5/16/12: Media Day: Phoenix Mercury
It was like a reunion and home coming at Media Day for the Phoenix Mercury, at US Airways Center on Wednesday. There were familiar faces like Diana Taurasi, DeWanna Bonner, Candice Dupree and Alexis Gray-Lawson, as well as some new faces like Big 10 Player of the Year and sixth overall pick Samantha Prahalis. Then there was Alexis Hornbuckle and Charde Houston, both who formerly played for the Minnesota Lynx. A familiar name no longer with the Mercury is guard Temeka Johnson, who was traded to Tulsa in the off season.
Corey Gaines started media day by answering questions.
When asked about what if anything the team would do differently with the loss of Penny Taylor, Gaines said “It is kind of tough. Penny is an extraordinary player. Penny is probably a top ten player in the world. I think we may have lucked out by getting Charde and Hornbuckle, and maybe we can replace some of the things that Penny does by committee.” Gaines expects other players to step up, especially DeWanna Bonner, saying “she is a star and will become a bigger star.”
Diana Taurasi was next up to speak and she said, “I am glad I am following Corey. He makes me look good.” When asked about how her dual role of propelling the team to higher levels and teaching the younger players would enhance her career? Taurasi said, “When you do see the young kids it gives you that extra step, that extra bit of energy. It is nice to bring those new faces. It feels good. There is good energy in the gym. And now we have to find a way to win basketball games.”
I spoke to DeWanna Bonner, Candice Dupree and Alexis Gray-Lawson. They all were excited to start the season and each knew they had to step up due to the loss of Penny Taylor. Bonner expects to play all positions once again this season. Dupree will focus on more of a leadership role and Gray-Lawson with much higher confidence this year, expects to have a break out season.
The team has a good mix of veterans and youth and should be an exciting brand of up tempo basketball, that will once again thrill the fans.
The first game is on the road, Sunday May 20th, against the reigning champions, the Minnesota Lynx. The game will be televised at 9:30 AM PST on ABC. The home opener will be on Saturday May 26th, against the Los Angeles Sparks.
For tickets click on this link: http://www.wnba.com/mercury/tickets/may14_homeopener_splash.html