Coach Nygaard: Mercury’s Diana Taurasi is ‘officiated in a different way’

Jun 1, 2022, 2:32 PM
Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi (3) calls out the play during the WNBA game between the Phoenix Mercury...
Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi (3) calls out the play during the WNBA game between the Phoenix Mercury and the Atlanta Dream on August 21st, 2021 at Gateway Center Arena in College Park, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Bloodied future Hall of Famer Diana Taurasi was ejected late in the second quarter Tuesday after a no-call during the Phoenix Mercury’s WNBA Finals rematch against the Chicago Sky.

First-year Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard after the game used the moment to defend Taurasi about how she is being officiated.

And Nygaard risked receiving her first fine as a WNBA head coach to do so.

“Alright everybody, this is the time I get fined. Her whole arm is scratched up and bleeding,” Nygaard said. “(Diana) doesn’t get any technicals she don’t want, but that was a lot. That was out of line. If she is physically bleeding, there’s blood dropping off of her, and it’s not a foul, and you expect her not to be upset, and she’s hit multiple times before, and she’s officiated in a different way.

“The greatest player of all time can’t get these calls. … I really just don’t know what’s happening because she’s bleeding and they’re not responding. I guess I’ll let my players know they can draw blood and no foul will be called.”

With Phoenix trailing the Chicago Sky by 10 points on Tuesday, Taurasi drove hard in the paint as she attempted a shot over Candace Parker. She was visibly upset over the no-call.

Taurasi pounded her fist and started arguing with referee Jenna Reneau, resulting in a technical foul and the ejection moments later.

As she was exiting the court, Taurasi appeared to be dripping blood from her left forearm.

This was just Taurasi’s second ejection of her career and third technical foul of the season.

With the loss, the Mercury are now in the midst of a six-game losing streak.

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