Diana Taurasi is an icon on this planet of hoops, and the perennial All-Star often known as the “White Mamba” added one other milestone to her illustrious WNBA profession on Thursday night time.
The 41-year-old grew to become the primary participant in WNBA historical past to attain 10,000 factors, hitting the mark with a protracted 3-pointer through the third quarter of a recreation in opposition to the Atlanta Dream. She had season-high 42 factors in Phoenix’s 91-71 victory to push her whole to 10,024.
Like many of the greats in any sport, Taurasi has stated she has all the time cared extra about successful than milestones and data.
“I actually don’t take into consideration the quantity, I actually don’t,” Taurasi stated after scoring 29 factors in a one-point loss to Indiana on Tuesday night time. “I’ve all the time stated I’ve simply performed basketball as a result of I like to play. Actually the one motive why I preserve displaying as much as the fitness center proper now could be as a result of I nonetheless like to play and you realize, this group nonetheless exhibits up day by day.”
The group is displaying up however not successful. Though Taurasi has been targeted on making an attempt to salvage a shedding yr for the one WNBA group she’s performed for, it’s not possible to disregard the looming milestone.
— WNBA (@WNBA) August 4, 2023
Taurasi’s 10,000 factors put her greater than 2,500 forward of second-place Tina Thompson. Taurasi, who has averaged 19.1 factors throughout her profession, had her first good likelihood on the milestone Thursday night time in opposition to Atlanta and delivered.
“On behalf of the WNBA and basketball followers worldwide, I need to lengthen my heartfelt congratulations to Diana on reaching the unbelievable milestone of 10,000 factors as she continues to writer new chapters is an illustrious WNBA profession.” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert stated in an announcement.
“Diana’s achievement stands as a testomony to her talent, willpower, and unwavering dedication to the sport, which alongside along with her aggressive nature, has captivated followers along with her unbelievable scoring capacity, clutch performances, and unparalleled basketball IQ. We’re honored to witness this milestone.”
DeWanna Bonner is the following closest energetic participant on the record. The almost 36-year-old Connecticut Solar ahead is almost 3,300 factors behind Taurasi.
“What she’s been in a position to do for such a protracted time frame has been really unbelievable,” stated Bonner, who performed with Taurasi for the primary 10 years of her profession in Phoenix. “I’ve seen firsthand how arduous she works and what she’s performed and its wonderful.”
Present WNBA scoring chief Jewell Loyd has 4,458 factors in her nine-year profession. It will take her one other 277 video games if she averaged 20 factors a recreation to succeed in the ten,000-point mark. Regardless of the very fact the league has expanded its schedule to 40 video games every year, Loyd doesn’t suppose she’d be taking part in lengthy sufficient to attain that many factors.
Taurasi doesn’t keep in mind most of her factors, though the sport by which she broke Thompson’s mark in 2017 will all the time be particular as a result of it was in her hometown of Los Angeles and the late Kobe Bryant was there. Taurasi broke Thompson’s report on a layup and after the sport, Bryant dubbed her “White Mamba” as a derivative of his moniker “Black Mamba.”
“I do not forget that due to the place it was and who was there,” Taurasi recalled. “Should you add up all of the factors I’ve scored abroad through the years, I’m means over 10,000.”
Her 10,000th level in WNBA occurred in entrance of a pleasant house crowd on the Footprint Heart, and its significance isn’t misplaced on Taurasi.
“When it occurs will probably be a cool second for our metropolis, for our franchise,” she stated. “Actually for all of the individuals who have been in my nook for a very long time.”
Taurasi has been the cornerstone of the Phoenix franchise since she was drafted first in 2004 out of UConn. She not solely is the profession regular-season scoring chief, but in addition holds that mark within the playoffs, too. She’s received three WNBA championships for the Mercury and earned MVP of the Finals twice in her profession.
“We’re getting in a position to witness greatness in entrance of us,” interim Mercury coach Nikki Blue stated. “You’re taking with no consideration how good DT is. How she’s been this previous 19 years. To witness her on this second, it’s tremendous particular. I hope everybody watches and embraces the second. She’s been the face of our group and our league for a number of years.”
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