The 2014 Phoenix Mercury, the Best Team in WNBA History?
When the Phoenix Mercury swept the Chicago Sky in the 2014 WNBA Finals, it was the pinnacle of one of the greatest season in the sport’s 18 year history. With a regular season record of 29-5 capped by a 7-1 record in the playoffs, this group of young women is arguably one of the best WNBA teams of all time.
If you’re a WNBA fan, you’ve probably noticed that the Phoenix Mercury uniforms are a little different from those of other professional basketball teams. That’s because the Mercury were one of the first non-soccer sports franchises in North America’s major leagues to place a company logo on their uniforms. In 2009, the Mercury announced a sponsorship agreement with LifeLock, a identity theft protection service, that placed the company’s logo on the team’s basketball jerseys through the 2013 season. Starting in 2014, the team’s jerseys feature sponsorship logos for Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort. But sponsorship aside, whether sporting their sharp white home jerseys or their vivid purple away jerseys, these ladies know exactly what they’re doing on the court.
During the 2014 playoffs, the Mercury players averaged 51.3% on field goals, 33.1% on three-point shots, and 85.6% from the free throw line. With these kinds of numbers, it’s not surprising that they secured the victory in the Finals. In fact, Rebecca Lobo, an ESPN analyst and former WNBA star, has been quoted as saying that this team is “definitely in the discussion as one of the best all time.”
The Mercury despite being one of the WNBA’s original franchises, has had a rocky history. In their 18 year history, they have qualified for the playoffs nine times and won the WNBA Finals three times. In 2012, they had the second worst record in the WNBA with a final record of 7-27. However, with their 2013 top overall draft pick of Brittney Griner and new coach Sandy Brondello, they have come back with a vengeance.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what happens in the 2015 season with guard Diana Taurasi making the decision not to play. Her decision was reportedly prompted by a request from her Russian Premier League team who offered to pay her more than her WNBA salary to sit the season out. Taurasi has had the highest individual points per game for the Mercury in four of the past five years.
So, do you agree that the 2014 Phoenix Mercury are one of the best teams in WNBA history? And what do you think that Taurasi’s departure will mean for the team?