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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Diana Taurasi will skip WNBA season to rest at request of Russian club

diana-taurasiLast season, Diana Taurasi averaged averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists for the Phoenix Mercury and helped them to the WNBA title. If the team is going to repeat this season, they will have to do so without the services of the seven-time All-Star.

At the request of UMMC Ekaterinburg, the team she plays for in Russia, Taurasi announced she will skip the upcoming WNBA season to rest.

“The year-round nature of women’s basketball takes its toll and the financial opportunity with my team in Russia would have been irresponsible to turn down. They offered to pay me to rest and I’ve decided to take them up on it. I want to be able to take care of myself and my family when I am done playing,” Taurasi wrote in a letter to Mercury fans on the team’s site.

The 33-year-old will make close to $1.5 million from UMMC Ekaterinburg, while her salary from the Mercury was $107,000 a year ago.

Having played in the WNBA since being drafted in 2004, and in various leagues overseas since 2006, this would be as good a time as any to take the summer off to recharge. It’s tough to argue with a paid vacation.

Taurasi did say she would be returning to the Mercury in 2016 so WNBA fans haven’t seen the last of the league’s second all-time leading scorer. When Taurasi resumes playing, she will do so 766 points behind Tina Thompson for the WNBA’s top spot.

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