Phoenix Mercury roster & staff grateful for Ring of Honor honorees – Burn City Sports Phoenix Sports

Phoenix Mercury roster & staff grateful for Ring of Honor honorees – Burn City Sports Phoenix Sports

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Ring of Honor ceremony was held at halftime during the Phoenix Mercury vs Atlanta Dream on Saturday night. Five Mercury legends were honored for transcending the franchise and paving the way its success. Head coach Nate Tibbetts and players alike are not only grateful for their contributions, but the experiences that have helped empower the team in various ways.

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“We were talking after practice, some of the coaches, that this is our first time in the [WNBA]. It’s a small, collective group — a family almost. Just to see the joy on our current players to see those legends — some of them have coached, some of them are players in different places, some of them have played with some of those players. It was a great moment,” said head coach Nate Tibbetts. “It’s always really neat to recognize greatness, and some of the things that they’ve done. Part of the first teams here, the first bucket for the Mercury, all those things. It was really cool. I was happy for the Ring of Honor players, and also our current players.”

“They stuck around for 45 minutes after shootaround. Hopefully our players are going to lean into them and the things that they’ve been through,” Tibbetts added. “I know that there was a lot of conversation, and there’ll be more tonight, after the game and before the game spending time with them. So nothing collectively to the group, but more individually about their experiences.”

“I think it’s huge. I think it’s something that should’ve always been happening,” said Mercury guard Sophie Cunningham. “I love that the ownership and our front office is celebrating the people that came before us in order for us to do what we want to do…It feels good, they totally deserve it.”

“Anytime that you can think about the history of the people who came before you, it gives you a sense of gratitude and appreciation for what you have [and] what they didn’t have,” Cunningham added. “Back then, they were hard nosed, they didn’t get anything. Just to see who was the very first member of the Mercury, the very first person who made a shot for the Mercury, it gives you some pride to wear that across your chest.” The five honorees visited Saturday’s practice, ahead of the Ring of Honor ceremony.

“It’s huge,” said Diana Taurasi. “Mat [Ishbia] has been adamant about making sure that the history of this franchise is recognized, is appreciated, is honored. And I think it just means so much in this day and age when you talk about the people who come before us, and kept this league going at the beginning. When you talk about Cheryl…Bridget, Penny, those are names that everyone knows, and made this franchise what it is today.”

Meet the Phoenix Mercury’s five Ring of Honor members

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Justin LaCertosa covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @LaCertosaSports

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