EDITOR’S NOTE: Melanie Jackson is a senior editor at ESPN.com. She provides Front Row this inside look at the recently published feature “Breaking Down Diana Taurasi’s 10,000-Point Shot” regarding the basketball legend’s impending WNBA career milestone. Entering Phoenix’ home game against the Atlanta Dream tonight (10 p.m. ET), Mercury star Taurasi is 18 points shy of the milestone..
Diana Taurasi entered the 2023 WNBA season as the league’s all-time leading scorer. This week she’s expected to become the first player in WNBA history to score 10,000 points, and ESPN’s digital team has been tracking the milestone since before the season tipped off.
With ESPN Creative Studios spearheading the project, we launched in May expecting limited access to Taurasi, who is rarely on social media and participates in few interviews beyond Phoenix Mercury availability.
However, ESPN staff writer Josh Weinfuss, who is located in Phoenix and has gotten strong, insightful interviews with her in the past, was able to secure a 30-minute sit down with Taurasi at Phoenix’s training facility in June.
Throughout the on-camera interview, Taurasi discussed her shooting form, basketball IQ, longevity, and confidence — all the things that have enabled the 41-year-old to stay on the court for 19 WNBA seasons and become the game’s greatest scorer.
From there, everything fell into place as we set out to break down not only the mechanics of her shot and how she creates scoring opportunities but explain the nitty gritty, such as why her feet don’t point toward the basket like most shooters and how she developed such a quick release without much of a follow through.
With an innovative design featuring a series of looping videos highlighting the things that make Taurasi an elite scorer, the project is an invigorating visual experience that also includes four individual segments of Taurasi’s interview.
While the design and tech of the page are must-see, Taurasi describing what it’s like when she’s in the zone is an absolute treat, as are the quotes from UConn coach Geno Auriemma, Sue Bird, Taurasi’s longtime USA Basketball teammate and close friend, and former Mercury coach Sandy Brondello.
SportsCenter ran the feature below in advance of the milestone.
Many thanks to the collaboration, leadership, and great work from: Michelle Bashaw (Sr. Designer), Leon Belt, (Associate Art Director), Jarret Gabel (Sr. Front End Editorial Designer), Nick Galac (Deputy Photo Editor), Alecia Hamm (Sr. Visuals Editor), Michael Kataja (Supervising Video Editor), Kristine LaManna (Sr. Photo Editor), Beth Stojkov (Art Director), Garrett Siegel (ESPN Digital Media) and Rachel Weiss (Sr. Producer, Creative Operations).
Rachel Siegal contributed to this post