Diana Taurasi signs multiyear extension with Mercury
PHOENIX -- For as long as Diana Taurasi plays in the WNBA, she'll remain with the Mercury.
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The team announced Tuesday that Taurasi, who has won three WNBA championships with Phoenix, had signed a multiyear contract extension. Terms were not disclosed, but Mercury general manager Jim Pittman said in a statement, "As long as Diana Taurasi wants to play in the WNBA, we want her in a Mercury uniform.
"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."
Taurasi, the 2009 WNBA MVP, was picked No. 1 in the 2004 draft out of UConn and has averaged 19.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in her WNBA career in regular-season games. In 47 playoff games she has averaged 21.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
Taurasi is starting her 13th season with the Mercury, having sat out the 2015 season to rest after so many years combining WNBA and overseas play. She led the Mercury to the WNBA championship in 2007, '09, and '14. She also has won four Olympic gold medals with the U.S. women's basketball team (2004, '08, '12, '16).
Taurasi will turn 35 on June 11. It has been an event-filled past few days for her, as she married former teammate Penny Taylor on Saturday, played in the Mercury's season-opening loss on Sunday, and had the new contract extension announced on Tuesday.
Taurasi has talked about hoping to continue to play possibly through the 2020 Summer Olympics, when she would be 38. She said her contract with Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg ends after this coming winter, and she expects she will be done playing overseas after that.
"I'm realistic about where I'm at right now in my career, and I know Phoenix has been my home this whole time in the WNBA," Taurasi said Tuesday after practice. "It just kind of puts to rest ... rumors or little doubts that I would go anywhere. This is where I want to play the rest of my career."