Phoenix Mercury 2019 season preview

Story and photos by Devin Millington, June 2019 Issue.

This winter saw the Phoenix Mercury heating up and not always for the good. For instance, one of the first off-season moves was to fire Assistant Coach Todd Trexel after he was charged with domestic violence. The charges against Trexel were later dropped by prosecutors due to Trexel’s fiancé's refusal to cooperate. Nonetheless, this situation has provided the Mercury with an exciting opportunity to elevate former Mercury player (and wife of Diana Taurasi) Penny Taylor to assistant coach. Taylor spent the 2018 season taking care of her infant son Leo, born just weeks before the season opener. Don’t be surprised to see an all-female coaching staff!

Regarding player moves, the Mercury tried to sign

Sparks guard and Baylor alum Odyssey Sims, but the Sparks matched the Mercury

offer for the restricted free agent, ending the chance to reunite Sims with her

college center, Brittney Griner. 

Days later, the Mercury successfully snatched flamboyant guard and 10-year veteran Essence Carson away from the Sparks. The six-foot guard joins an already bloated backcourt, which could make for an interesting pre-season. XFactor member and basketball aficionado Lorri Cap gave a thumb’s up to the Carson acquisition, saying, “It comes down to winning championships and Carson has the rings and experience. The Mercury organization has been focusing on the notion that experience wins championships, so I’m excited to see how she plays with our ladies and give (Carson) support, even though she came from LA.”

Injured forward Sancho Lyttle re-signed with the

Mercury, but her health status is still a bit of a mystery. Lyttle blew out her

ACL midseason last year and has been rehabbing away from the team facilities,

according to a Mercury senior official. “All player contracts are up to Jim

(Pittman). I’m sure Jim was confident in Sancho’s health when the contract was

signed. The team will know exactly what’s up with Sancho once she reports to

training camp,” says Bryce Marsee.

Brittney Griner




General Manager Jim Pittman selected Stanford forward Alanna Smith in the first

round (eighth pick) of the 2019 WNBA draft in April. The Aussie has been

coached by Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello for their national team, so the

pick was not surprising. Smith was the most efficient scorer in 2018-19 and

averaged 19.6 PPG and 8.6 RPG last season with Stanford. Late in the first

round, Pittman took part in a multi-team trade, resulting in the Mercury

trading away center Marie Gülich for Notre Dame star forward Brianna Turner.

The team then picked up Missouri standout Sophie Cunningham. In the final round

of the draft, Pittman selected Louisville guard Arica Carter.  Of all the players selected, Alanna Smith

will likely be the only rookie the Mercury keep, but Brianna Turner could come

out of training camp in the 12th player slot. 


Back, Again


missing the 2017 season, DeWanna Bonner resumed her place among the Mercury Big

Three, playing so large the WNBA named her Comeback Player of the Year for

2018. That kind of play also brings about labels, as in Core Player. 2019 marks

the second year in a row the Mercury has saddled Bonner with the designation.

Bonner is in a unique situation, as her wife and former Mercury starting

forward Candice Dupree is now with the Indiana Fever. It’s fair to say they’d

like to be on the same team again. With Bonner likely to be tagged as a Core

Player for an additional two years, a reunion will likely not happen for a





just experienced her first full winter of resting. Briann January rested and

rehabbed after off-season shoulder surgery. January also spent the winter as a

member of the Arizona State University Women’s basketball coaching staff. Mercury

forward Camille Little has been MIA, not showing up overseas or in the news.

Cap speculates Little will not be with the Mercury this summer. 


the W

Health is always the key to any successful run at a

championship and since this is a women’s game, pregnancy always affects teams.

This year the Dallas Wings are dealing with all-star guard Skylar

Diggins-Smith’s pregnancy. The Wings are also dealing with their star center

Liz Cambage demanding a trade. The Minnesota Lynx’s perennial all-star Maya

Moore is sitting out the 2019 season, making theirs a season of somnambulating

and likely missing the playoffs. Meanwhile, the defending champions Seattle

Storm suffered a monumental blow when 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart tore her

Achilles tendon while playing for Russia in Euro League’s Championship game in

mid-April. Stewart had surgery to repair the tear and will likely sit out the

entire 2019 WNBA season.

Diana Taurasi



all the tumult and injuries throughout the league, it’s tough to predict who

will find success. The West has been the stronger conference for several years,

but the East may be making a comeback. Connecticut will be a contender with

Atlanta battling them in the rankings. As for the West, it looks like Phoenix

will battle their arch rival, the Los Angeles Sparks, for the top spot. If the

Mercury can stay healthy and find a couple of lucky pennies, they have the best

shot at taking it all. And if the Mercury win their fourth WNBA Championship,

most people will expect Taurasi to retire, but she won’t. 2020 will be her

final year in the W!

Photo courtesy of Jose Cuervo

2023 Reserva de la Familia Limited Edition Terceerunquinto

On January 10, 2023, Reserva de la Familia, Jose Cuervo’s ultra-premium collection of artisanal small-batch tequilas and Mexico’s crown jewel, announced its 2023 collector’s box, designed by artists Rolando Flores and Gabriel Cázares of the Mexico-based Tercerunquinto Collective. The piece of custom art, titled “Structuring a Landscape”, features a geometric abstraction of the landscape of Tequila, Mexico and will adorn the 2023 limited-release collector’s box of Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo.

Since 1995, Jose Cuervo has worked with internationally recognized artists with roots in Mexico to design the box artwork for Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo. Each box is an authentic collector’s item, with a limited quantity produced annually before a new artist is chosen. Previous artists include Gonzalo Lebrija, Pedro Friedeberg, Carlos Aguirre, Ricardo Pinto and many more. Every artist is selected by a team of art curators including 11th generation Cuervo family member and CEO of Jose Cuervo, Juan Domingo Beckmann, Executive Director of El Museo del Barrio in New York City, Patrick Charpenel and founder of Zona Maco, Mexico’s number one art fair, Zélika García.

Keep reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Velvet Ibiza

Velvet Ibiza

Every year, Ibiza is home to Europe’s very epic queer woman’s party, Velvet Ibiza, which is celebrating its 7th anniversary and promises to be next level. Velvet Ibiza is an all-inclusive 5-day and 5-night party and includes transportation from the airport, a bungalow, 3 meals, and activities and parties day and night, and drinks until around 10:30 pm.

This year, international crowds of LGBTQ+ women will be attending Velvet Ibiza on May 2 - 7 to celebrate life, belonging, and freedom. Event organizers have rented an entire resort in order to build a community vibe and allow queer women to connect so there’s no reason to go anywhere unless of course, you want to go shopping, head to the beach, or explore the island.

Keep reading Show less

Financial Planning for the LGBTQ+ community

The new year has arrived. For many people, that means making resolutions and thinking of ways they can do better in the coming year and beyond. Money management and financial planning are often very popular resolutions and goals, but most financial advice tends to be aimed at heterosexual couples who want to grow their family and raise children.

But, what if your life goals are different? What if you don’t receive the same protection under the current laws as hetero couples?
What if you don’t want to have kids?

Keep reading Show less