 points.
Los Angeles forward Candace Parker, the WNBA MVP in 2013 and ’08, finished third in the balloting with 219 points. Chicago point guard Courtney Vandersloot, a Gonzaga and Kentwood High product, picked up the other first-place vote and finished fourth with 135 points.
Stewart, the 2018 WNBA MVP, may have had an indication about the balloting when asked Tuesday if she thought she’d win it again this year.
“I don’t know,” Stewart said. “I’m not concerned about that at this moment. I’m focused on how we can win a championship.”
Parker led the WNBA with 10 double-double performances and Vandersloot became the first WNBA player to average double-digit assists (10.0) in a season, but the WNBA MVP race was essentially a two-player contest between Wilson and Stewart.
Stewart averaged 19.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks while leading the Storm to an 18-4 record and the No. 2 playoff seed.
Wilson averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 blocks for the Aces, which also finished with an 18-4 record and captured the No. 1 seed by virtue of a pair of wins against Seattle.
The 24-year-old Las Vegas star also led the WNBA in free throws made (118) and attempted (151).
Stewart missed the final two regular-season games because of left foot tendinitis, including an 86-84 loss to Las Vegas when Wilson had 23 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, two steals and two assists.
In their only head-to-head matchup, Stewart finished with 29 points, 18 rebounds and two steals while Wilson tallied 23 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks to lead the Aces to an 82-74 win on Aug. 22.
“A’ja is a load and she’s really tough to handle,” Stewart said after the game during a Zoom call. “I think that if you asked both of us about MVP that’s really not our concern. Our concern is getting these wins and still making a strong finish and getting ready for playoffs because in the end we want to win championships.
“We know that both of our teams need us.”