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Taurasi, the one and only

By - Jun 23, 2017

By Vaughn Johnson for The Sporting Nation

Diana Taurasi recently broke Tina Thompson's 7,488 career points-scored mark to become the WNBA's all-time scoring leader.
Taurasi,  a 13-year veteran and three-time WBNA champion, scored 19 points last Sunday against the Los Angeles Sparks, and now holds the record with 7,494 points.
In a conference call this week, Taurasi spoke to the media about what went into achieving the record, its impact on herself and others, and what's next for the superstar guard from California.
"I'm just really proud of being able to be persistent in the game of basketball," Taurasi told reporters about what it took to be able to reach the milestone. "In the position that we're in, (WNBA players) where we have to go overseas to make a living, when we come back here, the summers start to become a bit of a grind."
"That's one thing I can look towards the future about, that I've been able to be persistent about something I love."
Taurasi's love for the game is nothing new to anyone who knows her, as her passionate and fiery style of play shows every time she takes the court.
“I think that just comes from me really loving the game,” Taurasi said about where her mentality stems from. “When I play, I can't call or describe it, but I just have this passion to win.”

Sometimes it gets the best out of me, but I guess I’ve just always been that way. And I think it’s from my family."
Even though winning is what drives Taurasi and her passion, becoming the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history had to have been on her mind that Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.
When asked if she pushed to achieve the points-scored milestone, rather than letting it come to her, Taurasi sided with the latter.

“No, I definitely didn’t try to force it or go after it. I said I was just going to let it happen organically, but at one point I was like ‘Can we just get this over with it already?’” Taurasi said.  
“I wanted to get it over with, so our team could kind of move on. And when it happened, it was very soon, and we were getting our a** kicked by 20, so then it was like, ‘alright, well now lets see if we can get back in this game.’” 
During, on the verge, and after breaking the record, Taurasi’s drive to win never strayed. This quality is something that has earned her the respect and admiration of many of her peers around the league and basketball community.
“I think it’s the biggest respect you can get,” Taurasi said. “The basketball community is really small. A lot of these players, whether it’s guys in the NBA, all of us in the WNBA, the overseas players, the coaches, there’s a certain synergy between basketball players that we have so much respect for each other.”
“Right after the game, Brian Agler, the Sparks head coach, came up to me. He was my assistant coach my rookie year and was like ‘I was there for the first one, and I was here for this one.’ That meant a lot to me, something as small as that, but it meant the world to me.”
With so many career achievements and so much respect from within the entire basketball community, one would wonder what’s next for the current WNBA scoring leader.
“One thing I’ve always wanted is to just be a great teammate,” Taurasi said on what she wants as her legacy. “To this day, I’ve always worked to be a great teammate. That comes from on the court, making sure you're ready to play and your teammates are ready to play.”
I just turned 35, physically and mentally I feel great but I’m just going to play it by year and stay motivated, and hopefully help the Mercury win another championship," she added. "If the national team is on the table, and if there’s something I can contribute while still playing at a high level, I’d love to do that, too.”



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