Diana Taurasi will sit out 2015 WNBA season
Diana Taurasi, one of the WNBA’s greatest all-time players and fresh off of her third WNBA title, will sit out the 2015 season, reports ESPN. Taurasi agreed to a deal with UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia, who will pay her WNBA salary and then some through the winter.
Taurasi, 33, expects to return to the Mercury in 2016 and also plans to play for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics.
“Since 2004, when I started professional basketball, it has been a cycle, a cycle that I have enjoyed so much,” Taurasi told espnW. “With my team in Russia, a conversation began about making sure I’m at an elite level for a long time with them. I put everything on the table and weighed all my options and made the best decision.
“I’m really lucky to even have these options,” she said. “It speaks volumes on how UMMC values our relationship and vice versa. For 10 years, I have never had any significant time off.”
Here’s part of an open letter Taurasi wrote to her fans:
“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.”
She’s brought three championships to Phoenix and she’s fully earned this right. Diana Taurasi is now very arguably the greatest female basketball player of all time. If she wants to cement that in stone, she’ll definitely come back to try and get more.