WNBA's Taurasi, Delle Donne Exchange Remarks over Lowering Rim in Women's Hoops

Vanessa de Beaumont@@vanessadebeauContributor IMarch 30, 2016

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 07:  Guard Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury makes a pass against guard Elena Delle Donne #11 of the Chicago Sky in the first half during game one of the WNBA Finals at US Airways Center on September 7, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizo
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Diana Taurasi will keep her rim set at 10 feet, thank you very much.

Suggest otherwise, and the Phoenix Mercury star is liable to reply with, "Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen."

Which, according to espnW.com's Kate Fagan, is precisely the less than mild response Taurasi had to a For the Win piece published two weeks ago revealing reigning WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne's support for lowering women's basketball rims.

Contrary to Taurasi's opinion, the Chicago Sky's No. 11 believes that a transition would help achieve equality between men and women's hoops, not diminish it:

I think it would bring a whole different aspect to the game and bring viewership as well and show the athleticism of our women. We do every single thing on that court that the men do, other than the dunking. And, obviously, there is a handful of athletes who can dunk.

But when look at other sports like volleyball, their net’s lower. Golf, their tees are closer. It goes on and on. Tennis, they play [fewer] sets. Why not lower our rim and let every single player player in the league play above the rim like the NBA can?

And Delle Donne isn't alone in her endorsement for the change.

Taurasi's former head coach, the University of Connecticut's Geno Auriemma, also co-signed the idea in a 2012 Hartford Courant interview.

Even Taurasi's Mercury teammate, Monique Currie, penned her solidarity with Delle Donne on the issue in a personal blog for many of the same reasons.

Now, the balking rebuttals heard loud and clear, Taurasi has placed her self at odds with Delle Donne.

According to For the Win's Nina Mandell, the 26-year-old responded to Taurasi's remark on Wednesday afternoon, stating that she found it to be "degrading" to all female athletes.

Referring back to her earlier argument about the existing disparity between certain time and height standards in men's and women's sports, she added, "And if you want to talk about Serena Williams, she plays less sets than the men, so are you going to tell her to put a skirt on and go back to the kitchen?"

And while Delle Donne makes a terrific point, so, too, does Fagan.

The ESPN reporter and former University of Colorado hoops player discussed the NBA's admiration for reigning MVP Steph Curry's long-range shooting and nimble ball-handling—what she referred to as "the ultimate WNBA highlight." 

If the greatest motivation for lowering the rims is the promotion of dunking, something that one of the NBA's most exciting players does not often do, then perhaps changing the height would not be the solution, as Fagan seems to imply.

Lowered rim or not, both Taurasi and Delle Donne seem to be standing for the same thing: female athletes' benefit.

"It’s a time to empower women athletes, not to bring them down," said Delle Donne, per Mandell. 

Taurasi would be hard-pressed to find fault with that.

[For the Win, h/t Complex Sports]

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