Finals MVP Diana Taurasi Decides To Leave WNBA

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Complex Original

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ESPN's Kate Fagan

But when Taurasi announced Tuesday that she has decided to sit out the 2015 WNBA season, it wasn't just about rest; it's also about money. Sure, Taurasi has been going full speed for more than a decade, but she wouldn't sit out this upcoming season if the move didn't also make financial sense.

And that's where the club Taurasi plays for overseas, UMMC Ekaterinburg, comes into play. The team has offered Taurasi a deal: more than her WNBA salary -- to not play at all this summer.

For the 2014 WNBA season, the 33-year-old made just under the league maximum of $107,000. But she makes 15 times that -- approximately $1.5 million -- playing overseas. And now she'll make even more, as UMMC is essentially compensating Taurasi her WNBA salary, and then some, to?not play in the WNBA at all.

Arizona Republic

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.

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