Quelling rumors that she might take next season off to rest from year-round play in the WNBA and overseas, Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi signed a new contract with the team. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
From the Mercury release:
“My intention is to win a lot of championships in Phoenix,” Taurasi said. “I’m happy to have this contract signed so we can focus on the playoffs and winning another title. We have a great nucleus of players to make a run at the championship this year and I am satisfied knowing the contract we’ve put together will give us the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities in the offseason.”
“We are obviously excited about re-signing Diana,” Mercury President and General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale said. “Since joining us in 2004 she has helped lead this franchise to a new standard of excellence. Her decision to make personal sacrifices and structure a contract that allows us the flexibility to add other veteran players through free agency if the opportunity arises speaks volumes about her commitment to winning championships with the Phoenix Mercury.”
Averaging 22.6 points per game, the third highest of her career, Taurasi has led the league in scoring for a WNBA-record fourth season and becomes just the second player to do so in three consecutive years (Cynthia Cooper, 1997-99).
“When you have a player like Diana on your team, you are always in a position to compete for championships,” head coach Corey Gaines said. “She is a proven winner on the college level, the international level and of course in the WNBA, and she is a proven team player. You don’t find this kind of unselfishness in many superstars.”
This season the 6-0 guard added facilitator to her All-Star repertoire averaging a career-high 4.7 assists per game and becoming the fastest player in league history to record 4,500 points, 1,000 rebounds and 900 assists in her career (224 games).
After recording just the second 30-point, 10-assist performance in WNBA history on August 1, the University of Connecticut product was named the Western Conference Player of the week for the second consecutive week giving her three weekly awards for the season and 13 for her career, the fourth most of any player in league history.
The league’s reigning MVP will lead her squad into the postseason this week for the second consecutive season and the third time in the last four years. A seventh-year veteran, Taurasi has made two postseason appearances with the Mercury (2007, 2009) winning titles in both playoff runs. The club’s quest to become just the third team in WNBA history to repeat as champions begins on Thursday, August 26 at 6 p.m. when it takes on the San Antonio Silver Stars.