Diana Taurasi Is the GOAT

The UConn icon is a legend in her sport. But her greatest accomplishment yet may be on the horizon.

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January 5, 2019

If you've watched Diana Taurasi play basketball at UConn or with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, it probably became clear quickly that you were watching the greatest of all time. Selected first overall in the 2004 draft, Taurasi lived up to that expectation so spectacularly that there’s relatively little noise around the discussion. The fact that there’s so little contention on the matter more or less confirms her status in basketball circles.

 

But Taurasi’s impact stretches far beyond the sport, and the next year of her career and life should be a fascinating time to watch her influence blossom. The WNBA is looking at a prolonged labor war with its governing body—the NBA—and Taurasi is spearheading the charge toward more equitable pay and treatment.

WHAT'S NOW: Outside of basketball, Taurasi has recently kept a low profile.  Last March she and her wife, Penny Taylor, welcomed a son, Leo, and she spent the year focusing on being a parent. Her entrepreneurial spirit, though, has opened doors for female athletes all over the globe. While Taurasi was far from the first to play overseas for superior pay to the WNBA, she helped popularize the practice for America’s top players, she helped popularize the practice for America's top players, who don't get the financial compensation they deserve in their domestic league. (One year, her Russian team paid her not to play in the WNBA, as not to risk injury. That's a flex.) Taurasi leads by example.

 

WHAT'S NEXT: As the WNBA's labor war looms, Taurasi will be a leader in the players' fight for more equitable treatment. Last July, she told reporters that it will take "drastic measures" in order to make meaningful progress. The league's players have formally opted out of their CBA. Even though her playing career has entered its twilight, Taurasi isn't done opening doors for the next generation. As one of the most important battles in the history of women's sports looms on the horizon, Taurasi will be at the forefront of the conversation for change. 

 

This piece is part of our monthlong series featuring the 30 Most Entrepreneurial Athletes. For other entries in the series, head to our 30MEA page.

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