Diana Taurasi frustrated by WNBA travel constraints, quick turnaround to Finals


PHOENIX — Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi was still frustrated Tuesday, four days after she and two teammates had to charter a private plane Friday night so she could get back to Arizona from Las Vegas after Game 5 of the WNBA semifinals for the birth of her second child.

“We pay for everything,” Taurasi told ESPN. “This is the WNBA. We pay for it.”

She added: “It’s frustrating because there are people that would like to help, and it’s against CBA rules and this, and I understand there’s a standard to make sure everyone is on the same playing field. So, thank you to my Russian buddies for that.”

Taurasi was referring to her playing career overseas, including long stints on Russian teams, where she earned an annual salary in the seven figures, allowing her to afford to charter a private plane.

Taurasi’s complaints are part of a larger unhappiness toward the WNBA’s philosophy on travel.

The rest of her Mercury teammates flew back to Phoenix on a flight that left Las Vegas at about 10 a.m. on Saturday. By time they landed, it was already early afternoon. The Mercury coaching staff spent Saturday cutting tape and preparing for Game 1 of the WNBA Finals against the Chicago Sky on Sunday, which meant the Mercury didn’t get a practice day before the Finals, and only started watching film on Sunday morning.

“We didn’t even touch the court before the Finals,” Taurasi said. “So, yeah, that’s just disappointing because everyone’s tired, but you at least want to be a little bit prepared. So, I think after being on the court [Tuesday], the shootaround [Wednesday], we’ll feel better going into the game on Wednesday night.”

Taurasi might have been more tired than anyone else on the court Sunday. Her wife, former Mercury star Penny Taylor, gave birth to their daughter, Isla, at 4:24 a.m. Saturday, capping a whirlwind day for Taurasi.

She had considered driving back to Phoenix after Friday night’s game — which the Mercury won to send them to their fifth WNBA Finals — but…

Source : espn

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