Father Time hasn’t caught up with Diana Taurasi yet and it doesn’t look like he will any time soon.
The fourteen-year vet joined Kobe Bryant, Cynthia Cooper, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only professional basketball players to averaged 20 or more points at age 36 or older.
She is currently just one of four players still active from the 2004 draft, along with Alana Beard, Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen.
“Night in and night out, everyone has seen it,” Brittney Griner said. “Big shots, smart plays, seeing stuff ahead of time. The sky is still the limit for her, honestly, on how long she wants to play.”
Taurasi came into the 2018 season as the WNBA all-time leading scorer, yet already being a legend hasn’t held her back from continuing to secure her legacy atop the WNBA rankings. After passing Tina Thompson’s scoring record last year, Taurasi jumped her yet again as she moved into the number one spot in all-time field goals made.
“I told the guys in here ‘you play long enough, it’ll happen,” Taurasi said.
Although her coach and teammates know it’s not that simple.
“She jokes ‘if you play long enough you’re going to break these records’ but you have to be a pretty special player to do what she’s done,” Head Coach Sandy Brondello said. “She continues to do it.”
It was no different from beyond the arc this season as she led the league with 106 three-pointers. This was only the second time in WNBA history that a player scored over 100 threes. The first time? Taurasi in 2006 with 121.
Her nine times on top of the three-point leaderboard not only leads the WNBA, but the next closest in NBA history is Steph Curry who has done so just five times.
“You never know what she can do,” Griner said about her teammate. “She’s not going to talk about it, but that’s amazing.”
Not only has Taurasi kept up her stellar scoring ability, but her playmaking continues to shine. This season was just the fourth time ever that a player averaged 20 points and five rebounds as she joins Cynthia Cooper (1999), Skylar Diggins-Smith (2014) and herself (2013) on that list. Taurasi and Diggins-Smith were the only two players in the league this year to rank top-10 in both scoring and assists.
“She can pretty much do anything on the court,” Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm said about her former college teammate. “On top of that, she’s got a killer mentality. There’s just something about her. You can just see it in her eyes. She knows how to take over games.”
Taurasi was awarded Western Conference Player of the Month for the second time this season after averaging 22 points and 7.4 assists in August. The sky seems to be limit for what is next in the storied career of the nine-time All-Star.
“Who knows?,” Brondello said. “Can she break anything else?”
Her next goal is simple: bringing home the Mercury’s fourth championship.
Taurasi and the rest of the team will tip-off the playoffs against the Dallas Wings on Tuesday, August 21st at Arizona State University. Click here to get your tickets now!