A Decade of Diana: No. 7

By Ben York, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: Feb. 28, 2013

In celebration of Diana Taurasi being named as the X-Factor’s Favorite Mercury Player of All-Time, and coinciding with the superstar entering her 10th year with the Mercury in 2013, PhoenixMercury.com has launched a special tribute series entitled, “A Decade of Diana.” Every Thursday starting Feb. 7 for 10 weeks, we’ll relive Taurasi’s 10 best moments with the team since her arrival in 2004.

Taurasi Moment No. 7: July 23, 2011

“It’s always an honor, especially when players vote on it, people that you’ve played against and with. It means a lot.” – Diana Taurasi

2011 marked the 15th anniversary of the WNBA.

Perhaps more than anything, the milestone was a celebration of how far the league has come since its inception in 1997 and how bright the future is.

Looking back, it’s easy to point to moments in time that are worth mentioning from a numerical perspective. Yet, sometimes stats are important and other times they are not. After all, in Diana Taurasi’s case, there have been (and will continue to be) several key statistical milestones we’ll cover throughout the countdown of her greatest moments in Mercury history.

Her No. 7 moment, however, should be felt emotionally and isn’t necessarily something that needs to (or should) be measured.

In appreciation of the WNBA’s 15th season, the league officially unveiled and honored its Top 15 Players of All-Time during a special halftime ceremony aired live on ABC at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game.

That, in and of itself, is a major victory.

A panel comprising media members and basketball experts selected a 30-nominee ballot, giving consideration to such factors as on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship, and community service, as well as to contributions to team success and the overall growth of women’s basketball.

“Growth” is the key word here.

Once the 30 players were determined, it was up to fans, players and coaches to trim the list to 15. The league weighted each of three voting groups to account for an equal percentage of the total vote.

Not surprisingly, Diana Taurasi was one of the leading vote-getters in every category. Now, it’s imperative that we don’t overlook this accolade as it is a direct correlation with the advancement of the league as a whole.

Being considered as one of the top WNBA players of all-time is, as Taurasi mentioned above, an honor. It signified growth, sustainability and the recognition of how much time, work and effort Taurasi put into the WNBA every day (and still does). Remember, from the beginning, the WNBA and its players have had to navigate through uncharted waters; it takes courage and sacrifice to do so.

“It shows the longevity of the league. It shows people love it; people want to see you out there,” Taurasi told WNBA.com regarding the honor in 2011. “The product has gotten a little bit better every year and that’s what you want from a business plan.”

Diana Taurasi has been the BASF of the WNBA. Remember those commercials?

She didn’t make the WNBA; she made the WNBA better.

A Decade of Diana

  • No. 10: July 27, 2007
  • No. 9: August 1, 2010
  • No. 8: September 11, 2011
  • Visit PhoenixMercury.com on Thursday, March 7 for the No. 6 moment in “A Decade of Diana.”