Now that the WNBA season has ended the various members of the Phoenix Mercury will now spread themselves across the globe playing their year round style of basketball. The great thing about womens basketball abroad is that it can net the players, often times, a better salary than the WNBA provides.
This allows them to play all year and make the type of money that makes it worth playing basketball all year.
There is something fundamentally wrong with the system to where players are drafted and committed to a team locally here in the WNBA, but are paid more abroad. Someone like Brittney Griner or Diana Taruasi can make 2-3 times more money in China or Russia respectively for 4-6 months of basketball in a foreign country. It is a great opportunity to go overseas and make more money, but that is a different conversation for a different time.
The team sent four players including the obvious, Taurasi and Griner, with Candace Dupree and DeWanna Bonner as well to Las Vegas for try-outs for Team U.S.A. after their solid play this past season.
Despite falling short of their ultimate goal of winning a WNBA Championship this year the team is being recognized for the profusion of talent that they possess.
For some players they will spend the winter and summer overseas with their teams. Others will be back in the Spring, ready to get back to work. Last year Taurasi showed up literally the night before media day and less than a week away from the first scrimmage game. Keep up with the team overseas with the tracker below and follow along on Twitter for their journey.
Where in the World are the Mercury?
Brittney Griner -- Team: Zhejiang (China) Season: October-February
Diana Taurasi -- UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia) Season: October-March
DeWanna Bonner -- Nadezhda Orenburg (Russia) Season: October-March
Candice Dupree -- Dynamo Kursk (Russia) Season: October-March
Penny Taylor -- N/A
Alexis Hornbuckle -- N/A
Briana Gilbreath -- N/A
Charde Houston -- Uni Girona (Spain) Season: October-March
Krystal Thomas -- Perfumerias (Spain) Season: October-March
Lynetta Kizer -- N/A
Jasmine James -- N/A
Russ Pennell: Not Returning
Randy Hill of Fox Sports Arizona reported this first, Russ Pennell will not have the interim tag removed from his title with the Mercury. In fact he no longer has a title with the Mercury as he has decided to pursue future college opportunities in mens basketball.
Pennell changed a lot in his shot time with the Mercury including taking a sub-.500 club to the Conference Finals when everything about the season seemed up in the air.
In addition to Pennell leaving, President Amber Cox has as well, after being involved with the club since 2005 and, since 2011, the teams President. The team now has a head coaching void, a president to replace, and few roster moves that are needed to fix the issues the team saw consistently throughout the season. Assistant coach Anthony Boone will likely move on with Pennell to his next stop. Top assistant Julie Hairgrove should be considered after eight seasons as a loyal assistant for the Mercury. She was passed over for Pennell when Corey Gaines was relieved of his duties, a move that, with all things considered, should not be duplicated.
WNBA Draft Lottery: TBD
WNBA Draft: TBD