Skylar Diggins-Smith seemed to call Mercury coach a clown

Talk about cringeworthy.

Phoenix Mercury veteran Skylar Diggins-Smith seemingly believes her own coach, Vanessa Nygaard, slighted her in recent comments about the WNBA All-Star game.

“I reiterate that [Diana Taurasi] should be an All-Star,” Nygaard said after Phoenix beat Indiana, 99-78, on Wednesday, a day after Diggins-Smith was named an All-Star for the festivities in Chicago on July 10. “There will be a game in Chicago, but it will not be an All-Star game because Diana Taurasi’s not playing.”

Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury talks with Head Coach Vanessa Nygaard of the Phoenix Mercury
Skylar Diggins-Smith seemed to disagree with coach Vanessa Nygaard’s WNBA All-Star take.
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Diggins-Smith retweeted the video, tweeted by her own team, with a clown emoji on Thursday, indicating she took her coach’s comments personal.

The Mercury have since deleted their tweet.

During her pregame availability, Nygaard said she’s “really, really happy” for Diggins-Smith being named an All-Star, adding it was a “great testament” for her to earn the honor.

diana taurasi
Diana Taurasi has some history with Skylar Diggins-Smith, and was at the center of All-Star plaudits from coach Vanessa Nygaard.
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Diggins-Smith, who signed with the Mercury in 2020, was named an All-Star last season, along with Taurasi. Her cryptic clown tweet comes on the heels of a tense on-court exchange between her and Taurasi on the bench back in May.

The veteran stars had to be separated by teammates when tempers flared during a timeout late in the first half of Phoenix’s 86-74 loss to the Aces. It’s unclear what led to the fiery moment, in which cameras captured Diggins-Smith getting riled up on the bench before Taurasi stood up from her seat and they got in each other’s faces.

The 9-12 Mercury are also playing without star center Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17, after Russian Federal Customs Service claimed it found hashish oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow.

Griner, whose trial is ongoing, was arrested a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. The WNBA player appeared in a court near Moscow on Friday, on drug smuggling charges, which can carry a punishment of up to 10 years in prison. The second hearing of the trial will take place on July 7.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in May that he was working “side by side” with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert to try to bring Griner home.

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