By Ben York, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: March 7, 2013
In celebration of Diana Taurasi being named as the X-Factors Favorite Mercury Player of All-Time, and coinciding with the superstar entering
her 10th year with the Mercury in 2013, PhoenixMercury.com has launched a special tribute series entitled, A Decade of Diana. Every
Thursday starting Feb. 7 for 10 weeks, well relive Taurasis 10 best moments with the team since her arrival in 2004.
Taurasi Moment No. 6: The Franchise Leader
There is a fire in me that wants to be better and accomplish everything I thought would be impossible.
Diana Taurasi is the Phoenix Mercurys all-time franchise leader in 16 categories.
They are: seasons, games played, minutes played, points scored, scoring
average, field goals made, field goal attempts, 3-pointers, 3-point attempts, free throws made, free throw attempts, rebounds, defensive rebounds, assists,
As you can see, they're not just offensive milestones like points or field goals, but also rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.
Amazingly, in addition to her accomplishments on the Phoenix Mercury, during her span with the team since 2004, Taurasi has either won a championship or a
medal everywhere shes played (WNBA, overseas, Olympics, etc.), in every single year except for 2005 (and even prior to her arrival on the Mercury during
her time at UConn).
While its easy to attribute Taurasis unrivaled achievements (such as being the all-time franchise leader in 16 categories) to her incomparable ability as
a basketball player, it involves so much more than that.
To do what Taurasi has done, leadership is mandatory and she is the personification of that term. Nevertheless, and maybe it goes without saying, but if
Taurasi wasnt a leader, theres no way she wouldve had the opportunity to attain the aforementioned franchise records. The reason why this is so
significant is that this type of leadership just isnt often seen in sports, nay, society today.
True leadership is frequently taken for granted. The age old adage, you dont miss your water til the well runs dry comes to mind.
When we outline what a leader is, were talking about someone who consciously, yet, naturally inspires, motivates and solidifies a collective vision for a
group of people. Hence, by definition, one has to spread positivity. Indeed, Diana Taurasi is the most cheerful and optimistic person youll ever meet.
That attitude is infectious to teammates (as evidenced by their passionate play with Taurasi throughout multiple continents) and fans (who have always
adored Taurasi for her character).
Being a leader also means that people look to you for help when there is an issue. For every problem on or off the court, Taurasi has a solution-focused
idea. Any negativity that is brought forth is counteracted by positivity that forces the group to see the potential for changing these problems.
ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas once theorized that tough players (also known as leaders) are hard to play against, and easy to play with.
Rather, they make their team better and make things increasingly difficult on the opposing team. They do the little things like look their teammates in the
eye, never give up, always move on to the next play, and make every game they compete in an important one.
In Taurasis case, she goes above and beyond that. Shell always stop to sign an autograph or take a picture with a fan, thank the arena workers while
passing by them in the hallways, and shoulder the blame even when it isnt her fault.
narrative, perhaps even more so than the records shes set for the Mercury, is what should define Diana Taurasi as a franchise leader.