She’s one of the most decorated champions in the WNBA and on June 18, Diana Taurasi added another title to her resume. The Phoenix Mercury star is now the WNBA’s top scorer, so get to know all about this amazing baller.
1. She is one of the greatest players in the WNBA. Though the Phoenix Mercury lost their June 18 game against the Los Angeles Sparks, one Mercury member walked out of the Staples center a winner. In the closing seconds of the first half, Diana Taurasi, 35, nailed a layup that shattered the WNBA scoring record held by Tina Thompson, 42, per The New York Times. Diana ended the game with 7,494 career points, putting her at the top of the WNBA top scorer’s list. This accomplishment is one of the endless lists of Diana’s accolades. She’s a 3-time WNBA champion, a two-time WNBA Finals MVP, the 2004 WNBA Rookie of the year and the 2009 MNBA MVP.
2. She has a pretty interesting nickname. When Diana broke the record, the entire game stopped so everyone at the Staples center could give her a standing ovation. Among those fans watching the game was former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 38. Kobe would give her more than just applause, as the “Black Mamba” would bestow a nickname onto Diana. “She came up to me during the tournament, and said, ‘I’m the White Mamba,'” Kobe told ESPN’s Holly Rowe during halftime, per ESPN. Instead of being upset that Diana was copying his style, Kobe gave her his seal of approval. “‘Yes, you are — you’ve got every bit the temperament.'” Kobe wasn’t the only NBA legend giving Diana props, as LeBron James, 32, chimed in on Twitter.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) June 18, 2017
3. Diana has played all across the world. Though she’s been with the Mercury since 2004, she hasn’t stayed solely in Arizona. In 2005, she played a season with Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Premier League. The next year, she joined Spartak Moscow and stayed with the team until 2010. When she left, the squad had won four consecutive Euroleague championships and she would be a two-time Final Four MVP.
She then left Russia for Turkey, joining Fenerbahce Instanbul, helping the team win a second consecutive national title. However, the following season, she jumped ship to join Fenerbahce’s rivals, Galatasaray. Though they won the Turkish Cup, they ultimately lost the title to – you guessed it – Fenerbahce.
4. She has plenty of gold around her next, too. If winning national titles in numerous countries wasn’t enough, Diana is a four-time Olympian. She has led the US Women’s national basketball team to dominate the Olympics, winning gold in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016.
5. Diana is totally about love and basketball. If 2017 wasn’t already a great year for Diana, she tied the knot in May. She married Penny Taylor, 36, a retired 3-time WNBA champion (and current Director Player Personnel for the Mercury.) Among all the championship rings these two have, their wedding rings are probably the ones they cherish the most.
Are you a fan of Diana Taurasi, HollywoodLifers? How many points do you think she’ll score before she’s done?