Diana Taurasi Frustrated by WNBA's Travel Rules: 'We Pay for Everything'

Adam WellsOctober 13, 2021

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (3) looks to shoot in front of Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young during the first half of Game 5 of a WNBA basketball playoff series Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
AP Photo/Chase Stevens

Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi is frustrated with the WNBA's travel arrangements after she had to charter a plane to Arizona to be with her wife, Penny Taylor, in time for the birth of the couple's second child. 

Speaking to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss, Taurasi was critical of the WNBA for making players pay for things that should be covered by the league:

"We pay for everything. This is the WNBA. We pay for it. ... 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."

Travel issues have been a hot topic among teams throughout the WNBA playoffs. Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller told reporters about his club's challenges in trying to get to Chicago for a game against the Sky in the semifinals:

Alexa Philippou @alexaphilippou

To clarify, this means, for the Sun, that the Sun's 20+ travel party is spread among those 3 flights at 2 different airports<br><br>He's been told that Chicago is on 4

After the Mercury clinched a spot in the WNBA Finals by defeating the Las Vegas Aces in Game 5 of the semifinals Friday in Las Vegas, Taurasi and teammates Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith flew home separately from the rest of the team so Taurasi could be present for the birth early Saturday morning. 

Weinfuss noted Taurasi's unhappiness is part of a bigger issue with the WNBA. 

The Mercury didn't get back to Phoenix until Saturday afternoon after leaving Las Vegas in the morning.

"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," Weinfuss wrote.

Taurasi said the Mercury "didn't even touch the court" before the Finals started Sunday. 

Phoenix dropped Game 1 of the WNBA Finals 91-77 to the Sky. The Mercury and Sky will play Game 2 on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.