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Diana Taurasi writes a letter to Mercury fans about her decision to sit out the 2015 season

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The Mercury star reassures fans that the team will still be competitive while she recharges her batteries.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi has announced that she will sit out the 2015 WNBA season. She wrote a letter to Mercury fans about it. You can read a picture of that letter by clicking here to the Mercury website, or you may also read the text that is transcribed from it below:

(* * *)

This is a letter to say I will see you in 2016.

I was raised in California, have lived all over the world but most days Phoenix feels like home.

That's one of the reasons writing this letter could be difficult -- because it could be about saying I won't see you in 2015. By now you have probably heard from the team that I won't be playing for the Mercury this season, that I have made the choice to take the summer of 2015 off.

This decision isn't a statement about the Mercury. I said it at our championship rally last September, but I want to repeat it here: the day I was drafted to the City of Phoenix and the Mercury organization was the luckiest of my life. Our team, our coaches and our organization include some of the best people in my life. And they deserve your support whether or not I'm there -- because they are still going to be damn good.

The year-round nature of women's basketball takes its toll and the financial opportunity with my team in Russia would have been irresponsible to turn down. They offered to pay me to rest and I've decided to take them up on it. I want to be able to take care of myself and my family when I am done playing.

Last year was one of the best basketball experiences of my life and it's because of the path we took to get there, all that we as a team have been through since 2009's confetti fell -- all that you went through with us. Those of you who were at our championship rally remember that I said bringing that trophy back to Phoenix was the best moment of my life so far. And I meant it.

But this isn't a a letter about all of that.

This letter is a thank you for you support, for making this team and this city my home.

This is a letter to say there is still more work to be done and more championships to be won.

This is a letter to say I will see you in 2016.

Diana Taurasi

(* * *)

I know that the Mercury has been accused for allegedly tanking for Brittney Griner/Elena Delle Donne/Skylar Diggins in the 2012 season. And Taurasi's decision certainly brings out the conspiracy theories that the Mercury's trying to get in the Breanna Stewart/Jewell Loyd Sweepstakes this season.

But at the same time, year-round play in women's basketball could hurt the WNBA, because the league is not paying players at a similar level to what they could earn overseas. Therefore, with Taurasi now at the end of her prime and nearing the twilight of her career, it is totally understandable as to why she has decided to sit out 2015, regardless of whether Stewart or Jewell Loyd is in the 2016 Draft of not. Hopefully her batteries are recharged for 2016, and the Mercury can continue to play at a high level until she retires.