WNBA Finals roundup: Elena Delle Donne's back injury worse than announced; Aerial Powers rips Wings GM who traded her

The 2019 WNBA Finals came to a close on Thursday night, and as such so did the 2019 WNBA season. After 22 years, the Washington Mystics finally captured their first championship, taking down the Connecticut Sun in five games, as the Finals went the distance for the fourth time in five seasons. 

Elena Delle Donne, who won her second WNBA MVP Award this season, captured her first championship as well, but had to battle through some serious pain to get there due to a back injury. Mystics head coach Mike Thibault, the winningest coach in WNBA history, also won his first title. And Emma Meesseman returned after a season-long sabbatical with her national team in Belgium to win Finals MVP

With the games all done until next spring, and the Mystics' championship celebration finally out of alcohol, here's a look at everything you may have missed in the aftermath, including quotes and videos. 

Delle Donne's back injury worse than she let on

Elena Delle Donne had to leave Game 2 due to what the team later announced was a herniated disk in her back. Dealing with an injury for the second straight time in the Finals, the regular season MVP powered through the pain to do everything she could to help her team win the title, and received plenty of praise for her effort. 

As it turns out, what she did to play in the last three games was even more impressive than everyone originally realized. After Game 5, Natasha Cloud revealed that Delle Donne had actually been playing with three (!) herniated disks in her back, not just one. 

Powers calls out Wings GM, pulls out bottle of Ciroc

Aerial Powers was the No. 5 overall pick by the Dallas Wings in 2016, but last season they decided to move on, trading her to the Mystics at the deadline in exchange for Tayler Hill and draft assets. At the time, it seemed like the trade made sense for both teams, but in the season and a half since then, it's clear the Mystics were the winner. Hill missed much of this season with injuries, while Powers grew into a key member of this championship team. 

After the Game 5 win, she thanked Wings GM Greg Bibb for trading her, while throwing in a sharp barb at the end. "Thank you, Dallas," Powers said. "Thank you for trading me, Greg. Because I have a championship and I don't think I would have gotten that with you."

Ouch. (The Wings finished 10-24 this season, tied for the second-worst record in the league.)

If that wasn't enough, Powers then pulled out a bottle of Ciroc and asked her teammates, "Who's really trying to turn up?" What a night for the youngster. 

Toliver lets loose

Kristi Toliver was the only player in the Finals who had won a championship before, but with the way she celebrated after Game 5, you wouldn't have known that. The veteran guard let loose, putting on an absolute show during the Mystics' celebration. Here are just a few of the highlights. 

"Connecticut sucks:"

Wearing her goggles to the press conference:

Passing out champagne to random people in the hallway:

Two titles equals two bottles:

Now that's how you celebrate a title. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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