Diana Taurasi on report she broke Sky locker room door: 'There were a lot of doors in there'

Asia's Tech News Daily

It took more than 24 hours, but the Phoenix Mercury players finally answered questions after losing Game 4 of the WNBA Finals in which the Chicago Sky won their first championship in club history.

The answers, though, left a lot to be desired.

On Monday, the Mercury held a final season news conference where head coach Sandy Brondello and several players took questions via video call. The postgame Finals news conference was a mix of in-person attendance and video call attendees. 

Asked by Business Insider reporter Meredith Cash about a report from The Next Hoops’ Alex Simon on Sunday that she smashed the visiting locker room door after the game, Mercury guard Diana Taurasi instead joked: “There were a lot of doors in there.”

I asked Diana to set the record straight about the locker room door (based on reporting from The Next’s @AlexSimonSports):

“There were a lot of doors in there.” https://t.co/Ny727mzhsU

— Meredith Cash (@mercash22) October 19, 2021

Cash later explained on Twitter that she was unable to follow up with an additional question because her video sound was muted and hers was the final question that Taurasi answered.

I was the last one to ask DT a question, and I was muted as soon as I finished speaking. No chance for a follow up.

Presumably she would have had to answer a follow up had she done in-person media yesterday. She also wouldn’t have had 24+ hours to come up with a cheeky response.

— Meredith Cash (@mercash22) October 19, 2021

Why didn’t Mercury attend postgame news conference?

The Mercury declined to attend customary postgame media availability at Wintrust Arena on Sunday afternoon after their 80-74 loss in Game 4. Brondello did answer questions from reporters after the game before her players made their decision.

Brondello said Monday she didn’t know players declined to speak to reporters after the game. 

“To be quite honest, I didn’t know they didn’t talk to the media. … If I think about it, this is Chicago’s moment,” Brondello said via Cash.

Players also alluded to wanting to let the Sky celebrate their victory as why the Mercury skipped their media session.

Vaughn on the decision to skip media availability after Game 4 (Q from @Khristina2334): “Yesterday was very emotional… I don’t think anyone should focus on the fact that a lot of us were emotionally drained… It was more about celebrating Chicago.”

— Meredith Cash (@mercash22) October 19, 2021

“Yesterday was very emotional. … I don’t think anyone should focus on the fact that a lot of us were emotionally drained. … It was more about celebrating Chicago,” Kia Vaughn said.

“I think we just had to take a minute and that’s what we did.” #DianaTaurasi to @MechelleV on the team’s decision to skip media avail following yesterday’s loss. #WNBATwitter | #WNBAFinals

— Khristina Williams (@Khristina2334) October 19, 2021

“I think we just had to take a minute, and that’s what we did,” Taurasi said.

While these answers attempted to explain the players’ mindset, there is still a lot to be desired. Losing teams — even after championship losses — routinely face the media and answer questions. It is rare that a team declines to talk. 

Monday’s news conference also would have been part of a normal offseason routine for a team. After being eliminated from title contention, either at the end of the regular season or during a playoffs run, teams normally hold a postseason media session and answer questions about their season. Whether or not the Mercury attended a news conference after Sunday’s loss, there usually would have also been the Monday session.

Taurasi, who has trash talked opponents and officials over the course of her career, is usually candid with her feelings. Just days ago, she said Twitter was the reason she was fined for shoving a referee during Game 2.

“When Twitter speaks, the league has to make a decision,” she said. “They reviewed it [during the game], and they didn’t call anything. I wasn’t even in the scuffle.”

She also famously told a ref “I’ll see you in the lobby later” while arguing a foul call during the 2020 wubble season.

The Mercury have won three WNBA titles, and Taurasi was part of all three. She’s a 17-season veteran. That’s 17 seasons of pregame, postgame, preseason, regular-season, postseason, etc., media sessions. Her teammates similarly have been through this before. To suddenly skip out on an obligation after a game in which they missed 11 straight field-goal attempts in a win-or-go-home matchup is not a good look.

On Sunday, a WNBA official was asked if the Mercury would be fined for skipping the news conference. Citing the “evolving situation,” it wasn’t clear if the Mercury would face any consequences. 

© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and her teammates attempted to explain what happened after they lost to the Chicago Sky in the WNBA Finals. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

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