After Phoenix Mercury teammates Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi got into a heated argument, Diggins-Smith is now ruled questionable.
Maintaining a competitive edge on the pitch can often lead to fights between players, but the rivalries are usually between teams, not between them.
It’s not often that teammates get into heated disagreements, but when they do, it has a tendency to go viral.
When Phoenix Mercury played the Las Vegas Aces, a falling out broke out between Mercury point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith and legendary Mercury guard Diana Taurasi. The internet collectively bent over to see what the fight was about, but there were no clear answers, let alone audio.
When Diggins-Smith was listed as “questionable” for the Mercury game against the Dallas Wings, the timing was a little suspect. WNBA reporter Lyndsey D’Arcangelo summed it up perfectly in one word: Hmm.
As WNBA fan Jesse Barush put it, she might as well be listed as “Questionable (Sick of DT)”.
Skylar Diggins-Smith was listed as “questionable” after Diana Taurasi’s argument
Professional athletes have made it clear that mental health affects their physical play, and the underlying issue in all discussions of the tensions is the fact that Mercury center Brittney Griner remains detained by Russian police. Many WNBA athletes including Diggins-Smith himselfhave expressed publicly how the Griner situation is affecting them.
It’s also what Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard mentioned when discussing the incident following the team’s 86-74 loss to the Aces.
“People are passionate about sports and we saw that,” Nygaard said, according to AZCentral’s Jeremy Cuff. “We’re not the first team to have any disputes or disagreements on the bench. We’ve seen it in the NBA and other leagues this season. The players, they play hard, they play with passion. This is their life, this is the game they love and there is a lot going on. Our team also has more to do with the BG situation. It’s not something that goes away for us. I would call it passion.”
As Nygaard said, tempers flare on the sidelines in any sport, especially during a loss, but this Mercury team is going through something together that most teams never experience. Taurasi, Diggins-Smith and Griner won Olympic gold together last summer, showing the chemistry that has bound these Mercury teammates together for years.
In April, Diggins-Smith spoke to FanSided about her longstanding relationship with Griner, who was drafted alongside her and Elena Della-Donne as top 3 picks in the 2013 WNBA draft.
“These are living legends, like I said, and future Hall of Famers, Olympians and just two iconic people in the sporting period,” Diggins-Smith said. “Especially when it comes to women’s basketball, two of the best there’s ever been and who would have known?”
“I obviously have a relationship, BG and I, and our history there, so it was just awesome to see it come full circle. And to see how everyone is still thriving in their own ways, in their own lanes, and truly in their own paths. And that’s something that when you look at the blueprint, you kind of see, when you look back at it, everyone has a different way of getting where they are. Even all of us who have started from similar places have been able to navigate through many adversities and are still navigating through them.”
Diggins-Smith hasn’t said anything directly about it, but reading into one of her retweets and her injury label, it’s not unreasonable to think that this could be related to the situation surrounding the dispute.
If the non-COVID illness is any indication of taking time off the game – which athletes have been doing across the sporting landscape – hopefully Diggins-Smith will be able to play again soon.
https://fansided.com/2022/05/19/twitter-speculates-skylar-diggins-smith/ WNBA fans skeptical of Skylar Diggins-Smith’s disease after Diana Taurasi dispute