NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2021 – Las Vegas Aces General Manager of Basketball Operations Dan Padover has been named the 2021 WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year, the WNBA announced today. Padover has earned the honor as the league’s top basketball executive for the second consecutive year.
The voting panel to determine the WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year was composed of one basketball executive from each WNBA team. Each executive submitted a ballot with a first-place vote, second-place vote and third-place vote. Padover won the award by being named on the most ballots (nine). Minnesota Lynx General Manager and Head Coach Cheryl Reeve (eight ballots) and New York Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb (six ballots) finished in second and third place, respectively.
Under the direction of Padover and Aces President of Basketball Operations & Head Coach Bill Laimbeer, Las Vegas finished with the second-best record in the WNBA (24-8) during the regular season. Las Vegas, seeking to win its first WNBA championship, hosts the fifth-seeded Phoenix Mercury in Game 2 of a Semifinals series tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Las Vegas holds a 1-0 advantage in the series.
Padover, who joined Las Vegas in his current role in December 2018, reconfigured the Aces’ roster in February, signing unrestricted veteran free agents Chelsea Gray, a two-time All-WNBA Team selection, and Riquna Williams, a former WNBA Sixth Player of the Year. Both players started all 32 games for the Aces, with Gray averaging 11.1 points and a team-leading 5.9 assists, and Williams contributing 10.5 points.
Padover also strengthened Las Vegas’ roster during the season, signing free agent Kiah Stokes in July and reuniting her with Laimbeer, her head coach for three seasons with the New York Liberty. With Las Vegas, Stokes averaged 9.0 rebounds in eight starts during the absence of Liz Cambage.
Behind Gray, Stokes and Williams, in addition to 2020 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson and 2021 Kia WNBA Sixth Player of the Year Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas led the WNBA in offensive rating (107.1) and ranked second in both defensive rating (96.0) and point differential (+9.1).
Below is a list of past recipients of the WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award.
WNBA BASKETBALL EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2021 Dan Padover Las Vegas Aces
2020 Dan Padover Las Vegas Aces
2019 Cheryl Reeve Minnesota Lynx
2018 Chris Sienko Atlanta Dream
2017 Curt Miller Connecticut Sun
About the WNBA
Currently in its 25th season in 2021, the WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. Featuring 12 teams, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.
In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball—and women’s sports overall—with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities, and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete. Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s new platform, WNBA Changemakers, with AT&T, the WNBA’s Marquee Partner and inaugural Changemaker, as well as fellow inaugural Changemakers Deloitte and Nike, and the recent addition of Google. During the 2020 season, the WNBA and WNBPA launched the WNBA Justice Movement forming the Social Justice Council with the mission of being a driving force of necessary change and continuing conversations about race and voting rights, among other important societal issues.
For more information, visit WNBA.com.
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