Brittney Griner is not going anytime soon.
The two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and three-time WNBA All-Star today signed a new multi-year contract with the three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury, the team has announced.
“Brittney Griner is the present and the future of the WNBA and we are fortunate to guarantee she continues her growth here in Phoenix,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “Building a championship team starts on the defensive end and this move keeps the best rim-protector in the history of the women’s game in a Mercury uniform for the foreseeable future. Griner has changed the way the WNBA game is played, she has rewritten record books in just four years, and she is already a champion. Most importantly, BG is a part of our family, who is loved by her teammates and who keeps our locker room fun and light. She puts her heart into everything she cares about, on and off the court, and we are thrilled to keep her in Phoenix.”
TEAM-CHANGER: In just four seasons since being selected by Phoenix with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, Griner owns three All-Star appearances (2013, 2014, 2015; no All-Star Game held in 2016 due to Olympics), four trips to the postseason, four appearances in the WNBA Semifinals (formerly conference finals), one Finals appearance, and the 2014 WNBA title. Since drafting Griner, the Mercury has compiled a regular season record of 84-52 (.618), the second-best in the WNBA in that span (Minnesota), including back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in franchise history. Phoenix won a WNBA-record 29 games in 2014, and then won 20 games in 2015 despite playing without Diana Taurasi. Griner owns 13 playoff victories in just four seasons and has advanced to the playoffs seven times (single-elimination or series win).
In four seasons with Griner anchoring the Mercury defense, Phoenix has led the league in blocked shots the last three seasons (2014-16), finished in the top-four in field goal percentage defense three times (1st in 2014), and finished in the top-four in scoring defense twice.