WNBA superstars can't stop smack talking their own teammates for the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game

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Candace Parker.
Candace Parker will play two Chicago Sky teammates in the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game.AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski
  • There's smack talk abound at the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game.

  • Players who are teammates during the regular season have turned against one another for Sunday's contest.

  • Even the coaches — Becky Hammon and James Wade — and their young sons have gotten in on the trash talk.

CHICAGO — Just days before arriving in the Windy City, A'ja Wilson and Jackie Young competed side-by-side as the Las Vegas Aces finished out the first half of their season.

But now, with WNBA All-Star weekend upon us, Wilson refuses to even acknowledge the fourth-year guard.

"Boo!" Wilson yelled from the dais at a press conference Saturday. "Do not speak of her name," she continued.

The 2020 league MVP — who is serving as a team captain for this year's All-Star Game — is one of four Aces players competing in Sunday's contest. And while Wilson was able to snag Las Vegas teammates Dearica Hamby and Kelsey Plum during the live draft on July 2, she wasn't able to select Young.

a'ja wilson
WNBA player A'ja Wilson.AP Photo/John Locher

Opposing captain Breanna Stewart swooped in to take the first-time All-Star with Team Stewart's first pick of the draft.

"She's not our teammate this weekend, so we don't know who you speak of, this Jackie," Wilson said.

She, Hamby, and Plum have done their best to exchange jabs with "she who shall not be named," but Young won't bite. The Notre Dame product is on the quiet side, and Plum likens "talking to Jackie" to "talking to a wall."

"You're not going to get nothing back," she said. "So you're going to be trash-talking to yourself, really."

Jackie Young.
WNBA player Jackie Young.AP Photo/David Becker

"I think Jackie and I are gonna be guarding each other," Plum — also a first-time All-Star — added. "I'm going to be mic'd up, so I will talk to the wall. I'm the right person."

The Aces aren't the only franchise navigating internal strife during All-Star weekend. The hometown team — the Chicago Sky — also has four players represented on All-Star rosters.

Two of them — Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot — will suit up for Team Wilson at Wintrust Arena on Sunday. Kahleah Copper and Emma Meesseman, meanwhile, are joining ranks with Young on Team Stewart.

Meesseman said the Sky players are ruthless competitors, "so they're not just going to give us something because they're teammates."

Kahleah Copper.
WNBA player Kahleah Copper.AP Photo/Paul Beaty

"We've been talking trash all week, and it's funny because those two are like the top competitive people on the team," Copper continued, referring to Parker and Vandersloot. "So it's even more fun to compete against them and even more fun to talk more trash."

"I already know we're going to win, so I can't wait until the end where I can talk as much trash for the rest of the season," she added.

The Connecticut Sun squad is also divided up for the All-Star Game. Reigning WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones will play alongside Sun teammate Alyssa Thomas, while fellow Connecticut star Brionna Jones is competing on the other side for Team Wilson.

Jonquel Jones.
WNBA player Jonquel Jones.AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Jonquel told Insider she hasn't given her regular-season teammate any flack — "yet."

"But if I'm on court with her, I'm gonna talk some trash," she said. "I'm definitely gonna block her."

Even the coaches have taken opportunities to get some subtle jabs in at one another. Sky head coach James Wade, who's coaching Team Stewart, confirmed that "there's been some trash talking going on. We talk our trash."

"We know each other well and we're both very competitive," Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon, who will coach Team Wilson on Sunday, said in a pre-game press conference. "Just like the players, we're gonna have fun for about 38 minutes and then the last two minutes, both teams will try to win."

Becky Hammon coaches the Las Vegas Aces.
Becky Hammon coaches the Las Vegas Aces.David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images

Wade's and Hammon's young sons — Jet and Cayden, respectively — have played together throughout All-Star weekend. And while they've become fast friends, they each told Insider they're confident their parent will win the game.

Then they erupted into cheers of "Mom!" and "Dad!"

The 2022 WNBA All-Star Game begins Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Fans can tune in to watch live on ESPN.

Read the original article on Insider