PHOENIX MERCURY

Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird grace cover of NBA 2K23 WNBA edition

Jul 6, 2022, 11:01 AM

(NBA 2K23 Photo)...

(NBA 2K23 Photo)

(NBA 2K23 Photo)

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird have been linked for more than two decades, playing together at UConn and then helping the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team win five gold medals.

Now, the basketball greats will appear on the cover of the NBA 2K23 WNBA edition video game that will be released on Sept. 9.

“You know you have all these little girls playing basketball, and they can actually start gaming now with you know, hopefully, two of their favorite players on the cover,” Taurasi said. “It just shows you how far gaming and women’s basketball has come.”

It’s the second straight year that the video game will feature a WNBA athlete on one of its covers; Candace Parker was on it last year.

“The response to NBA 2K’s first WNBA Edition last year was overwhelmingly positive and a testament to the W’s growing audience and prominence,” said Alfie Brody, Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy at 2K. “Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi have achieved greatness both individually and together, cementing their status as two of the best players in the WNBA’s history.”

Bird and Taurasi said they played video games a bit when they were younger, but there were no female basketball players on the games.

“It is really, really cool personally, and I also think it, you know being that we’re women and it’s now the second time they’ve had women on the cover it’s it’s meaningful has special in a different way as well,” Bird said.

Bird feels that being on the cover and having WNBA players in the video game will help normalize the presence of female athletes in the lives of both boys and girls.

“Whether it’s girls or boys, whether it’s women, men it doesn’t really matter and that’s that’s the beauty of it,” Bird said. “It’s just becoming like a normal part of this ecosystem that is professional sports and gaming is a big part of that ecosystem so to be involved in it now it’s just going to continue to push things forward and just open up more doors and open up more minds.”

NBA 2K is also partnering with the WNBA stars to donate $100,000 to Every Kid Sports, giving young people the opportunity to join youth basketball programs across the country. The donation will cover the registration fees of over 550 girls from income-restricted families.

“Girls are dropping out of sports at an alarming rate, and I think part of it is they’re not always able to dream of what could be a career that could be it’s really easy for little boys,” Bird said. “Whether you make it or not, it’s actually not the point. But it’s really easy for little boys that turned on the TV to see what life could be like, if I stayed with my sport.”

Taurasi marks the second player out of Phoenix to be front and center in this year’s edition, joining Suns guard Devin Booker as 2K23 cover athletes.

This season (23 games), Taurasi is averaging 15.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists over 30.7 minutes per outing.

Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix Mercury guard Kahleah Copper (2) during a WNBA basketball game, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in L...

Associated Press

Kahleah Copper scores 37 points, leads Mercury to win over Aces

Kahleah Copper scored 37 points and the Phoenix Mercury handed the Las Vegas Aces their first loss of the season 98-88 on Tuesday night.

2 days ago

Kahleah Copper...

Associated Press

Copper scores career-high 38 points in Mercury home-opening win over Dream

Kahleah Copper scored a career-high 38 points in the Phoenix Mercury's home-opening win over the Atlanta Dream on Saturday night.

5 days ago

Diana Taurasi celebrates...

Kevin Zimmerman

Diana Taurasi on Caitlin Clark: ‘It’s going to translate … it’s going to take time’

Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi caused a rift when she pumped the brakes on how Indian Fever rookie Caitlin Clark's season would go.

7 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Mercury legend Diana Taurasi gives some advice to Fever star Caitlin Clark

Phoenix Mercury legend Diana Taurasi joins Bickley & Marotta to discuss the state of the WNBA, Caitlin Clark and the season ahead.

7 days ago

Head coach Nate Tibbetts of the Phoenix Mercury yells to his players in the first quarter of their ...

Damon Allred

Mercury coach Nate Tibbetts ‘thankful’ for Diana Taurasi’s experience and leadership

Nate Tibbetts has a lot of his own experience to lean on, but the experience Diana Taurasi brings to the team has been invaluable.

7 days ago

Diana Taurasi scores 23 points but Phoenix Mercury drop season opener to defending WNBA champion La...

Associated Press

A’ja Wilson posts double-double as Mercury drop season opener to Aces

Diana Taurasi scores 23 points but the Phoenix Mercury drop their season opener to defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces 89-80.

9 days ago

Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird grace cover of NBA 2K23 WNBA edition