Diana Taurasi, the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history and a likely Phoenix Mercury Hall of Famer, will miss the remainder of the season due to an injury, coming at a time when the Mercury would be facing their hardest stretch without Brittney Griner. The Mercury will have to compete for a playoff place without Taurasi and Griner, the team’s champions. The Mercury, one of six teams left competing for a postseason position, presently possesses the eighth seed with a record of 14–19. As a result, the team’s stretch push to finish the regular season will be without one of the finest players in WNBA history.
Brittney Griner, their star player, was taken into custody in Russia in February, and now that she has been given a nine-year prison sentence, the issue has gotten worse. In the midst of this emotional struggle, their season may also be in danger since Taurasi, one of their top talents, is sidelined for the year, adding to the team’s despair. Under first-year head coach Vanessa Nygaard, the Mercury have had a poor season with ups and downs despite making the WNBA Finals last year. Taurasi, the league’s all-time top scorer is a 10-time All-Star who averages 16.7 points per game this season, ranking ninth in the league.
Diana Taurasi, the WNBA GOAT?
Diana Taurasi has irrevocably carved her name in the WNBA record books. In both the regular season and the playoffs, she has the most points, made field goals, and three-point field goals in league history. Her 10 WNBA All-Star selections are tied for second most in league history, while her 14 All-WNBA Team selections are the most in league history. Taurasi spent her entire 17-year WNBA career with Phoenix, where she also won one regular-season MVP title. Taurasi has won three WNBA championships and two WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards. The Mercury chose Taurasi as their first-round pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft. In 472 games, she has averaged 19.4 points, 4.3 assists, and 4.0 rebounds.
Diana Taurasi was named the league’s greatest player ever, the WNBA announced in 2021. The “Vote for the GOAT” campaign was one of the ways the WNBA celebrated its historic 25th season. Taurasi received a one-of-a-kind commemorative trophy for being crowned the GOAT, a basketball made of resin and marble with white mamba scales and inscriptions acknowledging her achievements. She has consistently excelled on the court, played a key role in growing the WNBA and women’s basketball, and served as an inspiration to young athletes throughout the world and she is deserving of this well-deserved distinction.
What does the Brittney Griner and Taurasi situation mean for Phoenix?
Without its star centre Brittney Griner, who is detained in Russia, the Mercury also carries on. After Russian officials claimed that Griner carried marijuana cartridges for a vape pen on her carry-on luggage back in February, Griner was sentenced to 9 years in jail last week. Given that Taurasi’s contract with Phoenix is up at the end of the current season, her injury raises concerns about her future there. The final few games for Phoenix will be vital as the teams at 7 and 11 in the standings are separated from one other by just one game, and five of the eight playoff spots have already been decided.
The Mercury hired Yvonne “Vonnie” Turner to a hardship contract to take Taurasi’s spot in the roster for the rest of the season. After an outstanding 18-year career, the Taurasi has considered retiring. She did mention having resolution thoughts because she will be a free agent after this season. Because of this, it may not have been just this season that Diana Taurasi’s final game didn’t let her to play alongside her seasoned teammate Brittney Griner.