Diana Taurasi frustrated by WNBA travel constraints, quick turnaround to Finals

Diana Taurasi frustrated by WNBA travel constraints, quick turnaround to Finals


PHOENIX — Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi was nonetheless frustrated Tuesday, 4 days after she and two teammates had to constitution a non-public aircraft Friday evening so she may get again to Arizona from Las Vegas after Game 5 of the WNBA semifinals for the delivery of her second little one.

“We pay for everything,” Taurasi informed ESPN. “This is the WNBA. We pay for it.”

She added: “It’s frustrating because there are people that would like to help, and it’s against CBA rules and this, and I understand there’s a standard to make sure everyone is on the same playing field. So, thank you to my Russian buddies for that.”

Taurasi was referring to her taking part in profession abroad, together with lengthy stints on Russian groups, the place she earned an annual wage within the seven figures, permitting her to afford to constitution a non-public aircraft.

Taurasi’s complaints are half of a bigger unhappiness towards the WNBA’s philosophy on travel.

The remainder of her Mercury teammates flew again to Phoenix on a flight that left Las Vegas at about 10 a.m. on Saturday. By time they landed, it was already early afternoon. The Mercury teaching workers spent Saturday slicing tape and making ready for Game 1 of the WNBA Finals in opposition to the Chicago Sky on Sunday, which meant the Mercury did not get a apply day earlier than the Finals, and solely began watching movie on Sunday morning.

“We didn’t even touch the court before the Finals,” Taurasi stated. “So, yeah, that’s just disappointing because everyone’s tired, but you at least want to be a little bit prepared. So, I think after being on the court [Tuesday], the shootaround [Wednesday], we’ll feel better going into the game on Wednesday night.”

Taurasi might need been extra drained than anybody else on the courtroom Sunday. Her spouse, former Mercury star Penny Taylor, gave delivery to their daughter, Isla, at 4:24 a.m. Saturday, capping a whirlwind day for Taurasi.

She had thought of driving again to Phoenix after Friday evening’s recreation — which the Mercury received to ship them to their fifth WNBA Finals — however opted for the personal aircraft to reduce out about three additional hours of touring.

Taylor was already two days previous her due date when she was induced on Friday. She headed to the hospital earlier than the beginning of the Mercury recreation, texting with Taurasi proper up till Taurasi had to take the courtroom.

Right across the time Taurasi began heating up early within the fourth quarter, crew president Vince Kozar obtained two messages — one on WhatsApp, the opposite through textual content — from Taylor, who was watching from her hospital mattress. It was the identical message: “Don’t be alarmed but it’s starting to happen.”

After the sport, as Taurasi ready for an interview with ESPN, Kozar confirmed her Taylor’s textual content. Taurasi rushed to the locker room to bathe and board the aircraft with teammates Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith. They landed at a non-public airport in North Scottsdale round 11:30 p.m., and by midnight, Taurasi stated, “We were rolling.”

Isla arrived about 4 hours later.

Taurasi slept on the hospital, which was positioned simply north of downtown Phoenix, on Friday and Saturday evening. She left the hospital at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to drive dwelling to bathe and dress, then drove proper to the Footprint Center for Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.

“That was not ideal for a Finals game, but we got here and we tried to play our best,” Taurasi stated of the Mercury’s 91-77 loss to the Sky. “After going over the film and seeing things, we can make some adjustments that will help us.”

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