- Diana Taurasi really isn’t sure who will win this year’s WNBA All-Star Game.
- The 10-time WNBA All-Star will play for Team USA in the high-profile matchup against Team WNBA.
- “That All-Star team is loaded… It’s really a crapshoot of who’ll win,” Taurasi told Insider.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Diana Taurasi is among the most confident and most competitive players in women’s basketball history.
But she says she’s not going to prematurely declare victory in this year’s WNBA All-Star Game.
In recent seasons, the top vote-getters became team captains and were given the power to draft other All-Stars onto their side. But the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game will work a bit differently, as the 12-player Team USA roster heading to Tokyo for the Olympic games will take on “Team WNBA” – featuring an extremely talented mix of international stars and American high-profile players who did not make the Olympic squad.
“That All-Star team is loaded!” Taurasi told Insider. “Neither team will have any practice, so it’s really a crapshoot of who’ll win that game.”
The 39-year-old sharpshooter is suiting up for Team USA, though she told the news media she “probably won’t play” in the All-Star Game due to a hip injury.
Her main objective, she said, “is to be ready for the Olympics” as she prepares to compete in the fifth games – and for the fifth gold medal – of her illustrious career.
“When you get to five, the motivation is larger than getting to the Olympics or winning a gold medal,” Taurasi said. “You have to have some internal motivation and fire that really drives you in wanting to still play and compete. And I think that’s the one thing I’ve always said – the day I don’t feel competitive when I’m on the court is the day I’ll walk away.”
“But I still have that fire burning in me to be better, to win, to be out there with my teammates,” she added. “So it still lingers.”
Now nearly 20 years into her playing career, Taurasi needs to prepare herself physically more than she does mentally. An essential part of winning that battle against father time is staying hydrated, Taurasi says, because it’s “probably your key to making sure you get through your workout.”
She’s made BODYARMOR – the sports drink that launched into the mainstream thanks to a 2013 investment from the late Kobe Bryant – a fixture “in my daily routine” to fuel her trainings for the WNBA and Team USA. She’s even hoping to “get a nice little shipment to Tokyo.”
But before looking ahead to the Olympics and the lure of winning a seventh-consecutive gold medal for the United States in women’s basketball, Taurasi and her Team USA counterparts will be focused on the WNBA All-Star Game. But for the league’s all-time points leader, the competitive nature of Wednesday night’s matchup further underscores Team USA’s dominance on the world stage.
“People always joke around that [the US] could probably field two or three teams in the Olympics,” Taurasi said. “And this All-Star game will be the perfect example of that.”