- Skylar Diggins Smith fired just 22% off the ground against the New York Liberty on Sunday.
- After her last shot missing from the game, the Phoenix Mercury star begged her coach to put her on the bench.
- “Please get me out!” Diggins Smith was heard yelling at Vanessa Nygaard across the Barclays Center.
Skylar Diggins Smith lost her patience playing against the New York Liberty this weekend.
The Phoenix Mercury star struggled with her shot throughout Sunday’s competition at Barclays Center. And despite playing for 35 minutes in the afternoon, she still found herself on the court with her side dropping 16 points at the end of the fourth quarter.
So when she missed her 14 out of 18 attempts in the day, with just over a minute left, Diggins-Smith felt her frustration boil over.
“Please get me out!” She could be heard screaming as she rushed to the defense.
“Excuse me!” The WNBA All-Star begged six times, turned toward coach Vanessa Nygaard and clapped her hands.
In the next play, New York guard Crystal Dangerfield passed Diggins Smith and found all-star Natasha Howard for two easy points. Only then did Nygaard take some time and pull her starting point out of the match.
Check out the full sequence below:
Although they enlisted eight-time WNBA All-Star and 2012 MVP Tina Charles to their roster, Mercury hasn’t been able to hide her impressive strength in victories. They have lost eight of their first 10 contests – including incurring seven losses in a row, one of which saw Diggins-Smith and WNBA legend Diana Taurasi Engaging in a heated exchange on the field forced their teammates to physically intervene.
With a limited window left to contend for the title, 33-year-old Charles left the team via a contract divorce in late June. And even as Diggins-Smith helped the team return to a more plausible 10-14 record before breaking the All-Star in July, Rumors spread about it The Phoenix leader may be charged in points and aid from The Valley.
But the trade deal never came to fruition. Not only has Diggins-Smith stayed with Mercury to this point, but it has propelled the team to contend for a potential playoff berth that once seemed highly unlikely.
With less than two weeks left in the regular season, the 32-year-old ranks fourth in points per game, seventh in assists per game, seventh in steals per game, and tenth in player proficiency rating league-wide. But whether she will be able to carry the Phoenix into post-season remains to be seen; Diggins-Smith and co. are currently seventh in the WNBA standings – just one game ahead of the next three teams vying for a playoff spot.
Only eight teams have won post-season bids, and five teams have already secured their spots.
But at this rate, even if Mercury sticks to one of the three remaining bids, Diggins-Smith may not have enough gas to continue to refuel the team. The nominee for Best Player of 2022 leads the entire league with a staggering 34.1 minutes per game, a statistic clearly linked to her Sunday afternoon brawl with Nygaard.
No wonder that during the final minutes of a game that was already out of control, Diggins-Smith was pressing her coach to give her some rest. It’s a responsible move for a team that will need every bit of energy they can muster to earn their ninth consecutive appearance after the season is over.
Team Nygaard will face the Connecticut Sun on the road Thursday before returning to Phoenix to host Liberty.