Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor extended
PHOENIX -- Four-time WNBA scoring champion Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor have signed multiyear contract extensions with the Phoenix Mercury, the team announced Monday.
Specific terms of the contracts were not disclosed. Taurasi, who was the league MVP in 2009 and led the league in scoring five times in her seven-year career, signed a contract extension last year, the last of a previous three-year deal.
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"Diana and Penny have been the face of this franchise for eight years and we look forward to that remaining true for years to come," Mercury President and general manager Ann Meyers Drysdale said. "Their loyalty to this franchise and commitment to excellence on the court has taken us to elite status in the WNBA."
Both players were part of championship runs in 2007 and 2009 with the Mercury and have been with the team since 2004.
Both have had nagging back injuries this year. Taurasi missed two games earlier in the year with back spasms and Taylor missed five of the last six games of the regular season with back spasms.
The Mercury finished third in the Western Conference and travel to Seattle on Thursday for the first game in a best-of-3 series with the defending champion Storm.
Taurasi, the No. 1 overall pick by Phoenix in the 2004 draft, just edged out Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry by percentage points for the scoring title this season, averaging 21.7 points a game. Taylor, the second-leading scorer for the Mercury at 16.7 points a game, was the Mercury's top pick in the Cleveland dispersal draft after that franchise folded.
Taylor re-signed with the Mercury in 2009 after she skipped the 2008 WNBA season to play with the Australian national team in the Beijing Olympics, winning a silver medal. She also won a silver in 2004 with her home country.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press