Diana Taurasi recently purchased a .3 million home in Manhattan Beach, Calif.with an ocean-view deck included in the master suite. And it’s not uncommon to receive cash payments after big wins. professional league where Taurasi cultivated her fame with the Phoenix Mercury.It’s what you’d expect for a household name, who’s regarded as the best women’s basketball player in the world. It’s her Russian club, UMMC Ekaterinburg, where she plays during the WNBA’s eight-month offseason.
They offered to pay me to rest and I've decided to take them up on it.” Concern is still rippling through the WNBA as it prepares to tip its nineteenth season June 5.
The Mercury are the defending league champions, Taurasi the Finals MVP.
If she bails on the WNBA, what’s to keep others from skipping a season?
Taurasi’s stardom has beamed a light on how the WNBA’s monetary constraints have created a revolving door of American and international players deciding where or if they’ll play based on personal and financial reasons.
“Being the best player in the world, there’s a lot of pressure that goes along with that…I can relate to it,” said Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello, who also coaches Taurasi in Russia.
Brondello, an Australian, missed WNBA games in 2000 to compete for her national team.“I was not the level of player she is, but I played year-round, and it’s quite draining,” Brondello continued, noting that teams fly coach in the WNBA.“To take a summer off, especially considering Diana’s age, it might lengthen her career.It’s the right decision for her.” It’s the WNBA’s unique setup that limits and broadens a player’s earning potential.The teams play 34 games during the summer months, capping player salaries at a maximum 9,500, with a minimum ,913 for the 2015 season.Players who want to keep their skills sharp, and pad their salary, travel overseas to places like China, South Korea, Israel, Spain, Poland, and Russia during the traditional hoops season—winter.