Sport Diana Taurasi setting the WNBA all-time scoring record is another leap for the league

00:30  20 june  2017
00:30  20 june  2017 Source:   Yardbarker

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Diana Taurasi is on the verge of breaking the WNBA ’s all - time scoring record of 7,488 points, adding what might be the most definitive claim to her legacy as one of the greatest players in the game.

Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi breaks the WNBA all - time scoring record . Taurasi became the WNBA ’s career scoring leader in front of her family, friends and Kobe Bryant. Taurasi stands alone atop the league ’s scoring list.

She scored her first points for the Phoenix Mercury on May 20, 2004, by cutting around defenders in the perimeter for an open three-pointer. Adrian Williams-Strong was sitting in the post against Sacramento Monarchs center Yolanda Griffith when she saw the dynamic rookie guard out of UConn in her purview. A quick flick of the wrist was the start of a career that would shatter records, inspire and challenge future generations of athletes, and most importantly, help push a fledgling league to greater heights.

From that moment, you just knew that it wouldn’t take long for Diana Taurasi to remake the Mercury and the WNBA in her own image.

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Despite another off night for Diana Taurasi , the Phoenix Mercury still managed to come out of San Antonio with a 78-72 win. Just ask WNBA and Diana Taurasi super-(twitter)-fan, @DT3sBun about the Phoenix Mercury technical contest she Not even Taurasi is in the league scoring conversation.

About the only thing missing from Diana Taurasi ’s record - setting day was a victory. Taurasi stands alone atop the league ’s scoring list. The courtside view as @ DianaTaurasi becomes the all - time leading scorer in # WNBA history! pic.twitter.com/UprV8UgdkP.

Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury warms up before the game against the Chicago Sky on June 16, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. Taurasi broke the WNBA all-time scoring record on Sunday against the LA Sparks. © Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury warms up before the game against the Chicago Sky on June 16, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. Taurasi broke the WNBA all-time scoring record on Sunday against the LA Sparks.

To fully appreciate Taurasi’s career – one that could go on forever, if she chooses – you have to understand how much the WNBA has evolved since its launch in 1996. After all, the future Hall of Famer was part of one of the early waves of players who came of age as high schoolers who would finally see a stable professional women’s league on North American shores. She knew what it was like to carry the reigns of an evolution at Connecticut, a program that was already the cream of the crop in the women’s game since the Rebecca Lobo era of the early 1990s. Even some of the best to ever play for Geno Auriemma stand in awe of her accomplishments in Storrs – four Final Fours, three national titles, multiple individual honors.

Diana Taurasi becomes WNBA all-time leading scorer

  Diana Taurasi becomes WNBA all-time leading scorer Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi became the WNBA's all-time leading scorer after she passed Tina Thompson's record on Sunday.The Phoenix Mercury star surpassed Tina Thompson's record of 7,488 points with a layup late in the first half against the the Los Angeles Sparks. Taurasi finished the game with 19 points, setting the new record to 7,493 points.

Diana Taurasi may find herself at a new spot in the history books after the Mercury’s game on Friday night. The Phoenix star is 29 points away from breaking the WNBA ’s all - time scoring record , a record set by Tina Thompson in 2010.

Diana Taurasi may find herself at a new spot in the history books after the Mercury’s game on Friday night. The Phoenix star is 29 points away from breaking the WNBA ’s all - time scoring record , a record set by Tina Thompson in 2010.

Yet, how she was doing it was far different: She was and remains a quick-footed guard with unbelievable range, underrated stamina and superior vision. You could list a number of male players her game emulates in comparing to something more familiar, and though it’s not totally fair to female hoopers, it’s also a bit of a testament to how unique DT’s style has always been. For many of us who also came of age along with Taurasi, we immediately noted that she had a "pro game" at UConn, one that was much more assertive and individualistic than what’s usually celebrated among the college ranks. Yet, the best in basketball players can balance their own scoring with the efforts of their teammates, and though more of a shooting guard than a point guard, Taurasi was a very good passer in college.

Players with some, if not all, of Taurasi’s skill set were certainly in the WNBA, but it was a league that was built off of veterans who logged a huge bulk of their prime years internationally. They were still superb athletes, and like the league’s first two-time MVP, Cynthia Cooper (1997, 1998), undeniably brilliant because of their experience, but youth was no longer on their side. Though the WNBA was drafting players straight out of the college ranks from jump – the initial Elite Draft gave the league Tina Thompson, whom Taurasi passed on Sunday – it wasn’t until the 2000s where the real youth infusion was taking shape. The 2001 Draft alone could be considered the league’s best ever – the first round featured Lauren Jackson (#1, Seattle), Tamika Catchings (#3, Indiana), Ruth Riley (#5, Miami), Deanna Nolan (#6, Detroit), Katie Douglas (#10, Orlando) and Penny Taylor (#11, Cleveland). Taurasi’s former UConn teammates dominated in 2002 as four of the first six picks were Huskies, led by #1 overall pick Sue Bird, the alleged "Logowoman" and second all-time career assists leader. 2003 was highlighted by Cheryl Ford – daughter of Hall of Famer Karl Malone – Plenette Pierson and Kara Lawson. (Notably, former track star Marion Jones was drafted in the third round.)

