It was the coaching trio vs the Mercury trio as the 2018 WNBA All-Star game tipped-off in Minneapolis on Saturday.
Head Coach Sandy Brondello was joined by Julie Hairgrove and Todd Troxel to lead the way for Team Parker, while DeWanna Bonner, Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi were drafted to Team Della Donne.
At age 36, Taurasi hasn’t seemed to slow down averaging over 20 points per game and earning herself a starting spot on the All-Star roster. It was her ninth All-Star appearance of her career and the 14-year-veteran did a little bit of everything on the court. Taurasi finished the game with six assists, six rebounds, one block and knocked down a three from deep.
Griner went into her fifth All-Star game as the only WNBA this season averaging at least 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game (only Anthony Davis accomplished this in 2017-18). Griner made the most of her nine minutes on Saturday scoring seven points to go along with her four rebounds and two blocks.
“Got to play some fun ball. Got to see a really amazing three-point contest,” Griner said about the weekend. “That right there was entertaining enough.”
After missing all of last season, Bonner has come back this year without skipping a beat. Bonner currently ranks top 20 in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, field goal percentage and free throw percentage. At the All-Star game, she showed exactly why she’s a three-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year recipient.
Bonner was huge off the bench for Team Delle Donne. She scored 13 points on 66 percent shooting while grabbing five rebounds in the process.
“It was really fun,” Bonner said. “The crowd was unbelievable.”
While the player trio all had solid outings, it was the Mercury’s coaching staff that took home the victory.
“Team Parker won and that’s who we were coaching,” Brondello said. “So we played against our Mercury players. It was really just a fun weekend. Having an opportunity to coach the best players in the league is fun for us and getting to know them on a personal level.”
While the game stayed in range nearly the entire contest, a strong run by Team Parker in the third quarter was too tough to overcome in their 119-112 victory.
“Even though we lost, it was still really really fun,” Boner said. “A lot of laughs. Had a good time.”
Now that the weekend is through, Taurasi is ready for the rest of the season.
“Coming home Phoenix,” Taurasi said following the game. “We’re coming back.”
The Mercury’s season continues on Tuesday as the team tips-off against the Seattle Storm at Talking Stick Resort Arena.