Skylar Diggins-Smith says she can’t use Mercury facilities


Phoenix Mercury‘s Skylar Diggins-Smith alleged Thursday that the team has not allowed her to use its practice facility while on maternity leave this season.

Responding to a fan on X, formerly Twitter, who noted the organization did not wish Diggins-Smith a happy birthday on social media the previous day, the six-time All-Star responded, “They’re not gonna acknowledge me this year and it’s OK guys. We’re not affiliated unless it’s the checks….per management. I can’t even use the practice facility or any resources.”

Per the WNBA’s most recent collective bargaining agreement, Phoenix must pay Diggins-Smith’s full salary while she’s on maternity leave.

Diggins-Smith later posted on social media that she has no access to “massage therapists, chiropractor, chefs, strength and conditioning, nutritionist accessibility, etc … [that] EVERY other player has access to. However I’m still down 48 lbs on my own and I’m feeling great!”

Diggins-Smith has yet to suit up for the Mercury this season after giving birth to her second child in the spring. She last appeared for the Mercury on Aug. 4, 2022, when she was leading the team in scoring and assists, before stepping away for the rest of the season due to personal reasons.

“It was all good when I was leaving for personal time!!” she posted. “But when I’m leaving bc I was having complications and scared of risking my child….while leading the league in minutes [pregnant]. Trade her?”

The former Notre Dame legend and No. 3 overall pick in 2013 had previously posted clips on social media working out with former Phoenix player and assistant coach Bridget Pettis as well as at a Phoenix-area YMCA.

The team has not spoken publicly about the situation beyond saying Diggins-Smith is on maternity leave.

“Skylar is on maternity leave right now and as we do with players on maternity leave, we give them their space,” Phoenix interim head coach Nikki Blue said ahead of Thursday’s game against Atlanta when asked if Diggins-Smith’s allegations were true. “What I’m really excited about is just tonight, like we’re focused. Want to go out there and have a good game against Atlanta.”

WNBPA executive director Terri Jackson told ESPN, “The PA has been in regular contact with Skylar through her representation throughout the year. We will continue to support her.”

The WNBA said it had no comment.

The relationship between Mercury personnel and Diggins-Smith appeared rocky last season. Diana Taurasi and Diggins-Smith got into a heated exchange on the bench during a game early in the season, and later when then-head coach Vanessa Nygaard said that it wouldn’t be an All-Star Game without Taurasi, Diggins-Smith, who was named an All-Star that year, responded to the comments with a clown emoji on Twitter. Nygaard was fired this past June following a league-worst 2-10 start.

Diggins-Smith’s contract with the Mercury — who have ushered in new ownership and a new general manager over the last year — is up after this season.

ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss contributed to this report.


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