Last week, a very prominent NBA journalist tweeted out some sentiments on Phoenix finally having some “meaningful basketball.” He was referring to the Phoenix Suns, the NBA team. However, what he failed to include was the mention of the other basketball team in Phoenix, which is the Mercury. Of course, after the lovely people in the comments reminded him, the statement was “fixed.” But there is another issue here.
Men’s sports are not the default, and women’s sports are most certainly not an afterthought.
So if the first team you think of in Phoenix happens to be the Suns, then we should take a look at the Mercury’s past achievements! Let’s get familiar with this team.
The Mercury have had four finals appearances and won three of them, the most recent one being in 2014.
The path to each of these championships came with bad years and new additions to the team. According to WNBA.com, “Of the four teams that have won three titles, the eight-year span between Phoenix’s first title (2007) and most recent (2014) is the largest.” Their first championship run was one of the best, sweeping both teams in their way before reaching the finals. In the finals, they set more records, becoming the first WNBA team to win a championship on the road.
Their second championship in 2009 saw Diana Taurasi winning finals MVP, a reminder of what this team was in previous years. The team would go through a couple of bad years again before adding the brilliant Brittney Griner to their squad, providing them with their third championship in 2014.
Each one of these rings comes with hard work and a high standard of what basketball is. It should give hope to the fans of basketball teams that with the proper pieces, your team can take it all the way.
While the Mercury has been through highs and lows throughout the team’s history, Diana Taurasi has been the most consistent factor for them. She came in blazing as the number one draft pick in 2004 and has been labelled as the “GOAT” ever since. Aforementioned, she also won finals MVP in 2009 and scored 24 points with the championship-clinching bucket in 2014. If this wasn’t enough, Taurasi enters the 2021 WNBA season as the all-time leading scorer. She is currently out with an injury, but I’m sure Mercury fans can’t wait to see her return to the lineup.
One of Mercury’s best additions has been Brittney Griner. The centre out of Baylor helped them win their 2014 championship, and is part of their “big three.” When she uses her size to help on both ends on the floor, she can be hard to stop. Griner is 6’9 and needs to use this to her advantage.
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The third name of that “Big Three” is Skylar Diggins-Smith, with an honourary mention to recently acquired guard Kia Nurse. For more on these two players, check out this piece from earlier in the season.
Hopefully, you’re now a bit more familiar with this team, and that the Suns are not the only team you think of when you hear ‘Phoenix basketball.’ The Mercury are set to play against the Sky on June 1st at 8:00 pm, and the Suns are set to play game 5 of the first round against the Lakers right after at 10:00 pm EST. Phoenix fans are set for a good night of basketball.
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Image Source: AP Images