Diana Taurasi signs multi-year extension with Mercury
PHOENIX -- Seven-time WNBA All-Star Diana Taurasi signed a contract extension through 2020 with the Mercury on Tuesday.
"As long as Diana Taurasi wants to play in the WNBA, we want her in a Mercury uniform," general manager Jim Pitman said. "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."
Taurasi, who turns 35 on June 11, is 175 points away from becoming the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history. She is a five-time league scoring champion (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and led the Mercury to WNBA titles in 2007, 2009 and 2014. She is a four-time Olympic gold-medal winner and could have history with a fifth if she is selected for the 2020 Games.
"I'm realistic about where I am at this point in my career," Taurasi said. "Phoenix has been my home this whole time in the WNBA. It just kind of puts to rest any whether it's rumors or little doubts that I would go anywhere. This is where I want to play the rest of my career."
Taurasi last week acknowledged that the countdown clock is ticking on her playing career, but sounds in no hurry for it to end. "Oh, yeah, it's been clicking, tocking, whatever you want to call it," she said. "I mean, I turn 35 in two weeks.
"If anything I feel great. I've taken care of myself a lot better in the last couple of years; hopefully I'll win another championship here in Phoenix with the franchise that's been so great to me."
Taurasi, in her 13th season with the Mercury, struggled through a 1-for-11 shooting night in Phoenix's 68-58 season-opening loss to Dallas on Sunday, scoring just three points.
She was married to former teammate Penny Taylor a day earlier. Taylor, who retired following the 2016 season, is now the team's director of personnel.
"The beauty with it is Penny's gone through the grind herself, and we always have that common ground," Taurasi said. "She says play as long as you can, so that gives me the confidence to come out here and keep forging forward and keep getting better."
Taurasi said she has one more season to go on her overseas contract with a Russian team and doesn't expect to play overseas again after next season.
The Mercury return to action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Indiana Fever. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Arizona and FOX Sports GO.