Face of franchise signs multi-year deal to remain with Phoenix
PHOENIX – The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today re-signed the face of the franchise and the Greatest of All-Time, Diana Taurasi, to a multi-year contract, the team announced. Taurasi will continue with the Mercury, the only WNBA franchise for which she has played, in Season 19 in 2023.
Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman: “Diana Taurasi belongs in a Mercury uniform, and we are grateful for the continued faith she demonstrates in our organization by returning year after year. The way she prepares her body, how much she cares about winning, and how much she cares about our franchise—on and off the court—are just a few of the things that make her a transcendent athlete and quite literally the greatest of all time. We look forward to more accolades, more historic moments, and more wins.”
Taurasi is a three-time WNBA Champion, four-time WNBA Finalist, 10-time WNBA All-Star, five-time Olympic Gold Medalist, two-time WNBA Finals MVP, 2009 WNBA MVP and in 2021 was voted the WNBA’s Greatest Player of All-Time. A season ago, Taurasi averaged 16.2 points, 3.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds, including 23.2 points on 4.2 three-point makes per game after the All-Star break before her season was cut short by a quad injury. In a season in which she turned 40 years old, Taurasi made 92 threes, second-most in the league; there have been six seasons of 90 made threes in WNBA history and Taurasi owns five of them. Taurasi, who had three 30-point efforts and 12 games of 20 or more in 2022, also became the first player in WNBA history with a 30-point game at age 40, something only Michael Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki have done in NBA history.
Taurasi currently holds the Mercury all-time franchise record in 16 categories (outright or shared): seasons (18), games played (503), games started (503), minutes played (15,565), points scored (9,696), scoring average (19.27), field goals made (3,041), field goal attempts (7,121), three points made (1,297), three-point attempts (3,569), free throws made (2,314), free throw attempts (2,655), defensive rebounds (1,755), assists (2,152), steals (483) and championships (3).
Already the WNBA’s all-time leader in scoring (9,693) and three-point field goals (1,297), Taurasi became the first and only player in WNBA history to 9,000 career points in 2021, and is just 307 points shy of crossing the 10,000-point mark in 2023. Taurasi own the league record for career scoring, playoff scoring, and single-season scoring. Taurasi, who is one of five players in league history with 2,000 assists or more, is the only player to rank in the top-5 on the league’s all-time scoring and assists lists.
Taurasi owns the top seven single-season three-point totals in WNBA history (121 in 2006, 108 in 2018, 96 in 2017, 95 in 2005, 92 in 2022, 89 in both 2016 and 2008) and has totaled a record shattering 14 games with 7+ three points made. She has led the WNBA in three-point field goals 10 times in her career, the most by a WNBA/NBA/ABA player, (Steph Curry in second, leading the NBA five times; Katie Smith is second on the WNBA list, leading the league four times.).
Taurasi is the WNBA’s all-time leader in games of 10+ points (441), 20+ points (243), 30+ points (52), and 40+ points (3) scoring games. Taurasi has recorded 100+ assists in 12 seasons throughout career, trailing only Sue Bird (16), Ticha Penicheiro (14) and Lindsay Whalen (13).
Taurasi is a three-time WNBA Champion (2007, 2009, 2014), a three-time NCAA Champion while at UConn (2002, 2003, 2004), a five-time Olympic Gold Medalist with Team USA (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020), and a six-time EuroLeague champion while overseas (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016). She is one of just two players in Olympic basketball history (mens or womens) to win five gold medals (Sue Bird) and could go for her sixth in Paris 2024.