Diana Taurasi becomes WNBA all-time leading scorer

  Diana Taurasi becomes WNBA all-time leading scorer Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi became the WNBA's all-time leading scorer after she passed Tina Thompson's record on Sunday.The Phoenix Mercury star surpassed Tina Thompson's record of 7,488 points with a layup late in the first half against the the Los Angeles Sparks. Taurasi finished the game with 19 points, setting the new record to 7,493 points.

Game recognize game: Kobe on what he respects about Diana Taurasi 's career after she breaks the WNBA 's all - time scoring record https 👏🏾👏🏾@ DianaTaurasi on becoming the @ wnba All Time Leading scorer ! Ppl will remember your talent, I'll always remember u as teammate #selfless.

Diana Taurasi breaks WNBA all - time scoring record . Share. Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi scored more than 14 points to become the WNBA 's all - time leading scorer on Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Sparks.

Taurasi entered the league that was moving further away from the post-oriented play thanks to players of her peer age group. Sure, Catchings, Riley and Taylor flourished in the paint, but they had a shooter’s touch in the perimeter, opening up cutting lanes for their smaller teammates. Bird’s vision remains second to none, even in her 16th season with the Seattle Storm. Forwards and tall guards became interchangeable – just as Elena Delle Donne – but DT dominated because few had her shot selection or her speed off the ball. Her aggressiveness wasn’t completely reckless; in fact, she is one of the few pure guards to rank in the top 25 of career true shooting percentages. Taurasi’s field goal percentages have slipped some in the last two seasons; she’s career 43.5% shooter, and it wasn’t until last season where she didn’t make the 40% mark for a season – just .396 in 2016 and .372 so far in 2017. And she’d probably remind you that she’s a trusting teammate and a playmaker thanks to being fifth all-time in career assists. (None of this mentions her dominant play in European pro leagues and Olympic/FIBA competition.)

Diana Taurasi setting the WNBA all-time scoring record is another leap for the league

  Diana Taurasi setting the WNBA all-time scoring record is another leap for the league She scored her first points for the Phoenix Mercury on May 20, 2004, by cutting around defenders in the perimeter for an open three-pointer. Adrian Williams-Strong was sitting in the post against Sacramento Monarchs center Yolanda Griffith when she saw the dynamic rookie guard out of UConn in her purview. A quick flick of the wrist was the start of a career that would shatter records, inspire and challenge future generations of athletes, and most importantly, help push a fledgling league to greater heights.From that moment, you just knew that it wouldn’t take long for Diana Taurasi to remake the Mercury and the WNBA in her own image.

.@KingJames salutes @ DianaTaurasi for becoming the @ WNBA 's all - time leading scorer in history. Game recognize game: Kobe on what he respects about Diana Taurasi 's career after she breaks the WNBA 's all - time scoring record pic.twitter.com/BxARGq8nVD.

WNBA League Pass. All - Time Leaders. Advanced Stat Glossary. Taurasi ’s Record Breaking Three. At halftime, ESPNews ran a feature on Becky Hammon, showing the legendary point guard’s best highlights, and discussing her career.

Her long-range game comes to mind for most observers, knocking down a league-record 933 (and counting) triples in her career. Yet, the mental image her opponents have been unable to shake remains a jab step from the three-point line before she would find daylight and make a deft drive to the rim. Both are incredible complements of each other – if a defender couldn’t keep pace with her, she’d find a screen and buy at least one more second for an open three or blitz to the basket for an acrobatic layup. Being a second or two faster than everyone else is how Taurasi became the first player to eclipse the 800-point mark in a WNBA season, only one of two to have score more than 800 in a season (Maya Moore did it in 2014), and the only one to have done so twice (2006, 2008).

Taurasi could have broken the WNBA scoring record long ago, if not for missing most of 2012 due to injury and her decision to skip the 2015 WNBA season to make much more money with UMMC Ekaterinburg of the Euroleague. And while it’s easy to wonder how much further she could have pushed career records out of reach if not for those two season – perhaps she would have become the first 10,000-point player in WNBA history in 2018 – it’s even easier to marvel at what the 35-year-old is still doing right now. Just as Tina Thompson, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and many others did in the years before her arrival, Diana Taurasi is setting a new standard for another generation of players to reach for when she finally retires. Taurasi is signed with Phoenix, the only WNBA team she’s ever played for, through 2020, meaning that her high marks will have reshaped the league in ways never previously imagined.

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