Taurasi and Taylor Re-Sign With Mercury
All-Star guard Diana Taurasi and All-Star forward Penny Taylor have each signed multi-year contract extensions to remain with the Phoenix Mercury, the team announced today. Per team policy, specific terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
“Diana and Penny have been the face of this franchise for eight years and we look forward to that remaining true for years to come,” President and General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale said. “Their loyalty to this franchise and commitment to excellence on the court has taken us to elite status in the WNBA. Their incredible accomplishments, personality and professionalism have made them two of the most recognizable and respected players in the league.”
The two joined the club in 2004, Taurasi as the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft and Taylor as the No. 1 pick in the Cleveland dispersal draft, and are the longest tenured players in franchise history. Their longevity and high-level play has propelled them to the top of nearly every Mercury franchise leader board. Most notably, Taurasi is the all-time franchise leader in 16 different statistical categories, while Taylor leads the club in career field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage.
“This franchise has shown a commitment to putting a title-contending team on the court each season and I’m excited to continue to be a part of that,” Taurasi said. “Creating a situation that keeps our nucleus intact and opens opportunities to bring in the best free agents available will surely keep us in the title hunt for years to come.”
“I’m excited to sign this contract extension and remain with the Mercury,” Taylor said. “The fans in Phoenix have been so supportive of us, it has become a second home for me. I look forward to getting back on the court for the playoff run and working towards our third championship.”
For the fourth time in their Mercury careers, the duo will lead the Mercury into the postseason beginning this Thursday, looking for its third WNBA championship. Taurasi-and-Taylor-led teams have lost just one playoff series all-time.
Phoenix opens the 2011 playoffs as the third seed visiting the defending champion Seattle Storm at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 15 on ESPN2. Game 2 of the best-of-three series will be played in Phoenix Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBA TV and Game 3, if necessary, will be in Seattle Monday, September 19 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Playoff tickets are available at phoenixmercury.com or by calling 602-252-WNBA.