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Sep 13, 2016

While the WNBA and their franchises celebrate the departures of Tamika Catchings and Swin Cash to retirement, one of the most unsung stars of the last 15 years is quietly going about her business, and heading into her final games as well.

Penny Taylor will be retiring after this season, and she deserves to be celebrated too.

The Mercury has announced a formal retirement ceremony will be held in 2017, but for some reason, there are no plans for a celebration this year. That in itself is unfortunate, but probably how Taylor would like it.

Part of what makes Taylor such a special player throughout her career is her ability to be the chameleon of her team, changing roles and positions as needed. One day scorer, one day facilitator, one day defender, one day rebounder.

Three times Taylor has been a WNBA All-Star, which equals the number of WNBA championships she has too. That tells you something right there; it is never been about the individual accolades and honors, it has been about the wins.

On the international stage, the Opals have earned much of Australia’s success because of Taylor and the retired Lauren Jackson.  It was Taylor though, who was Most Valuable Player in the 2006 World Championships, when the Opals won it all, not Jackson.

Unfortunately, injuries deprived Taylor (and us) from some of her career, and are now part of why she is retiring after this season.

It has been a trying summer for her.

The Mercury has struggled to get on the same page and earn a playoff spot despite being the General Managers’ pick to win it all.

The Opals failed to reach the medal round in the Olympics despite Taylor’s near Herculean effort, as what seems to be a poorly constructed team struggled. T

Still, Taylor is comfortable in her decision to retire, and said that she knows that it is time. Recently before the Mercury’s game in Connecticut (which they lost, 87-74), we caught up with her and talked about the rest of the season, her decision to retire, and looked back at the Olympics and some of the “issues” with the Opals for this year and going forward.

Taylor had not seen the article in the Sydney Morning Herald that partially blamed the late arrival of Erin Phillips and Taylor from the WNBA for the performance of the Opals, when asked about it, but certainly has opinions. 

Good luck to Penny Taylor in her future endeavors, and here is hoping she continues to be a part of international women’s basketball, as there always is a need for people like Taylor, unsung but dedicated, in the game.