Natasha Cloud hopes to ‘rebuild’ Phoenix Mercury dynasty

- Advertisement -

Natasha Cloud believes that the Phoenix Mercury have the talent to “rebuild this dynasty to what it should be,” the team’s new point guard told reporters Friday in her introductory press conference.

Cloud, entering her ninth season in the league, was one of Phoenix’s free agency acquisitions that figure to catapult the Mercury from last in the league standings in 2023 to a potential championship contender in 2024.

“You’ve got a bunch of dogs on one team that are hungry, that want to win, that are willing to put whatever aside to get these dubs and rebuild this dynasty to what it should be,” Cloud said. “So I’m really excited to be surrounded by the greatness that I’m surrounded by right now.”

In addition to signing Cloud, the Mercury traded for wing Bec Allen and 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper. Those three join Phoenix’s returning core of Diana Taurasi, in what could be her final year in the league, Brittney Griner, and Sophie Cunningham.

Cloud, a 5-foot-10 point guard who established herself as one of the league’s best perimeter defenders while with the Washington Mystics, is coming off averaging a career-best 12.7 points per game in 2023, to go along with 6.2 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.

Cloud said she wants to win a championship in the next year or two.

“This is gonna be a fun season as a point guard to have so many weapons around you,” Cloud said. “That’s a point guard’s dream.”

The Mercury are one of the WNBA’s most successful franchises, winning titles in 2007, 2009 and 2014. Though they made the Finals in 2021, the past two seasons were marred by losing (where they compiled a 24-52 record).

Phoenix ushered in a new era this offseason by hiring former NBA assistant Nate Tibbetts as head coach while Nick U’Ren has also taken over as general manager. Cloud said she appreciates Tibbetts’ collaborative spirit, and aligned with U’Ren basketball vision, a blueprint he developed from his time with the Golden State Warriors.

Tibbetts’ first hire was Kristi Toliver as associate head coach. Toliver, as a player, won a championship with Cloud in 2019. Though Cloud was already considering Phoenix before Toliver got the job, reuniting with her was a “huge piece” in her decision.

“Now that we get to have kind of a full-circle moment and go to Phoenix together, start a new chapter off together, it’s really comforting to me,” Cloud said.

Another enticing factor, Cloud added, was the franchise’s investment in resources, such as in how they’re building a new practice facility and headquarters near the Footprint Center. Cloud compared Phoenix to the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty in its hunger to “in a sense rebuild and…

Read More: Natasha Cloud hopes to ‘rebuild’ Phoenix Mercury dynasty 2024-02-23 22:39:45

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments