Diana Taurasi among 3 Mercury named top-25 players in WNBA history

Sep 6, 2021, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:28 pm
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 31: Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury waves to fans before the WNBA...
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 31: Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury waves to fans before the WNBA game against the Chicago Sky at the Footprint Center on August 31, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Three Phoenix Mercury players are among the 25 greatest in WNBA history.

Diana Taurasi (2004-2014, 2016-present), Brittney Griner (2013-present) and Cappie Pondexter (2006-2009) each made “The W25” list, which the WNBA released to further celebrate its 25-year anniversary.

The players who made it are listed in alphabetical order and were voted by select media and “women’s basketball pioneers.” Selectors chose from a group of 72 players who met the criteria.

Players needed to accomplish four of the following seven feats to be eligible: winning a major individual award, making an All-WNBA First Team or Second Team, making a WNBA All-Defensive First Team or Second Team, earning an All-Star Game selection, winning a WNBA championship, ranking among the top-40 career leaders in a major statistical category plus winning the WNBA Community Assist Award.

Taurasi is the WNBA’s all-time leader in points during both the regular season and playoffs. She made an All-WNBA team in 14 of her first 17 seasons, most in league history, and has 10 All-Star Game appearances. The Mercury guard also has an MVP and two WNBA Finals MVPs on her resume.

Taurasi also has five Olympic gold medals and a street named after her in Downtown Phoenix. These are not specific qualifications, but aid in her case of being the league’s greatest player.

Griner, like Taurasi, was the No. 1 overall pick by Phoenix and has been a constant on All-WNBA teams. She has five selections to go along with seven All-Star Games.

The Mercury center has been one of the league’s best defenders and scorers since getting drafted. She has six Defensive Player of the Year awards and is No. 31 all-time in scoring despite being in just her ninth season.

Pondexter was not with Phoenix for long, but she made her stamp quickly.

She won the 2007 WNBA Finals MVP in just her second season after scoring 26 points with 10 assists during the series-clinching Game 5.

Pondexter was an All-Star in three of four seasons in the Valley. She made the 2009 All-WNBA First Team before the Mercury traded her in a four-team deal for Candice Dupree the following offseason.

Fans have the opportunity to vote for who the greatest of all time is on the WNBA’s website, app or by using the #WNBAGoatVote hashtag on Twitter. Voting concludes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 19, and the winner will be announced during the WNBA Finals. Taurasi will likely be in the mix for the rank of G.O.A.T.

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