Triple-double queen Sabrina Ionescu eyes conflict with biggest participant in WNBA historical past after shortened rookie season

  • Sabrina Ionescu is ready for a full season within the WNBA after a rookie 12 months minimize quick by damage.
  • She has her eye on a recreation with Diana Taurasi, who’s broadly thought to be the league’s GOAT.
  • The New York Liberty star instructed Insider that she “has all the time admired her and the way in which she performed.”
  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

After a brutal ankle damage halted her rookie season, Sabrina Ionescu is able to check her talents in opposition to one of the best within the WNBA.

And he or she already has a date circled on her calendar forward of a extremely anticipated recreation.

On Sunday, June 13, the Oregon Geese sensation-turned-New York Liberty’s decide to guide the 2020 WNBA Draft will face the Phoenix Mercury and its marksman famous person, broadly thought to be the all-time greats of the WNBA. WNBA.

“Diana Taurasi,” Ionescu instructed Insider whereas discussing her recent campaign for BODYARMOR. “Truthfully, I missed taking part in virtually everybody, so numerous gamers I am excited for, however Diana, for certain.”

diana taurasi

Diana Taurasi.

Photograph AP / Phelan M. Ebenhack

Heading into his seventeenth 12 months within the league, Taurasi leads the WNBA in profession factors, three factors, subject targets, free throws and offensive win shares. And regardless of the age of 39 at the beginning of the coming season, the choice of 10 groups from the All-WNBA first crew confirmed completely no sign of slowing down.

Ionescu and Taurasi have a standard bond with late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Whereas Ionescu performed in Oregon, Bryant took the aspiring star below his wing and helped him go his well-known “Mamba Mentality” to him. Taurasi has lengthy seen Bryant as the best participant within the NBA, and the longtime Los Angeles Laker returned the admiration by dubbing his “White Mamba” as a derivative of his personal nickname “Black Mamba”.

sabrina ionescu kobe

Sabrina Ionescu (proper) and Kobe Bryant.


So it is no shock that the long run WNBA famous person has her eye on a recreation in opposition to Taurasi.

“I’ve all the time admired her,” stated Ionescu. “And the way in which she performed. I am simply excited to play in opposition to her.”

Like Ionescu – who used to pushing adult men for money Slurpee alongside his twin brother – Taurasi is deeply, virtually terribly aggressive. She as soon as stated to a referee, “I’ll see you in the lobby later,” in response to a nasty name she did not like. One other time she Floyd Mayweather talking trash whereas taking part in a very hectic recreation in opposition to his favourite WNBA crew – the Los Angeles Sparks.

Floyd Mayweather Diana Taurasi

Floyd Mayweather (middle) talks trash with Diana Taurasi from the court docket.

AP Photograph / Danny Moloshok

Taurasi did not hesitate to face his emotions in regards to the contemporary blood within the W, telling Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe last year that “each time you play rookies, you simply wish to kill them.”

“It occurs in numerous methods,” Taurasi stated in “A Contact Extra” with Chook and Rapinoe. “It is like ‘Oh, you had such a terrific senior 12 months, I am about to interrupt your ass proper now. Oh, that is nice. Goodbye!’”

As a triple-double machine and the one participant in Division I historical past to document 2,000 factors, 1,000 assists and 1,000 profession rebounds, Ionescu has lengthy been touted as one of many league’s subsequent greats. And though Ionescu shouldn’t be precisely rookie, Taurasi will certainly be able to step up the stress as soon as June 13 arrives.

FILE - In this March 6, 2020 file photo, Sabrina Ionescu (20) of Oregon plays against Utah in an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 Women's Tournament in Las Vegas.  The Associated Press had a panel of coaches from the WNBA and the general managers were holding a simulation project.  (AP Photo / John Locher, file)

Sabrina Ionescu for Oregon Geese.

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However after a number of months away from hardwood, Ionescu says she’s prepared for her “Welcome to the WNBA” second.

“It is simply a chance to develop,” she stated. “So I am glad to say, ‘Oh, wow, that is what it is wish to play within the league!'”

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