Three-time WNBA Champion, seven-time WNBA All-Star, two-time WNBA Finals MVP and 2009 WNBA MVP Diana Taurasi today signed a multi-year contract extension with the Phoenix Mercury, the team has announced.
“As long as Diana Taurasi wants to play in the WNBA, we want her in a Mercury uniform,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “As we’ve said before, she is the heart of our franchise, the first face on our Mount Rushmore, the best winner and competitor in the women’s game. The trajectory of our organization changed the day we drafted her 13 years ago, and we are excited she will be here into the future.”
WINNER: Taurasi is a three-time WNBA Champion (2007, 2009, 2014), a three-time NCAA Champion while at UCONN (2002, 2003, 2004), a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist with Team USA (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), and a six-time EuroLeague champion while overseas (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016). She is one of just five players in Olympic basketball history (mens or womens) to win four gold medals (Teresa Edwards, Lisa Leslie, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings). Taurasi has led the Mercury to the three best regular seasons in franchise history, including a WNBA-record 29-win season in 2014.
One of the greatest winners in basketball history, Taurasi owns a career record of 9-0 in playoff series-deciding games (Game 3 of a best-of-three series, Game 5 of a best-of-five series, and single-elimination games) in the WNBA playoffs. She carries a 13-4 (.765) career record in playoff elimination games, including a perfect 6-0 mark on the road, and is 44-5 (.898) overall in her basketball career in elimination games (includes NCAA Tournament, Olympics, WNBA Playoffs).
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION: Taurasi has been a WNBA All-Star all seven times possible in her career (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014; no All-Star Game held in 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012; Taurasi did not play 2015 season). Just like one of her favorite players, Kobe Bryant, Taurasi has won more Finals MVP Awards (2009, 2014) than regular season MVP awards (2009). She has been honored as the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year an unprecedented four times, and was the 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year after being selected No. 1 overall by Phoenix in draft.
PURE SCORER AND SHOOTER: Unquestionably one of the greatest individual scorers in the history of the women’s game, Taurasi is now just 175 points away from becoming the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history and, in her 13th season, is poised to eclipse the record established by Tina Thompson in a 17-year career. A WNBA-record five-time league scoring champion (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Taurasi has been the fastest player in league history to reach 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 and 7,000 career points. She remains the only player in league history to record two seasons of 800 or more points (2006, 2008).
Taurasi owns the most 20-point games in league history (191), the most 30-point efforts (41), the single-season record for scoring average (25.3 points in 2006) and total points (860, 2006).
Once again in 2017, the WNBA’s annual General Manager’s Survey named Taurasi the league’s best pure shooter. She owns 901 career three-point field goals, just six shy of surpassing Katie Smith (906) for the most in WNBA history.