The WNBA announced on Tuesday that the Phoenix Mercury organization has been fined $10,000 after players skipped media duties following the team’s Game 4 loss to the Chicago Sky in the 2021 WNBA Finals. In doing so, the players violated “league rules governing postgame media interview access.”
With their season on the line, the Mercury built a 14-point second-half lead over the Sky in Game 4. It looked for a time like they were going to send things back to Phoenix for a winner-take-all Game 5. They weren’t able to hold on, however, and fell apart down the stretch for a heartbreaking loss. Frustrated by the outcome, and the manner in which it happened, the Mercury players chose to head straight for the bus instead of coming to the press conference room. Head coach Sandy Brondello did speak to reporters.
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Eventually, the players spoke to the media during exit interviews the following day in Phoenix.
“We just had to take a minute, and that’s what we did,” Diana Taurasi said. “We were a pretty devastated team. We had hopes of coming back here tomorrow night.”
“Yesterday was very emotional,” Kia Vaughn added. “I don’t think anyone should focus on the fact that a lot of us were emotionally drained… It was more about celebrating Chicago.”
In addition, Taurasi also addressed a report from Alex Simon of The Next that she broke a door in the visitor’s locker room after Game 4. “The door was severely cracked through the middle, which an eyewitness said came from Taurasi slamming the door multiple times,” per Simon’s report.
“There were a lot of doors in there,” Taurasi said.
The Sky responded with a bit of trolling by bringing the broken door to their championship parade and celebration in Chicago on Tuesday.