2021 WNBA Finals – Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi hopeful to keep playing at least through 2022 season

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

8:20 PM ET

  • Mechelle VoepelESPN.com


      Mechelle Voepel addresses the WNBA, women’s college or university basketball, and other college sports activities for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN due to the fact 1996.

CHICAGO — Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi explained Saturday that she options to at minimum complete her latest agreement, which runs as a result of the 2022 season. But she will hold out until finally soon after the 2021 WNBA Finals are over and see how she feels during this offseason prior to creating a conclusion on no matter whether to retire.

“I hopefully can satisfy my obligation. But you under no circumstances know,” Taurasi advised ESPN as the Mercury put together for Sunday’s Video game 4 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Application) at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena. “The offseason is definitely very long in the WNBA. With not actively playing abroad, it would make that eight months genuinely, definitely extensive: to remain video game-ready physically and mentally.”

Taurasi and wife Penny Taylor, a former Mercury participant, had their next child on Oct. 9, as daughter Isla joined 3-calendar year-aged son Leo. Taurasi is finishing her 17th period in the WNBA. She will switch 40 following June.

2 Relevant

“It really is something I’ll talk about with Penny and my family and definitely just do a little soul-seeking to see if it really is a little something I want to proceed to do,” Taurasi stated of actively playing subsequent period. “I am going to just take my time. When the season’s in excess of, I am going to disappear like I normally do in the offseason and go back again and see what we do.”

Taurasi and the Mercury path the Chicago Sky 2-1 in their most effective-of-5 sequence. Phoenix misplaced 86-50 in Friday, the most significant defeat in WNBA Finals record.

Taurasi, who was limited to 16 frequent-period game titles even though dealing with sternum, ankle and foot accidents, has received at each and every degree, from NCAA championships at UConn to a fifth Olympic gold medal in August. Asked the final time she performed in a championship activity or collection and did not acquire, Taurasi stated it was possibly her senior 12 months in superior college in California.

What keeps her coming back again?

“It seems really very simple, but I even now like to enjoy,” Taurasi reported. “And when I kind of go into that deep gap of not actively playing any more, which is without end. That’s a selection that you really don’t arrive back again from when you happen to be 40. Possibly when you are 25. But at the time I’m completed, I’m accomplished.

“To believe of currently being in the Finals ideal now, there is nevertheless that urge to earn, and to be with these guys. So I nevertheless like to enjoy, I nevertheless like to grind.”

Diana Taurasi has performed in nine of Phoenix’s 10 playoff game titles, and is averaging 17.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG and 3. APG this postseason. Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Pictures

Asked if the final decision to carry on will be far more centered on how she feels physically or mentally, Taurasi mentioned it is really equally.

“The psychological grind of it is no simple process. If you might be likely to play the whole period, you far better be locked in,” explained Taurasi, who has performed in nine of Phoenix’s 10 playoff game titles. “Or the season will become extremely lengthy and quite hard. And then that obviously wears on you bodily.

“So it really is, ‘Am I inclined to put in the 6 months of operate to be capable to participate in?’ You know at this age, you are unable to just acquire 4 months off and feel you’re heading to occur and run about with these young children and be Alright.”

Taurasi explained she has loved being with this Mercury staff. And she stays productive. In the typical time, she averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 helps. She scored a playoff career-substantial 37 factors in the semifinal series against Las Vegas, and her averages this postseason are 17.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG and 3. APG.

Currently the WNBA’s all-time foremost scorer at 9,174 details, Taurasi could shoot for 10,000 — whilst that extremely likely would get more than one particular more time. She would need 826 details for that milestone she has topped 800 factors twice in her job: in 2006 and 2008. Her greatest total in the last five several years was 682 in 2018.

Requested the final time she performed in a championship video game or sequence and failed to win, Diana Taurasi stated it was likely her senior yr in superior faculty in California. Barry Gossage/NBAE by way of Getty Visuals

Taurasi mentioned appropriate right after the Olympic gold medal game, “See in Paris,” alluding to the 2024 Summer months Olympics. That may possibly have been a joke, but Taurasi may well also not be concluded with Usa Basketball.

The FIBA Environment Cup is Sept. 22-Oct. 1 up coming year, and Taurasi’s veteran management could possibly be wanted at least just one a lot more time. Longtime Usa teammate Sue Fowl claimed she experienced performed in her past Olympics just after profitable her fifth gold in the Tokyo Video games, and it truly is unclear no matter whether she’ll compete in other worldwide functions.

“I assume if you glance into the upcoming and I do engage in in the WNBA [next season], it type of qualified prospects up to playing straight into the Earth Cup,” Taurasi explained. “And I am going to chat to United states of america Basketball, see what they want to do. I indicate, you know sometimes it truly is time to move on, and I realize that, too.”

Taurasi said she and Bird, who turned 41 on Saturday, talk a great deal about their actively playing futures. Soon after Bird’s Seattle Storm dropped in the second round of the playoffs to Phoenix, Chook acknowledged she would need to have time to consider about no matter whether she will return for a 19th season future 12 months.

“The discussion of participating in and not enjoying, if you go into our thread, it is been heading on for two, a few decades,” Taurasi reported. “As the period techniques, we the two get into this competitive manner and we generally finish up participating in once more. It is really mainly because we even now really like it.”

Taurasi also stated that she hasn’t put in substantially time wondering about what her second act will be anytime she finishes actively playing.

“Every single time I consider to believe about that, it is really this: Ingesting a lot of espresso, hanging out with my family,” she mentioned. “It can be really basic. I never know if I have the power to re-consider a various role in everyday living. That would consider imagining about a whole lot of issues I just never get pleasure from executing.”

And she said whilst she feels honored to be picked not too long ago as the WNBA’s greatest participant of all time by followers, she has way too a great deal respect for other gamers to claim that title. And none of that, she stated, is why she performs.

“I’ve form of just disregarded it all to convey to you the real truth,” Taurasi said. “I you should not do social media, I you should not go into the rabbit hole of what men and women say and imagine about me. I am actually just worried about what my teammates, my coaches, my spouse and children, my friends think.

“When individuals speak highly of me, it is really nice. But that will not make me delighted. That does not fulfill me. It can be the associations I’ve created in this article in Phoenix and, naturally, my relatives. All those are points that I have poured myself into. Because at the stop of working day, you know, all that other stuff is just hot air.”