As we all know, there's been an ongoing debate about Diana Taurasi's decision to sit the first half for the Phoenix Mercury. Many believe that she faked injury in order to be ready for the Olympics. Some are just fine with the fact that she decided to rest up for the Olympics. Here's my take:
If you know anything about me, you know that I consider myself to be the biggest Diana Taurasi fan there is. In that same breath, if you know me a tad bit more, you know that I speak my mind and don't believe in sticking up for wrong or inconsiderate acts. Some people say that I don't think Taurasi can do any wrong. That statement is far from the truth. (If you want assurance, watch a Mercury game with me)
By all means, this first half has been a struggle and if I had my choice, obviously I would rather have DT on the floor. At the same time, I totally respect and understand her actions. Dee has said time and time again, that she takes extreme pride in representing her country and doing it to the best of her ability. I was a bit upset about her missing the first half of the season, but as a Taurasi fan, and a Mercury fan since 2004, I feel that she has earned the right to take this time to ensure that she was 100%. The women of professional basketball play year-round which takes a toll on the body that is hard for even average athletes to understand, much less someone who has never put on an official team uniform before.
Taurasi has paid her dues, let's take a look at a few things:
Of a possible 274 games, Taurasi has played 263 games in her WNBA career.
In those 263 games she has averaged 32.1 minutes per game and 20.7 points.
Combine that with the fact that Taurasi has stuck it out with the Phoenix organization through lean years early and recent AND the fact that she considered taking time off in an attempt to rest her body and prevent nagging injuries from having effects like this, but instead decided against it, in a show of respect to the Phoenix Mercury organization. That's some kind of selfish huh?
What kills me the most about this is the fact that this is an Olympic year. It's not like Taurasi is just chilling on the sidelines because she feels like it. If it's selfish to take some time off to prepare to represent your country in your craft, then I'd hate to see how these same critics feel about a National Guard recruit taking a few months off from work and school to prepare for a stay overseas.
Now, in no way shape or form am I saying that basketball is on the same level as military obligations, but I say this to point out how spoiled we are as a country, and how utterly disrespectful fans can be. You don't see Australians or Seattle Storm fans on the internet bashing Lauren Jackson nor do you see Brazilians or Atlanta Dream fans trashing Erika de Souza. It makes absolutely no sense to me how someone can really feel this way about a player that has done little other than win everywhere she goes.
Maybe Dee should consider demanding a trade to the Seattle Storm or taking time off to go attend Fashion Week in New York? Or better yet, tracing back her family bloodline and suiting up for Argentina or Italy in the Olympics. Maybe that will make everyone happy.
But then again, who am I to judge? I'm just a diehard Taurasi fan that's tired of the foolishness.