Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi on her historic night

Diana Taurasi became the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer on Sunday, making us forget in the process that the Sparks defeated her Mercury, 90-59. Her layup with 45 seconds to play in the second quarter pushed her past previous record-holder Tina Thompson, and she finished the game with 7,494 career points.

After the game, while congratulations poured in, Taurasi took a moment with the media to reflect on her career, her achievements, and what it means to stand alone atop the league’s scoring list.

“It feels good, the last couple of weeks it’s been a little bit of weight on my shoulders. It’s pretty special when you pass Tina in anything. She’s been such an amazing player for the WNBA and just for basketball in general, she’s such an icon. When you start thinking about more of the people that you share the court with, the coaches, the teams, I’ve been pretty lucky to be around a lot of great players and coaches. At the end of the day it’s an opportunity that you have to take advantage of. I’ve gotten that opportunity.”

Taurasi knows her place in history. While she insists she’s not done yet (and why would she be?), she knows that one day another great player will come along and break the record that is now hers.

“I’m going to keep playing as long as I can produce and play at a pretty high level. When you start thinking about records in different sports, there’s certain numbers that create a lot of attention. I hope the next time this record gets broken, which it will, it’ll be a bigger deal. I think it’ll be cool to sit back and watch the next person break it.”

Naturally, players and coaches from both teams had plenty to say about Taurasi. Here’s what Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello told the media after the game:

“People don’t realize but for Diana it’s not about all the records she’s breaking, it’s about the winning and the comradery. That’s really what makes her special. She’s all about ‘We’re a team, this is how we’re going to win, as a team… She’s so humble, so unselfish, that’s the kind of person she is, on and off the court. Hopefully she’ll look back and realize what she’s done and enjoy it for a few days and keep adding to that tally.”