Diana Taurasi on lowering rims: ‘Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen’

Mar 30, 2016, 6:03 PM
Diana Taurasi and Elena Delle Donne have gone back and forth in the media over the issue of lowerin...
Diana Taurasi and Elena Delle Donne have gone back and forth in the media over the issue of lowering rims in women's basketball.

Two weeks ago, Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA MVP, told USA Today that she believes lowering the rims in women’s basketball from their current 10 feet would help the game.

Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi not only told ESPNW’s Kate Fagan that she disagrees but said it so bluntly that the spotlight on the issue only grew more bright.

“Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen,” Taurasi said.

Delle Donne responded quickly after Taurasi’s comments came out, firing back with her argument and criticizing Taurasi’s comment in USA Today.

“I respect Diana so much, I think what she’s done for our game is phenomenal,” she said. “But I definitely disagree with what she said.

“For Diana to say something like ‘put your skirts on and go back to the kitchen’, that’s tweets we read every day of what people say to us when we’re just trying to play our sport,” she said. “That’s what’s frustrating about it. It’s a time to empower women athletes, not to bring them down.”

Delle Donne also reiterated her points from her original comments. The nets are lower in women’s volleyball, and golf tees are closer to the hole in women’s golf. She argues that the game would catch more eyes if women’s hoopers were dunking like their male counterparts.

Taurasi’s Mercury teammate, Monique Currie, sided with Delle Donne’s perspective.

Fagan, a former basketball player who played at Colorado, acknowledges those points but agrees with Taurasi.

Not only is it impossible to change the height of every fixed 10-foot rim around the world, but every current player would be forced to adjust to such a change — this after practicing their entire lives on 10-foot rims.

Writes Fagan:

… lowering the rims won’t reverse years of social conditioning that leaves most sports fans believing that women’s sports and female athletes are inferior.

Plus, lowering the rims is predicated on the idea that high-flying dunks are a top reason fans love the NBA.

But is it?

It’s easy to find a player who challenges that assumption. The NBA’s best player, Stephen Curry, isn’t exactly a high-flying basketball success story.

No matter what opinion you hold, it’s hard to ignore the discussion — both from a basketball sense and a socially progressive one — when two of the world’s best players are caught in a disagreement on such an important topic.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Mercury

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 10: Tina Charles #31 of the Phoenix Mercury handles the ball against Cheyen...
Arizona Sports

Mercury, former WNBA MVP Tina Charles agree to contract divorce

The Phoenix Mercury and former WNBA MVP Tina Charles have agreed to a contract divorce effective immediately, the team announced.
14 hours ago
Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury reacts after scoring against the Minnesota Lynx during the ...
Associated Press

Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles combine for 49 points in Mercury’s loss to Lynx

Tina Charles finished with 26 points and Diana Taurasi added 23 in the Phoenix Mercury's 100-88 loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday night.
3 days ago
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) shoots during the first half of Game 1 of the WNBA bask...
Nikash Nath

Suns’ Monty Williams: ‘It is time for (Brittney Griner) to come home’

Suns head coach Monty Williams on Thursday urged those to continue to keep pushing for Brittney Griner's safe return home.
3 days ago
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) drives past Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker (3) duri...
Associated Press

Mercury’s Brittney Griner chosen as honorary WNBA All-Star starter

Brittney Griner will have a place at the WNBA All-Star Game, being named an honorary starter Wednesday by Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
4 days ago
Aerial Powers #3 of the Minnesota Lynx looks to pass under pressure from Diana Taurasi #3 and Tina ...
Associated Press

Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith scores 25 points in loss vs. Lynx

The Minnesota Lynx beat the Phoenix Mercury 84-71 on Tuesday night at Footprint Center to snap a five-game losing streak.
5 days ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Phone call between WNBA’s Brittney Griner and wife being rescheduled

A phone call between Brittney Griner and her wife is being rescheduled after an attempt to connect on the couple's anniversary failed.
5 days ago
Diana Taurasi on lowering rims: ‘Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen’