Watching Diana Taurasi play basketball is a little like watching the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry. Taurasi, the former UConn guard, is different–a sort of grand master on the court. You know where they appreciate a grand master? Russia. So when Taurasi decided not to come back from Putin country to play with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury it shouldn’t have surprised anybody. What, you didn’t know about the Mercury? Wait, you’ve never seen a WNBA game? Well, now you understand.
Taurasi, 32, makes ten times her American basketball salary playing in Russia. So she just stayed there–drinking lots of vodka and playing ball, according to a profile in the New York Times. She’s got a driver (good for vodka drinking), a translator, a posh pad and a seven-figure salary. Taurasi misses home, but she’s trying to bank some savings. Basketball is the only thing she knows how to do, she says–at least her only job experience. She sure is great at it though. A male player as exceptional as Diana Taurasi (three gold medals) would be financially set for life in the US.