WNBA Rookie of the Year checks in from NBA China Games 2004

Blogginí From China: Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi
Guard, Phoenix Mercury
Fresh off of a wildly impressive rookie season in the WNBA where she averaged 17.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game en route to being named the 2004 Rookie of the Year, Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi has traveled to China along with the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings, and will be checking in on NBA.com periodically during NBA China Games 2004.

Posted on Oct. 16, 2004 at 2:48 p.m. ET

The Forbidden City, The Great Wall and The Storm

Taurasi (L) with Alana Beard and Kara Lawson (R) at the Forbidden City.
Jennifer Pottheiser
NBAE/Getty Images
We arrived in Beijing on Friday and a few hours later visited one of the coolest places Iíve ever been to, the Forbidden City. Located at the center of the city, itís the worldís largest palace and just an incredible place to visit. The detailed architecture, the different rooms with everything intact was very impressive. It took us several hours to walk through. The next day, we visited the Great Wall and enjoyed a breathtaking view from the top where the Wall just stretched for miles and miles. Itís incredible to think that it was built brick by brick and is more than 5,000 miles long.

Iím looking forward to tomorrowís game in Beijing. The reaction on Thursday night was tremendous. Fans really love basketball here and I look forward to seeing them respond to the first ever NBA game played in Beijing. The fans just went crazy for Yao and were very supportive of Liu Wei, who showed he could play. It will be interesting to see if he makes the team. There are so many talented players in the league but I thought he handled the pressure of playing in his first NBA game in front of the hometown fans quite well.

I didnít get to see Game 3 of the WNBA Finals between the Storm and Connecticut out here but I tip my hat to Seattle and my former teammate, Sue Bird, for winning the WNBA championship. Seattle for the most part of the season was the best team and proved it when it counted most.

Posted on Oct. 12, 2004 at 12:33 p.m. ET

One eye on Shanghai; the other on Game 3

Everywhere you go, there are people, people and more people. Itís amazing here in Shanghai. No matter what time of day it is, you see lots of people. Even though I donít know the language, people here have been so nice, helping you find your destination. This is all new to me since this is my first visit to China.

Diana Taurasi purchases some souvenirs at The Bund in Shanghai, China.
Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty Images
You truly get a sense of basketballís worldwide popularity when youíre here. The minute you step off the plane, you see signs at the airport promoting the upcoming NBA China Games, which are also featured throughout the city as well as other images of Yao showcased on buildings.

Even though Iím trying to soak up as much as I can before I depart for Beijing late Thursday night, Iím also keeping tabs on whatís happening with the WNBA Finals and hope to watch Game 3 live on Wednesday morning.

Even though anything can happen in the final game of a series, I think Seattle is going to win, especially at home. Theyíre difficult to beat there and they have proven it throughout the season.

Iím also looking forward to seeing Yao and T-Mac in the same lineup on Thursday night at Shanghai Stadium. How well they work together will determine their season. The fans are going to be pumped up to see Yao playing at home. It should really be a special game.